Matthews, NC
2440 Plantation Ctr. Dr.
Matthews, NC 28105
(704) 817-9896


Fax: 704-817-9900

Mt. Pleasant, SC
1169 Chuck Dawley Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 268-4028

Keep the tails wagging and the cats purring.

Optimal oral health for your pets starts at home. 

Home Care for Oral Health

We love teeth and healthy mouths! We are happy to develop a plan for your pet’s oral healthcare at home. Our doctors and technicians are knowledgeable in the products available to ensure your pet’s oral cavity stays as healthy as possible. The gold-standard preventive oral care is teeth brushing! We can help you learn to comfortably and safely brush your pet’s teeth at home or develop other options if teeth brushing is not well tolerated by your pet. There is a huge number of oral health and teeth cleaning products, chews and toys on the market and we are happy to help you decide what’s best for you and your pet. We do not recommend chew bones, hard plastic/nylon bones, or antlers as these are too hard for the tooth enamel and will fracture teeth!

Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

While it is best to begin home dental care when the puppy or kitten is between 8 and 12 weeks of age, it is never too late! The daily brushing process should be pleasant for both you and your pet! Many pets enjoy the added attention while many owners look forward to the close quality time spent with their companion animal. The supplies you need are a finger brush and CET pet toothpaste. Most animals will accept brushing very well if they are introduced to the procedure in a calm and patient way.

If your pet is resistant at any time, stop and wait until the next day. If your pet is still resistant, contact our office, and our technicians will assist you.

The best way is to brush your pet's teeth:

Day 1: Gently pet and scratch the muzzle, slowly lifting the lip for about 30 seconds. Reward with a treat at the end of the session. To ensure a quicker result you can even use the toothpaste as a reward!

Day 2: Repeat as above, except gently run your finger over your pet’s teeth for 30-45 seconds. Reward and praise again.

Day 3: Repeat Day 2, adding 15 seconds time running your finger over your pet’s teeth. Always reward with praise and a treat.

Day 4: If all is going well, insert your index finger into the finger brush, then gently insert into your pet’s mouth and rub the teeth for about 30 seconds.

Day 5: Repeat as above and increase the time the finger brush is used by 30 seconds.

Day 6: Repeat as above, adding a small amount of the CET toothpaste to the finger brush and pass over the teeth.

Day 7: You know your pet best of all. If you feel they are accepting the brushing well, gradually increase the brushing time until you are able to spend at least one minute on each side.

Chews, Bones, & Treats

We recommend OraVet Dental Chews-Flavorful as chewy treats that help scrub away plaque and have an active ingredient to create a barrier to the bacteria causing plaque and tartar. Tartar Shield Rawhide Chews which are compressed, soft rawhide chews formulated with an ingredient to fight plaque accumulation. Veggie-Dent chews are a vegetarian based chew that is good for pets with sensitive stomachs or allergies. They are also lower in calorie and can be given daily! They come in different sizes based off your pets weight. We sell these products in our hospital and via our online pharmacy which ships directly to you. Call and ask us how we can set that up!

For daily chewing dental toys (hard rubber toys like the Kong are best) help to massage gums and remove plaque. You can also place CET toothpaste inside of the Kong for the dog to chew. Hard chew toys like antlers, hooves, bones and some Nylabones can be effective at reducing plaque, but they are so hard they frequently fracture those clean teeth! We have found a few companies that make safe chew toys including, West Paw Zogoflex, Kong, and Goughnuts. These are not the only companies out there that make safe chew toys; we recommend always doing your research before purchasing any toys for your pet. We cannot guarantee that these products are 100% safe for your pets teeth and you should always monitor your pet when they have any type of chew toy to ensure they do not swallow or choke on any pieces.

We don’t recommend any chew toys without some “give” or flexibility. The rule of thumb is, if you can’t put a fingernail in a toy, it’s too hard for your pet to chew on. If you see VOHC on dental products this means they have been tested and proven to do its intended purpose, these are products you can trust over other pet store products.

Rinses & Gels

Oravet Gel is best when applied weekly after initial professional formula application, this waxy-material forms a barrier for plaque accumulation on the teeth. For dental rinses we recommend Clenz-a-Dent oral rinse, a chlorhexidine-based antimicrobial gel. We also recommend Maxi-Guard oral cleansing gel, which is a natural zinc and vitamin C antibacterial gel. A small amount of these gels can be placed along the upper gums where the tongue will move them all around the mouth. Healthy Mouth is also an all-natural water additive that decreases plaque accumulation by 80% while also decreasing tartar and gingivitis.

Dental Diets & More

For pets that are more prone to dental disease, feeding a diet specifically formulated to promote superior oral health is more effective in reducing plaque than other hard kibble. We recommend Hill’s Prescription Diet t/d for both dogs and cats. The special fiber matrix texture and shape of the kibble creates a gentle abrasive effect on the teeth during chewing to reduce accumulation of dental plaque and hard calculus. Most pet’s love this food as a treat or primary diet!

Here when you need us.

If you need help in any of these areas, please let us know. We’ll be happy to assist.

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