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I started brushing her teeth when she was about a year old, kept it up for about a year. She would still get plaque/tartar built up around her gumline, so I just gave it up. I gave her tons of bully sticks and Himalayan chews to chew on.

Now she's 3, and her teeth are even worse. Her molars actually aren't that bad (probably from the chews), but her front teeth - yikes. So I got more enzyme-based (Petrodex) toothpaste, and we're doing the toothbrushing thing again.

I stick the brush in her mouth, in one corner of her mouth, say to get her upper molars. I "brush" her teeth for a few seconds, withdraw it. Toothpaste is all gone. I put more on, do the bottom molars on that same side. Repeat all steps on the other side, and then more toothpaste is applied to get her front teeth, which I can only brush for like 2 seconds before she pulls away.

Now, that is a LOT of toothpaste she is swallowing. It's not "all natural" toothpaste, either. But the stuff doesn't foam, of course it's going to come off the first time I swipe a tooth with it. So I'm not going to move on to the next set of teeth with an empty toothbrush...but, like I said, that's a lot of toothpaste being used up.

Also, how effective can it really be to "brush" for a few seconds with the dog licking away at this non-foaming toothpaste that's probably lapped up before it even reaches her tooth?

Any advice from anyone who regularly brushes their dogs' teeth would be much appreciated...
 

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It's helpful if you do it consistently, yes.

Juno is an almost-3-year-old boxer and she's had her teeth brushed pretty much daily since I brought her home when she was 8 weeks old. I use Petrodex as well... her teeth are still white. I don't use a lot of toothpaste, just a thin layer all along the brush, and I "push" it into the bristles so that it's flat. I seriously spend like 5 seconds on each side. I don't "reload" the toothbrush lol whatever paste I put on at the beginning is enough to do the whole job.

It's the brushing action more than anything that is of benefit. Even if they lick the toothpaste off, there's going to be some left over most likely... when I brush Juno's teeth, her tongue is flailing all over the place the whole time, trying to lick the brush. But when I go rinse off the toothbrush, there's still paste mashed on there.

Also the brushing that you do now isn't going to reverse the tartar buildup that is already there; but it should prevent it from getting worse if you do it at least every other day.
 

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I reapply for each section as it does get licked off. Since it doesn't foam, I think you need to use more. But I am neurotic!

You have to brush your dog's teeth like you would your own. So it should take 2-3 minutes and the brush should be at a.45 degree angle So it gets into the sculpa, the part between the gums and teeth. Gently brush in a circular motion and make sure bleach section gets enough attention.

From your avatar she looks small So that is al the more reason to remain consistent with brushing. The spaces between teeth are smaller. So try doing it in small chunks of time, like do the frontteeth for a.few.seconds then giver her a break. Or praise her like crazy when she let's you brush her teeth for a long time. She will atillget tartar, just.not as much and her gums will be healthy.
 

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Instead of a brush-- try one of those "finger" brushes, you may get better control of where it goes, Im going to get Sadie one today, I have the same prob, not sure if I am getting her teeth w/o the tounge! So yea, I feel your pain. ;) I usally apply the paste on each side. Good luck!

Funny thing tho, I went to brush her teeth last night, the cat got into her stuff yesterday, knocked everything on the floor. Now, I DO remember picking up the toothpaste, but I could NOT find it last night. It should have been with the brush, one would think. But it wasnt. I was walking around with the brush in my hand, Sadie was following me around (while I was trying to find the paste) waiting for me to brush. So I ended up brushing her teeth w/o paste, she wasnt too impressed. lol.
 
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