Most dogs are born with fairly straight and even teeth. However, just like humans, not every dog has a perfect set of pearly whites. Sometimes you will meet a dog whose 42 teeth are misaligned, leaving him with an overbite or underbite. While this can be comical to some, it can result in problems for the dog, to include oral hygiene issues and problems eating. If you are the parent to a dog with uneven teeth, the following tips will help you make his life easier.
It is important to clean every dog's teeth at least once a week. This should never be done with products designed for human oral hygiene. You should always use a toothbrush that is specially designed for your dog. You can also purchase toothpastes with yummy flavors to entice your dog to let you brush his teeth. The best technique is to sit behind your pooch and use one hand to hold his mouth open, while you brush with the other. However, you may find another method that works better for you and your dog. No matter how you choose to hold your dog while accomplishing this task, you should be very careful to brush the inside and outside of each and every tooth, even the hard to reach teeth in the back. You should also gently brush his gums and tongue. It can be difficult to brush your pooch's teeth if they are misaligned; take your time and put in the extra effort needed to clean even the teeth that are hardest to reach.
Some dogs with an overbite or underbite may have difficulty eating. In this case, you may wish to speak to your vet to see if removal of teeth would help. You may also hand-feed your dog, or talk to a dog trainer to find out other ways to help your dog with mealtimes. It is important to ensure your dog gets the right amount of food each day, regardless of his special needs. Free-feeding can be problematic, as you can't be sure that your dog is eating enough. Measure his portions exactly, and give him a couple of small meals spread out through the day so you can monitor his intake.
There are no orthodontists for dogs; however, your vet is just as good for Fido. You should take your pooch to the vet once a year for a dental checkup. If your vet determines that there is a lot of plaque buildup in your dog's mouth, you should definitely pay for a cleaning for your best friend. A professional dental cleaning done by a veterinarian can cost several hundred dollars, but is worth it. You should also keep an eye out for cavities in your dog's teeth so the vet can address these issues right away.
Tooth decay and neglect can lead to serious health problems for your dog, including heart problems and even death. Take the necessary steps to keep his teeth clean so he can live a long and healthy life by your side. Contact your vet to learn more about pet dental care.