How to Remove Plaque From A Dog’s Teeth

How to Remove Plaque From A Dog’s Teeth

Alpha Paw Sale

Jul 02, 2021
AUTHOR Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Reviewed by Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Dr. Sara Ochoa is a board-certified, licensed, and USDA-accredited veterinarian. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from St. George’s University in 2015.


Bad Breath and Plaque

If your dog has bad breath, it may have plaque starting to develop. Most dogs will start to develop plaque and then dental tartar if they do not have a proper dental care routine in place. This can cause your dog to have bad breath. Many times dental plaque can easily be treated at home and prevent your dog from developing dental tartar. You should start dental preventative care early in your dog’s life to ensure that they have healthy teeth. Dental disease can be linked to many other health conditions. A healthy mouth can help keep your dog healthy for many years.

How to Remove Plaque From A Dog's Teeth

What Is Plaque Buildup?

Plaque is a mixture of dog food, saliva, and bacteria. If this is left untreated will develop into dental tartar. Dental tartar is a very hard substance that will require your dog to have a dental cleaning to remove the tartar. By starting prevention on your dog teeth when they are young, you can help prevent dental plaque, tartar, and periodontal disease.

What Does Plaque Look Like?

Plaque is a pale yellow gummy substance that develops on your dog’s teeth after they eat. This is also very similar to the plaque that builds up on people’s teeth when they eat. Some plaque will be easily removed when your dog drinks water or licks there lips. While if it is not all removed, this can continue to build up and turn into tartar on your dog’s teeth.

How to Remove Plaque From A Dog's Teeth

Can I Scrape Plaque Off My Dog’s Teeth?

Plaque can easily be removed from your dog’s teeth. You can use a toothbrush with dental bristles or a finger toothbrush to help remove plaque from your dog’s teeth. When you start teaching your dog to allow you to brush their teeth, start off slow and only brush one or two teeth each day, then slowly move to brush more teeth until they allow you to brush all their teeth each day.

Maintaining Healthy Teeth and Gums in Dogs

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is beneficial for your dog’s overall health. Dental disease in dogs can cause these different issues.

Damage to internal organs

Dental disease has been linked to issues with dog’s hearts, kidneys, and liver. The bacteria from your dog’s mouth can travel anywhere in their body, causing your dog to have life-threatening and non-reversible damage to these organs.

Pain and inflammation

Dental disease can also cause your dog to be very painful in their mouths. Dogs with severe dental disease can have painful teeth, causing them to not want to eat. This can cause them to lose weight.

Respiratory issues

The roots of your dog’s teeth also communicate with your dog’s sinuses. If your dog has a tooth root infection from poor dental health, you can see an infection in their sinuses or even an abscess occur under their eyes.

Broken teeth and bones

Dental disease can lead to broken or loose teeth, and it can also cause damage to the bones in your dog’s mouth. By keeping your dog’s teeth healthy, you can help your dog keep all of their teeth and not have any damage to the bones in their mouth.

If you notice that your dog is experience dental disease or some of the common signs and symptoms of dental disease, it is best to start preventative measures to help keep their dental disease from progressing to something more severe.

How to Prevent Plaque Buildup

The best way to treat dental disease is to prevent it from happening. These are a few things that you can try at home to help decrease plaque buildup on your dog’s teeth.

Dental Treats

Dental treats are designed to help remove plaque and tartar buildup from your dog’s teeth. Dentalicious Doggy Sticks are perfect treats to give to your dog to help decrease the plaque on their teeth. These treats contain ridges that make reaching some of the harder areas on your dog’s teeth very easy. When your dog chews on these treats, they will help freshen their breath and remove excessive plaque all while enjoying a tasty treat.

How to Remove Plaque From A Dog's Teeth

Brush your dog’s teeth

You and easily and quickly teach your dog to allow you to brush their teeth. You can get a doggy toothbrush or finger toothbrush to use. Make sure that you are using toothpaste made especially for dogs as human toothpaste contains xylitol which can cause your dog’s pancreas to release an excessive amount of insulin, causing your dog to have dangerously low blood sugar.

Dental mouthwashes

Dental mouthwashes are another great thing that you can do to help decrease plaque buildup in your dogs. These dental mouthwashes contain enzymes that help break down plaque build-up on their teeth. Magic mouthwash is a great dental mouthwash to use to help keep your dog’s breath smelling great and teeth healthy.

Feed hard food

Wet dog food can cause more food particles to get stuck to your dog’s teeth. By feeding your dog hard dog food, you will decrease the amount of food that builds up on your dog’s teeth. The hard food will also help remove some tartar and plaque. When your dog crunches down on these hard kibbles, it will act as a brush against the surface of these teeth, helping remove dental tartar.

Dental Chew Sticks

Many dogs love to chew on things. Giving your dog a chew specifically for helping remove dental tartar and plaque is a great thing to help keep your dog’s teeth healthy. Many of these chews act as a toothbrush causing plaque and tartar to be removed with every chew. When you first give your dog, these chews make sure to monitor them to make sure that they are chewing them and not just swallowing them whole.

See Your Vet

If your dog’s plaque build-up has also caused tartar to develop on your dog’s teeth, it would be great to see your vet. They can assess your dog’s dental disease and discuss different treatment and prevention options for your dog.

Final Thoughts

If your dog has dental plaque on its teeth, it would be best to start prevention right away to help keep this from progressing into a more severe issue. Dental issues can lead to other health issues making prevention even more important for the overall health of your dog. If you follow these few tricks, you can keep your dog’s teeth healthy and help your dog live a long and happy life.

Alpha Paw Sale
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Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM is a board-certified, licensed, and USDA-accredited small animal and exotic animal veterinarian. Dr. Sara graduated from St. George's University in 2015 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Following veterinary school, she joined the team of pet experts at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she treats all species that walk in the hospital. Dr. Sara’s professional interests include surgery and exotic animal medicine. She enjoys developing positive relationships with her clients, sharing her passion for animals, and helping pet parents provide excellent care for their fur babies. She is passionate about helping our four-legged family members return to a happy and healthy life - making her a perfect fit for Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts!

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