Are Dental Checks Part of Routine Pet Exams?

When it comes to our furry friends, we often go above and beyond to ensure they’re healthy and happy. Regular walks, nutritious food, and plenty of snuggles are part of the daily routine, but what about dental care? Believe it or not, those pearly whites need attention too, and that’s where routine pet exams come into play.

In the same way, we fret over our dental health, so pet owners must understand that a pet’s oral hygiene plays a significant role in its overall well-being. We’re going to chat about whether dental checks are part of regular checkups and what you might expect during a visit to the vet for your precious pet. So, grab a comfortable spot on the couch with your pet pal, and let’s talk teeth.

Do Routine Pet Exams Include Dental Checks?

“Are these dental checks a part of the typical pet exam?” The short answer is yes. A cat and dog checkup typically includes a thorough evaluation of your pet’s mouth. And when we say thorough, we mean a comprehensive look at the teeth, gums, and oral cavity as a whole.

Vets understand that dental health can affect a pet’s heart, kidney, and liver functions, among other things. Therefore, during a routine checkup, they usually take the time to perform a dental assessment, which is crucial in spotting early signs of disease or discomfort that your pet might not show at home.

What a Pet Dental Examination Involves

The Spot Check during a Regular Exam

When you pop into the vet’s office for your pet’s wellness visit, the vet often begins with a visual check. They’ll look for things like plaque buildup, inflammation, broken teeth, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Most of this inspection is non-invasive and just requires a cooperative pet and a vet with a keen eye.

Going Beyond the Surface

However, sometimes more than a visual exam is needed. Our vets might suggest a more in-depth dental exam, which could mean dental x-rays or cleaning under anesthesia. If your pet is showing signs of dental pain or if the vet notices something concerning during the spot check, you might be referred to a vet dentist in Diamond Bar or wherever is local for you. These professionals specialize in pet dentistry and can provide an advanced level of care if needed.

Regular Dental Checks Relevance

Just like in humans, dental problems in pets can lead to other health issues if left untreated. Bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, kidneys, and other organs. That’s why vets take dental health seriously, incorporating it into the routine checkups your pet receives.

Dental Cleanings

Some vet clinics also offer professional dental cleanings. This involves scaling to remove plaque and tartar, plus polishing to smooth the tooth surfaces and discourage further plaque buildup. Dental cleanings are often recommended annually, though the frequency can vary based on the individual pet’s needs.

How Often Should Your Pet Have a Dental Check?

Your pet’s dental health is not something to be brushed aside. Most veterinarians recommend that pets have a dental examination at least once a year as part of their routine checkups. However, some pets may require more frequent visits, especially breeds prone to dental issues or those who have shown signs of dental problems in the past.

Remember, preventative care is the best care. Regular checks can help catch dental issues before they become painful or serious.

Caring for Your Pet’s Teeth at Home

Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth

One of the simplest ways to maintain your pet’s dental health between vet visits is by brushing their teeth. Yes, you read that right, brushing! Just as we brush our teeth daily, pets can benefit significantly from a similar routine.

Most pet stores sell pet-specific toothpaste (never use human toothpaste) and toothbrushes that are designed to be safe and comfortable for your pet’s mouth. Starting this habit when your pets are young can make it easier as they grow.

Dental Treats and Diets

In addition to brushing, there are a number of dental treats and diets formulated to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. These can be used to complement regular brushing and professional cleanings. Always choose products that veterinary dental associations have approved for the best results.

Chew Toys

Good quality chew toys not only provide entertainment for your pets but can also help keep their teeth clean. Chewing naturally helps to remove plaque and can keep their gums healthy.

Recognizing Dental Problems in Pets

Would it be great if our pets could tell us when something’s wrong? Alas, they can’t, so it’s up to us to spot the signs of dental distress. These can include:

  • Bad breath

  • Difficulty eating or dropping food from their mouth

  • Swollen or bleeding gums

  • Visible tartar or discoloration on the teeth

  • Pawing at their face or mouth

If you notice any of these symptoms, please take the next routine exam from a kitten and puppy hospital. It’s best to get your pet checked out by a vet as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Caring for your pet’s teeth is essential. Regular dental checks during vet visits can prevent or catch tooth problems early. Starting when they’re young and continuing as they age, focusing on their teeth helps keep pets happy and can save on costly treatments later. So, when you’re enjoying time with your pet, remember that their dental health matters as much as their fun and affection. During check-ups, remember to ask your vet about your pet’s teeth. It’s an easy step for lifelong pet health.