Keeping Your Cat’s Smile Shiny: A Guide to Cat Teeth Cleaning

Many cat owners underestimate the importance of dental hygiene for their feline friends. Just like humans, cats can suffer from dental problems like plaque buildup, tartar, and gum disease. These issues can cause your cat pain and discomfort, and can even lead to more serious health problems.

This article will explore two main methods of keeping your cat’s teeth clean: at-home care and professional cleanings.

Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth is the ideal way to prevent dental problems. However, it’s important to note that this can be a challenge. Cats aren’t known for their love of having their mouths messed with!

  • Start Slow: Patience is key. Begin introducing your cat to the taste of cat-friendly toothpaste (never use human toothpaste!). Let them lick it off your finger or a soft-bristled brush designed for cats.

  • Gradually Introduce the Brush: Once your cat is comfortable with the toothpaste, gently lift their lips and brush the exposed surfaces of their teeth, focusing on the canines and molars. Short brushing sessions are best, gradually increasing the duration as your cat tolerates it

  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward your cat with praise and treats throughout the process to create a positive association with teeth brushing.

Professional Dental Cleanings

If your cat struggles with teeth brushing, or if they have significant tartar buildup, professional dental cleanings are essential. These cleanings are performed under anesthesia a veterinarian.

  • The Cleaning Process: The vet will thoroughly examine your cat’s mouth, then use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line. The teeth will then be polished to remove scratches and prevent future buildup.

  • Aftercare: Following a professional cleaning, your veterinarian will provide you with aftercare instructions, which may include pain medication and dietary recommendations.

Additional Tips for Cat Dental Health

  • Dental chews and treats: There are a variety of dental chews and treats available that can help remove plaque and tartar. Look for products with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval.

  • Diet: A healthy diet can contribute to good dental health. Talk to your veterinarian about the best food options for your cat.

  • Regular Checkups: Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian so they can monitor your cat’s dental health and identify any potential problems early on.

By following these tips, you can help keep your cat’s teeth clean and healthy, ensuring a lifetime of happy smiles.