Do cats need their teeth brushed? Joanne Smith
Your cat’s choppers are very important. They help him get the nutrition he needs from his food and they’re a great weapon for him to use on exposed body parts when you dare to sleep in past breakfast time. Dental problems don’t just affect the health of his teeth but impact his overall health, too, so brushing should be part of his daily routine. Since he can’t do it by himself you have to help. Start by combining his annual vet checkup with a dental inspection and professional cleaning. During this visit you can ask your vet for toothbrush and toothpaste recommendations.
The people versions, which in the case of brushes are too big and in the case of pastes are the wrong formulation, of course aren’t appropriate for kitty. In between vet visits aim to:
• Regularly inspect your cat’s mouth. Healthy gums are pink with no inflammation, while healthy teeth should have no visible tartar.
• Get face to face. While his breath won’t smell like a rose garden it shouldn’t be overly repellant.
• Brush his little teeth with his little toothbrush. Expect this to take a long time at first. Reward him with lots of affection both before and after his cleaning.
• Feed him well. The crunch of dry food and treats promotes dental health (some are specially made for that purpose).