During the month of February our technologist Meghan put together a Dental Quiz for our clients. They could answer and turn in their quiz for a chance to win a dental care gift pack. It wasn’t about getting the answers right or wrong, it was about getting our clients to actively think about dental care in their pets. Often this is an area of animal health care that is over looked and yet can greatly affect the health, length, and quality of your pet’s life.
Below are the questions with the answers and a brief blurb on each.
What percentage of pets over the age of 3 have dental disease?
By age 3 your pet has gone 1,095 days without brushing his teeth and even if your pet does chew his food and even if it is a dental specific diet it isn’t going to provide the same exact action as brushing with clean water and toothpaste (think of you eating a carrot).
What is an early sign of dental disease that owners may overlook?
Bad breath is a sign that the mouth has a build up of bacteria in it.
3. True or False: Dental disease causes pain.
As bacteria builds up in the mouth and eventually plaque then tartar forms on the teeth and gums bleed and separate the decay moves under the gums. All of this leads to the decay of teeth making the mouth very sore. Until a dental surgery is performed and the teeth can be cleaned above and below the gums as well as removing any unhealthy teeth the pain will not go away.
Which is the “gold standard” of home dental care?
Although feeding a dental diet, offering dental chews and using an oral rinse are all helpful in dental care, the absolute best thing you can do for your pets oral health is to brush daily!
Which can be brushed off?
Plaque is the first build up of debris on the teeth. Tartar is the mineralization of that debris and cannot be removed with regular brushing.
6. How long does it take plaque to mineralize to tartar?
24 – 36 hrs
This is the reason why brushing daily is the key to keeping teeth healthy.
7. True or False: Hand scaling teeth on an awake patient is best.
Scaling teeth creates tiny microscopic grooves in the surface of the teeth. Without polishing after scaling the grooves remain, leaving the perfect place for food and debris to continue to build up and eat away at the teeth. Pets need to be under a general anesthetic so that scaling and cleaning of all the teeth can be done thoroughly and completely, then teeth can be polished to remove the tiny grooves created by scaling.
8. How often should a dental cleaning be performed on pets?
Depends on the individual animal.
Some pets require regular annual cleaning, while others can go years before needing a cleaning. Genetics plays a very large role in the health of teeth and even when the owner does everything right including brushing daily, a dental may need to be performed on a regular basis.
9. Order the following stages of dental disease from best (0) to worst (4)
__0__ Clean, healthy teeth
__1__ Plaque accumulation
__2__ Gum inflammation (gingivitis)
__3__ Tartar build-up
__4__ Gum separation (periodontitis)
Plaque accumulation and gingivitis can occur almost simaltaneously, so if you couldn’t decide which of these two went first you are essentially correct either way.
10. True or False: Dental disease can lead to heart and kidney disease.
The bacteria in the mouth that causes dental disease spreads throughout the body leading over time to heart and kidney disease.
The Results Are In…
So how did you do? Did you learn something new? We sure hope so!
Just like dental care is important for you, so is it for your pet. The best you can do is work together with your veterinary team to determine what you can do to keep your pet’s oral health at its best, ultimately leading to a longer, healthier, happier life!
Want more information on dental care and what is involved in a dental cleaning for your pet? See the dental section of our website!