Have you ever tried to brush your dog’s teeth? If you’ve attempted a toothbrushing session with your dog and have used a human toothbrush, you might have quickly realized how difficult this process can be.
When you have the right toothbrush to help you take care of your dog’s dental health and hygiene needs, the experience becomes much simpler and easier. In the article below, we’ll show you several tips you can use to narrow down the options and pick the best toothbrush for your dog. Read on to find out more!
Multiple Head Toothbrushes
There are some types of pet toothbrushes that include multiple heads on different parts of the brush. This design makes it easier for you to brush your pet’s teeth quickly, because the different heads all work on a different part of the mouth at the same time.
These heads are usually designed to tackle the front, back and top of each tooth at once. They’re a great choice for pets who are very easily agitated during the tooth brushing experience and who may not let you finish the whole mouth in one go.
Angled Handle Toothbrushes
Depending on the shape of your pet’s mouth and snout, you might need to go with a toothbrush that has an angled handle. Some pets respond better to straight handled toothbrushes, while others need an angled brush to reach all the areas inside the mouth. If you’re unsure which style is best for your pet, you might want to ask your veterinarian for more information.
An angled brush makes it easier to get the teeth far back in your pet’s mouth but might make it harder to brush her front teeth. You may need to switch between types of toothbrushes in this situation.
Toothbrushes by Size
Choose the toothbrush that best fits your pet’s size. For example, if you have a chihuahua, you’re not going to use a toothbrush that is sized for a German shepherd; the reverse is also true. By choosing the right size, you’re setting yourself and your pet up for success when it comes time for a good toothbrushing.
You might want to take your pet along with you to the pet store while you shop for the right toothbrush size. Holding the toothbrushes up to your pet’s mouth can help you judge the right size for her teeth.
Toothbrushes by Material
It’s important to consider the type of material that makes up the toothbrush you use for your pet. Almost all pet toothbrushes are made of some type of plastic, which makes it easier to keep them clean and free from bacteria from the pet’s mouth.
Whichever material you choose, make sure it’s easy to clean and disinfect. Also be sure it’s comfortable enough for your pet’s mouth, and that if she bites down on it (which she will probably do), she won’t risk breaking a tooth on a material that is extremely hard.
Finally, consider whether your pet needs a regular toothbrush or a finger brush. Regular toothbrushes are great for pets who are patient or who have unique toothbrushing needs, but pets who are agitated by toothbrushing may need a finger brush instead.
Additionally, if your pet’s mouth is very small, a finger brush might be the best way to take care of her toothbrushing needs. You can slip a finger brush onto your finger, place a little pet-friendly toothpaste on the brush, and brush your pet’s teeth directly with your covered finger. This process is usually easier for nervous pets.
The downside to many finger toothbrushes is they do not have bristles. They usually have little plastic nubs instead. These little nubs are not thin nor long enough to reach under the gumline where plaque bacteria likes to hide. If using a finger toothbrush, be sure the brush has bristles. If your pet chews during the brushing process, as many do, using a finger brush is not advised as they will inadvertently chew on your finger.
Human Child’s Sized Toothbrushes
It’s best to avoid using a human child’s sized toothbrush for your pet. This is because these toothbrushes are not designed for your pet’s dental and mouth needs, and they may not fit or feel very comfortable in your pet’s mouth either.
You can use a human child’s toothbrush if you absolutely must, but it’s best to upgrade to a pet-friendly toothbrush as soon as possible. Upgrading will also make it easier for you to brush your pet’s teeth successfully!
Time to Start Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
Now that you’ve had a chance to pick the right toothbrush for your pet, it’s time to start brushing those teeth! Teaching your pet to be comfortable with having her teeth brushed can be tricky, but with enough patience and time, it can work out well for you and your pet both.
When you take the time to get your pet used to the idea of having her teeth cleaned, you’re doing her a big favor. You can clean her teeth regularly at home and reduce or prevent the risk of dental and gum disease. This benefit, in turn, makes it easier for your pet to live a longer, healthier, happier life.
Is your dog in need of a professional dog teeth cleaning? Call Veterinary Dental Services at (978) 929-9200 today!