Dogs get plaque and tartar on their teeth just like humans do. Cleaning your dogs teeth between professional cleanings is very simple.
Keeping your dogs teeth and gums clean will eliminate doggy breath as well as keep your dog healthy.
Most veterinarians suggest twice a week brushings. When brushing teeth, use baking soda or a special toothpaste formulated for dogs, not toothpaste for humans. Pet toothpastes contain enzymes that help dissolve plaque and can be swallowed. They also taste good.
Use a toothbrush designed for pets or small children. Or just use gauze or a washcloth if the pet doesn’t like the brush.
Tooth brushing is best but if the dog won’t let you brush it’s teeth then giving it something to chew that rubs on the sides of the teeth is useful.
Although dogs do not usually get cavities in their teeth, tooth problems result from soft foods that can leave debris in gum pockets at the base of the teeth, known as gingivitis. Infections form which soften and cause the gums to recede. Bad breath is a symptom.
Tartar buildup can be removed from teeth by rubbing with a solution of three percent hydrogen peroxide. Advanced buildup requires scraping with dental instruments. Some veterinarians use ultrasonics now as well, so the treatment is more pleasant.
For between dental visits, provide soft chew toys made of rubber or nylon and something made of fiber like a chew rope which helps to wipe the teeth clean.