Most humans spend a year or two with braces. Does your pooch need them too? Being a pet owner, I know that dog dental hygiene is very important. However, I did not realize just how important it was until I saw a news article covering a dog getting, well, braces! Dogs can also have crowns and root canals. Surprisingly, better dentistry can add years to the life of a pet, along with reducing a tremendous amount of pain caused by bad teeth.
One out of two dogs suffers from canine periodontal disease. This disease affects the gums, bones and connective tissue around the teeth. Here’s what can happen:
- A soft, clear or cream-colored deposit, called plaque, will form on the teeth of your pooch.
- If this plague isn’t removed, minerals in your pet’s saliva (or drool) can turn the plaque into a different substance, called tartar.
- When the tartar builds up below the gums and allows bacteria to grow, it can cause inflammation.
- This inflammation then leads to infection and could result in tooth loss.
In order to fix this problem, some veterinarians perform periodontal disease surgery or root canals.
But why would a dog get braces? Good question! Some breeds, such as Rottweilers and Poodles, are predisposed to tooth problems that can be fixed by wearing braces. But don’t think your pooch will have a full “grill.” Dog braces is different than human braces, because veterinary dentists correct only individual teeth—not all of them. What about the retainers we’re familiar with? No need. Teeth in dogs tend to stay in place. Lucky dogs.
If you think a little dentistry might go a long way in your animal, talk to your veterinarian.
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