Regular dental care is essential to keeping your cat healthy. Just like humans, cats are also susceptible to the plaque buildup that causes gum disease, cavities, and other dental problems that affect their health.
The veterinarians at Anasazi Animal Clinic can help you keep your cat’s teeth and gums healthy with a variety of personalized pet dental services. And between vet visits, there are also many things you can do at home to promote good dental health.
Why Is Cat Dental Care Important?
Eliminating plaque through routine dental care is just as important for cats as it is for humans. When plaque builds up on your cat’s teeth, it weakens their tooth enamel and attacks their gums. If you don’t take care of your cat’s teeth, the bacteria in plaque will cause cavities, gum disease, and other infections.
Without treatment, these dental issues can become quite painful for your cat without treatment. Keep in mind that cats are masters when it comes to hiding pain—just because it seems like your cat is doing fine without dental care doesn’t mean that they aren’t suffering from dental diseases.
What Do Healthy Teeth and Gums Look Like for a Cat?
It’s important to know what a healthy cat’s teeth and gums look like, so you can quickly spot any problems with your cat’s dental health. The earlier dental diseases are detected, the higher your cat’s chances of keeping their teeth.
Your cat’s teeth should be clean and white, and their gums should be pink. Mouth sores, chipped teeth, and red, swollen, or bleeding gums are all signs that your cat needs immediate, professional dental care.
While it’s a good idea to check your cat’s mouth often, it can be difficult to hold your cat still without causing them distress. Regular wellness visits with your vet are a good way to examine your cat’s mouth safely and catch signs of dental diseases as early as possible.
How to Keep Cat Teeth Clean
Brush Their Teeth
The best way to remove plaque from your cat’s mouth is by regularly brushing their teeth. Brushing your cat’s teeth every day is best, but brushing a minimum of two or three times a week can still be beneficial.
Consult your veterinarian if you have trouble getting your cat used to tooth brushing. They can give you tips based on your cat’s personality that will help make your cat more comfortable with the process, and ensure your own safety.
Here are some tips for brushing your cat’s teeth:
- Be gentle and comforting.
- Choose a time when your cat is most relaxed.
- Use a finger brush designed for cat dental care.
- Use toothpaste specifically made for cats—human toothpaste can contain fluoride and xylitol, which are toxic to cats.
- Never use floss on your cat. If they swallow floss, it can cause serious intestinal damage.
Buy Teeth-Friendly Treats
Treats (in limited amounts) are a great way to help your cat get used to dental care. It’s a good idea to give your cat treats that are intended to supplement dental care. Dental treats can help remove plaque as your cat eats them, but aren’t a substitute for tooth brushing.
Give Your Cat Dental Toys
Some toys can help improve your cat’s oral health. Look for toys that are designed to keep your cat’s breath fresh and remove plaque from their teeth. Just like dental treats, you should only give your cat dental toys to supplement their dental care, not to replace brushing your cat’s teeth altogether.
Veterinary Dentist in Gilbert, Arizona
Your cat’s dental care routine should also include regular trips to the vet. Preventive dental care and screenings will help ensure that your cat lives a long, healthy life.
Whether your cat is experiencing dental issues or is due for a dental exam, the compassionate team at Anasazi Animal Clinic in Gilbert is here to help. We can treat dental diseases, provide cleanings, and give you more advice about how to keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy at home. Call us at 480-497-0505 today to schedule an appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/11/2022). Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash