Have you ever wondered how to clean your cat’s teeth effectively and safely? There are many reasons for cleaning your cat’s teeth, and many different ways to go about it. Here are a few reasons why it is important to clean your cat’s teeth and several ways to approach it.
Dental hygiene is as important for cats as it is for human beings. Cats need healthy teeth for eating properly and defending themselves, and are prone to the same sorts of tooth problems that people are. Cats can suffer from tooth decay as a result of prolonged buildup on their teeth and gums, which eventually results in pain and tooth loss. Tarter buildup, along with inflamed gums, can be signs of periodontal disease, another consequence of ignoring hygienic care. Periodontal disease can cause infection of the gums and eventually leads to the teeth rotting and falling out. Perhaps more serious is the fact that it can also cause heart, liver, and kidney damage. Cats receiving no dental care can also be susceptive to resorptive lesions, a painful disease that gradually erodes away the teeth.
There are several different ways to approach cleaning your cat’s teeth, including brushing them yourself, using specially designed treats, or allowing a vet to do it. One of the easiest and most common ways to clean a cat’s teeth is as follows.
Take a strip of sterile gauze and wrap it around your index finger on your dominant hand. Place either a small amount of toothpaste or a few drops of sterile solution on the gauze at the tip of your finger.
While holding your cat firmly, open its mouth gently and rub the teeth in a circular motion, giving special attention to the area adjacent to the gums.
The American Veterinary Medical Association advocates dipping your finger in a little tuna oil so as to make the experience more enjoyable for your cat. If you can get your cat accustomed to this method, it is possible to upgrade to a small child’s toothbrush. Brushing your cat’s teeth in this manner utilizing special toothpaste or gel is arguably the easiest and most effective.
Another method involves giving your cat special treats designed to clean its teeth as it chews. Although many of these products that are available claim to clean a cat’s teeth, to be on the safe side you should consult your vet about which brand to choose as some varieties are said to be a choking hazard and are not effective.
The last and perhaps the best method getting your cat’s teeth clean is to spend the extra money to have it done at the vet. A veterinarian has a wide array of tools at his or her disposal and can clean your cat’s teeth in the most complete and effective manner.
Several different kinds of products are available to combat poor dental hygiene in cats. A vast array of flavored toothpastes is available in flavors such as chicken and fish. These can make a tasty and effective means of cleaning your cat’s teeth, generally by using the aforementioned method of “finger brushing”.
There are also many brands offering small toothbrushes that are specially designed for cats, along with gels and other teeth cleaning solutions for your cat. Other sorts of toothpastes and teeth cleaning solutions can be found at the veterinary office and offer increased effectiveness.
Lastly there is the option of using specially made treats that clean your cat’s teeth as they chew. However, as mentioned above, it’s a good idea to check with a vet before choosing one of these products.