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Willow Creek Pet Center

Maintaining Your Pet’s Teeth After a Cleaning

How can I prevent tartar accumulation after the procedure?dentistry_2

“Plaque and tartar begin forming in as little as six hours after your pet’s dental cleaning.”

Plaque and tartar begin forming in as little as six hours after your pet’s dental cleaning. A home dental care program including regular tooth brushing is a must for all pets. Your veterinarian will provide you with detailed instructions on how to brush or rinse your pet’s teeth.

Can I use human toothpaste?

Absolutely not. Human dentifrice or toothpaste should never be used in dogs. Many human toothpastes and other oral hygiene products contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is safe for use in humans but highly toxic in dogs (for further information, see our handout “Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs“).

Even if there is no xylitol in the toothpaste, these foaming products contain ingredients that are not intended to be swallowed and that could cause internal problems if they are swallowed. Human products often contain higher levels of sodium than your pet requires, which is another reason why they should not be swallowed.

You should also avoid using baking soda to cleaning your dog’s teeth. Baking soda is alkaline and if swallowed can upset the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract. In addition, baking soda does not taste very good, and may cause your dog to be uncooperative when you try to brush its teeth.

Why is pet toothpaste recommended?

Numerous pet toothpastes that are non-foaming and safe to be swallowed are available in flavors that are appealing to dogs; depending on the brand, you may be able to find flavors such as poultry, beef, malt or mint. If you use a product that tastes good, your pet will be more likely to enjoy the whole experience. In addition to the pleasant taste, many of these doggy toothpastes contain enzymes that are designed to help break down plaque chemically, thus reducing the time you need to spend actually brushing your dog’s teeth.

This client information sheet is based on material written by: Ernest Ward, DVM
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