Frequently Asked Questions

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Dental Care

These frequently asked questions are related to dental care and how to properly care for the health of your pet’s teeth. If you do not see an answer to your question below, please feel free to call us at 217-483-6000.

Should I brush my pet's teeth?

If you can brush your pet’s teeth, you can improve the quality and length of their life. However, many pets do not appreciate the dental attention.

How do I brush my pet's teeth, and what should I use?

We recommend products made especially for pet care. A soft toothbrush or special finger brushes are the most useful. For those pets that will not tolerate either of these, a special brushless gel is available.

Can I use my own toothpaste or baking soda to brush my pet's teeth?

Toothpaste foams too much. Pets will swallow it and end up throwing up. Baking soda does not taste particularly good but won’t harm most pets. We have palatable pet toothpaste available.

Can dogs and cats get cavities?
Cavities are rarely a problem for pets. Tartar and gum disease is what we worry about.
Do bones help my pet's teeth?

Bones may help to help remove tartar from teeth. These should be discussed with the veterinarian before offered to your pet. Chicken, steak, or other “table” scrap-type bones are NOT recommended.

Do dog biscuits help my dog's teeth?

Dog biscuits can help with tartar. Several chewy treats are available that can help.

Why does my pet need their teeth cleaned if I feed them dry food and brush their teeth regularly?

Pets accumulate tartar just like people. You have to do the best you can with at-home care and have a professional cleaning done occasionally.

How often do my pet's teeth need to be cleaned?

Most pets will need dental care yearly (or every other year after reaching 5-7 years of age). Some will require care earlier, and some will not require care until much later.

What kind of dental work do you do on pets?

We do normal maintenance work and extractions when necessary. For restorative work like root canals, we would normally refer out to a board-certified dentist.

Why does my pet need anesthesia for a dental cleaning?

The dental scalers spray water and make a high-pitched buzzing noise when doing so. The animals would not be pleased with the noise and would not hold still to complete a proper cleaning. A cleaning can take an hour or more to perform.