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Discussion Starter #1
I try to brush Katie's teeth regularly, although I don't do it as much as I should. Recently I've noticed that she has some sort of buildup on two of her molars. I don't think it's tartar as it doesn't look like the pictures I've seen and she's too young - 15 months - to have that much tartar. It does look like a lighter shade of her toothpaste. Is it possible to have toothpaste buildup? Or am I crazy. We're seeing the vet Monday night, so I'll ask then (as long as I won't sound like a loon).
 

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Probably a bit of tartar. I got rid of that with my 7 year old dogs by giving them a raw bone like good meaty beef rib once a week (or more). Their teeth look pretty good now, especially considering how nasty they were before.
 

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Huh, tartar can build up that fast and in just two locations. Who knew. At this rate, she'll need cleanings every six months. Thanks.
 

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Yeah, it can buildup pretty quick sometimes. My Shiba normally eats raw food, but lately I have been testing out various commercial foods to see what he can and can't handle. (He has a long history of nasty digestive problems that I want sorted out once and for all.) And in that six month span, I have had to use a manual tooth scraper at least twice a month to get rid of tartar on his upper carnassial teeth and occasionally on the canines and lower carnassials. Funny thing is, he chews every single piece of kibble, and it really doesn't do smack to keep his teeth clean.
Before I started to test out commercial foods, there wasn't a shred of tartar or discoloration on his teeth. I am somewhat shocked by how fast this junk builds up on a commercial diet with limited chews.

As long as you give your dog something to chew on, and I don't mean those "dental" treats, the tartar will be kept at bay. Stuff like bully sticks and raw bones work really well. One of my 7 year old dogs busted a tooth and needed to have it extracted, and her teeth were cleaned then. The other also broke a tooth but it didn't need to be removed so her teeth were never professionally cleaned. I remedied that by giving her a bone at least once a week. You can see here teeth before the bones, and after six weeks of giving bones. The tartar was still present on her canines so I took a tooth scraper to that. These are her teeth now, a little over eight months after the "after" picture. That one busted carnassial is grungier than the rest of the teeth but they look pretty good compared to before I began to give her bones.
 

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Thanks. I see on your pictures how the tartar can accumulate on just specific teeth, too. Funny that it would be the ones I focus on brushing. <sigh> We've not given her a bully stick since she swallowed and then vomited a piece of one, but she'll start getting them (with better supervision) and other chews / bones more often now. Plus a different toothpaste and more regular brushing.

Hope you figure out your shiba's digestive woes. I know from personal experience that food allergies and the resulting GI distress are no fun.
 

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Kabota only has tartar on his upper canines. Raw bones aren't working so I'll get them scraped when he's under for another procedure scheduled for next month.

The best toothpastes for dogs are enzymatic, and I've never seen them at Walmart, etc, only at the vet or Petsmart, stores like that. You can use an exfoliating bath glove instead of a brush if it makes it easier for your to brush every day. I just put the toothpaste on my forefinger and thumb and rub those fingers on his teeth and gloves. I like it better because I can feel what I'm doing and Kabota is definitely more comfortable with it.
 

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If you want to save some money on the dental cleaning, you can buy the scaling tool and just gently scrap alone the gum line to remove the tartar. My colleague did it with her dog and his teeth look fantastic!
 

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Thanks Amaryllis & Chubby.

Amaryllis, do you have a brand name for a toothpaste? We bought a package with a standard brush, a finger brush, and the paste at a local pet store (not Petsmart or Petco) and I think it's enzymatic. There were a few different options for dental care and we just picked one. I like the idea of using a glove instead of a brush; seems like that would allow for more control.

Chubby, not sure I'd feel comfortable cleaning her teeth myself. I've read conflicting information about scaling with and without polishing. I'm happy to have the vet do it. At one point I was able to flick off the tartar with my fingernail, but haven't tried recently.
 

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I'll try to remember to look at the tube when I get at home, but look at the active ingredients, they should end in "dase", that's chemistry speak for the enzymes. I wouldn't scale myself, but my hands shake constantly. Other people may be more comfortable with that.
 

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I have seen both a gel and foam you put in the mouth in place of brushing. The holistic pet store owner said the gel worked great. Anybody know anything about these?
 

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We've not given her a bully stick since she swallowed and then vomited a piece of one, but she'll start getting them (with better supervision) and other chews / bones more often now.
I used to worry about our dog swallowing the last bit of the bully, too, but I saw a suggestion to attach a vise grip to the end of the stick when it gets down to about 5-6 inches. I do that with our girl now and it works well. You just have to make sure the grip is really tight or else the bully can be worked lose (our dog did this last night - dumb me).

 

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I'll try to remember to look at the tube when I get at home, but look at the active ingredients, they should end in "dase", that's chemistry speak for the enzymes. I wouldn't scale myself, but my hands shake constantly. Other people may be more comfortable with that.
Thanks. I just got home and checked the tube: Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste. It contains dicalcium phosphate, which, according to Wikipedia, is an anti-tartar ingredient, and glucose oxidase. I should have checked the ingredients and compared products better, but my husband was rushing me.

I have seen both a gel and foam you put in the mouth in place of brushing. The holistic pet store owner said the gel worked great. Anybody know anything about these?
Someone here (maybe CShellenberger) posted about a non-toothpaste product that worked great on her dogs, but I can't for the life of me remember the details. Perhaps search the forum for the product name and see what comes up?

Coincidentally, today I received an emailed newsletter from my vet's office and one of the items was dental care. More to read :)
 

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We've had all sorts of problems with our dog's teeth (Poodle). We let things go too long a while back and it ended up costing almost $500 for cleaning, pulling etc. It is almost impossible to brush his teeth - wish we started when he was real young so he would be used to it.
 

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If you want to save some money on the dental cleaning, you can buy the scaling tool and just gently scrap alone the gum line to remove the tartar. My colleague did it with her dog and his teeth look fantastic!
I did a bit of this myself today (and previously). Works like a charm. I broke the news to the vet today, and they said if the dog lets you do it, have at it. Said her teeth look fantastic.
 

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I've wanted to do a bit of scaling on Sydney's very back teeth but I've heard concerns about this causing micro-scratches that help tartar accumulative more quickly thereafter. Sounds a little strange to me, but I've so far been too paranoid to consider it, since her teeth are really not that bad and I didn't want to do more harm than good. Can anyone who's scaled their dog's teeth for a good period of time (say, at least a year since the first time) weigh in on this? I know during a dental the vet usually polishes the teeth afterwards...I wonder if such a thing could be done at home.

My dental regimen includes daily brushing with enzymatic toothpaste (CET or Petrodex), then, applying a rinse of some sort (I've tried Petzlife, Tropiclean Fresh Breath and something called VPS Dental Rinse that I found online for cheap), as well as various chews. Nylabones, antlers and Himalayan dog chews are available all the time and on the weekends I offer raw beef ribs. Her teeth are in pretty amazing shape for a 5 year old, IMO. Personally, I have never found any rinse/gel/spray to be very effective at all...something needs to rub on those gums or you're going to end up with gingivitis at the very least.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
We've had all sorts of problems with our dog's teeth (Poodle). We let things go too long a while back and it ended up costing almost $500 for cleaning, pulling etc. It is almost impossible to brush his teeth - wish we started when he was real young so he would be used to it.
We had a cat with horrible teeth (according to the vet, I never saw them) and they couldn't be cleaned them because her WBC was very low. I asked the vet what I could do and she replied, "With this cat? Nothing." We could barely pet her, never mind brush her teeth. That's why I was so determined to start good habits with Katie early.


I did a bit of this myself today (and previously). Works like a charm. I broke the news to the vet today, and they said if the dog lets you do it, have at it. Said her teeth look fantastic.
Good to know. Thanks.

I've wanted to do a bit of scaling on Sydney's very back teeth but I've heard concerns about this causing micro-scratches that help tartar accumulative more quickly thereafter. Sounds a little strange to me, but I've so far been too paranoid to consider it, since her teeth are really not that bad and I didn't want to do more harm than good. Can anyone who's scaled their dog's teeth for a good period of time (say, at least a year since the first time) weigh in on this? I know during a dental the vet usually polishes the teeth afterwards...I wonder if such a thing could be done at home.

My dental regimen includes daily brushing with enzymatic toothpaste (CET or Petrodex), then, applying a rinse of some sort (I've tried Petzlife, Tropiclean Fresh Breath and something called VPS Dental Rinse that I found online for cheap), as well as various chews. Nylabones, antlers and Himalayan dog chews are available all the time and on the weekends I offer raw beef ribs. Her teeth are in pretty amazing shape for a 5 year old, IMO. Personally, I have never found any rinse/gel/spray to be very effective at all...something needs to rub on those gums or you're going to end up with gingivitis at the very least.
Nice looking teeth! I had heard the same thing about the micro-scratches and faster tartar accumulation. Thanks for the specific recommendations.

Oddly, I've been brushing Katie's teeth with just a wet toothbrush for the past few days and I swear the buildup is lessening. (perhaps it's time to refer back to the loon comment in my first post ;) )
 
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