One useful way of getting your pet accustomed to brushing the teeth is to use an old toothbrush dipped in its dinner since feeding time is, after all, the highpoint of the day for your pet. Unlike us brushing of the outside of the teeth is all that is required as your pets tongue is constantly moving around the inside surface of its teeth. Use specially formulated toothpaste designed for your pet as these, unlike ours, are meant to be swallowed and are usually meat or malt flavoured. There are many ways to introduce toothbrushing to your pet. The following is a method we like:
First introduce your pet to toothpaste by applying some to your finger and letting your pet lick it off. Repeat this for 2-3 days. Make this session enjoyable and reward with lots of praise.
The next step is finger brushing. Place your finger applied with toothpaste into his/her mouth and gently massage the teeth and gums. Repeat this until your pet is comfortable with finger brushing.
When your pet is comfortable with finger brushing, he/she can be introduced to a toothbrush! Wet the toothbrush with a small amount of water and apply toothpaste to the toothbrush.
Pushing the toothpaste into the bristles of the toothbrush helps it to stay on the toothbrush. BE gentle and reward with lots of praise.
Start with the canine teeth:
Lift the upper or lower lips and use an upward and downwards motion around the surface of the tooth. Be sure to clean at the gum line.
Then move onto the premolars and molars:
Lift the upper or lower lips and use a circular motion to gently clean the teeth especially at the gum line.
Finally Brush the incisors:
Lift the upper or lower lips simultaneously and use an upward and downward motion to gently clean the teeth. Again, paying particular attention to clean where the gum and tooth meet.
Toothbrushing should be a fun part to your routine for both you and your pet. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and of a suitable size (veterinary toothbrush or a toothbrush designed for children), and try to brush your pets teeth daily.