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Every dog needs dental care at home!

Puppies grow a set of temporary or milk teeth which are replaced with adult teeth as they grow older at about 5 months of age. After this no more teeth will grow, so if they are not looked after and are lost, then that’s it, no more teeth! There are many things that we can do to help keep the teeth healthy and strong. This will also help the dog’s general health and keep the breath fresh for everyone!

Dental care is very important for your dog's health. At HHVC we advise the following dental care Plan
  • Every puppy should have a dental check at 5-6 months to ensure the adult teeth are growing properly.
  • Start brushing the teeth daily or at least twice a week when still a puppy. Use dog toothpaste and brushes.
  • Feeding Hills t/d or Royal Canin Dental diet will reduce calculus formation.
  • Royal Canin Oral Bars can be fed as a daily treat to remove some plaque.
  • Apply 1-2 spots of MaxiGuard Oral Gel daily to each side of the mouth will reduce plaque.
  • At times it will still be necessary to have a professional scale removal and polishing procedure.
What goes wrong?

As soon as the adult teeth grow, a bacterial film starts to form on the surface of the teeth. This soft film is called plaque and is easily removed. If it remains in place, proteins accumulate in it and form a solid framework. Calcium deposits from the saliva and forms a hard material called calculus. The plaque and calculus slowly spreads under the gum to affect the tooth root and its bony supports. Bacteria can spread along the roots and cause infection and gingivitis. This damages the bones and ligaments holding the tooth in place. Slowly the bone is destroyed and support for the tooth is lost. The tooth becomes loose and may fall out of its infected socket.

Tooth care

There are several ways to slow this process down, each works in different ways. To keep the teeth healthy it is best to combine several methods

  • Tooth brushing: This physically removes the plaque. Some dog toothpastes have enzymes in them to reduce plaque formation. This is the most effective way to prevent problems.
  • Dental diets are made to reduce plaque accumulation. Hills t/d has been proven to reduce plaque formation by physically removing the plaque As the tooth bites through the large kibble, the tooth surface is wiped clean. Royal Canin Dental Diet has a similar action. Both diets are available in small sizes for lighter dogs. These diets are designed to be a complete diet for a normal adult dog.
  • Chews and Treats: There are many different chews which claim to reduce plaque and calculus formation. Royal Canin Oral bars have been proven to be effective. They have a soft texture with ridges that helps to clean the teeth. Be careful as some products may be too hard and damage teeth and gums, while others can break into smaller pieces and choke the dog.
  • Mouth Washes containing chlorhexidine are used to reduce bacterial growth and plaque in the mouth. Over time chlorhexidine can cause a brownish stain on the teeth. MaxiGuard Oral Gel contains Zinc, Vitamin C and taurine. The zinc is antibacterial and helps keep the gums healthy, the vitamin C is important for the soft tissue structure of the gums and the taurine helps bind the compounds which cause the breath to smell. MaxiGuard is available at HHVC.

The best approach is to brush the teeth every 1 or 2 days and use other treatments such as a dental diet and oral gel in addition.

How to brush your dog's teeth

This is the most important part of a dog’s dental care plan. You will need a few sessions to build up confidence and trust; don’t try to do too much at first. See how to brush your dogs teeth in pictures.


Gently lift the lip


Allow him to smell and taste toothpaste


Rub paste in a circle


Work paste back


Use a circular motion to brush paste onto front teeth


Work toothbrush back


Reward him at the end of the session


All the products and foods mentioned above are available at Hung Hom Veterinary Clinic, just come in to discuss your dog’s dental care with our trained Vet Nurses, and we will help you choose the best approach for your dog’s dental care.

Hills t/d diet
Maxiguard oral gel
Virbac CET dental

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