In order to help minimize dental decay, periodontal disease and premature tooth loss, it is important that you develop a program of dental home care for your pet. Ideally, you should do as many of the following options as possible. The more you do, the better off your pet’s mouth will be and the less often our veterinary team will have to clean the teeth. Even with the best home care, you should anticipate having your pet’s teeth cleaned under anesthesia at least once a year.


You can brush the teeth with any number of pet tooth brushes we have available in the reception area. For pets with small mouths, the “finger brush” tends to be the most effective. These brushes fit on your finger and you can gently brush the teeth without fear of hurting your pet with a harder brush. They can be used for cats and any size dogs as well.
Brushing should be done one to two times daily, preferably after eating to be most effective.


  • Most pets do not take readily to teeth brushing, so we must train them gradually to accept and even like the process.
  • First, select the toothpaste, which your pet will like best (poultry or seafood flavors)
  • Offer the toothpaste to your pet as a treat, allowing them to lick it off your fingers. If they enjoy it, the process will go more smoothly.
  • Most pets do best when you don’t try to pry their mouths open to brush. Instead, gently hold the mouth closed and slip your finger or the tooth brush under the gums and brush the teeth blindly. As your pet gets used to the procedure, you may be able to lift up the gums and do a more thorough job.
  • Start by rubbing your finger with the toothpaste over the gums and teeth, praising your pet as you do it.
  • Once they have accepted your fingers in their mouths, introduce the toothbrush with the paste on it and gently brush the teeth starting at the gums and moving towards the bottom of the teeth. Take it slowly and continually praise your pet as you do the procedure.
  • When you are done, praise your pet and offer a CET dentifrice impregnated rawhide chew as a treat.

Teeth Protecting Diet

Our veterinarians highly recommend Hill’s T/D diet to help prevent dental decay. T/D has rather large kernels, in which all the fibers are aligned in one direction. When your pet bites through the nugget, the fibers help to brush the teeth. T/D has shown to reduce dental plaque by 25 to 30%. In addition, T/D, like all Hill’s products, is excellent nutrition and makes a great maintenance diet for most pets over 1 year of age. It is available for cats and dogs.

Dental Rinses

Most of the dental decay starts with bacteria in the mouth, which attack the gums and teeth. Dental rinses are effective at reducing the population of offending bacteria in the mouth. They can be applied to the gums by spraying them directly on the gums or by soaking a cotton ball or gauze pad and gently rubbing the teeth and gums. Ideally, rinses should be used twice daily prior to brushing the teeth.

Ora-Vet Plaque Prevention Gel

Ora-vet is a unique tool in the battle against dental disease. This gel is applied at the junction of the gums and the teeth. It helps to seal the gums to prevent particulate matter lodging in the “sulcus” between the gum and tooth. The gel has anti bacterial properties as well. The gel is applied once weekly.

C.E.T. Enzymatic Hygiene Chews

These treats have antibiotic and abrasive properties which help keep the teeth and gums healthy. They can be given up to 3 times daily as part of your dental care program.