Dental Care is really important for felines like myself. Did you know tooth and gum problems occur in eight out of every ten cats over the age of three? So there’s a good reason to book in for the free dental health checks we are running for your cat during July. These checks are with our practice nurse Becky Delli-Bovi who can also offer loads of advice about dental care for us cats.
Establish a routine of brushing your cat’s teeth early on is really important. Cats tend to accumulate plaque (food debris and bacteria) on the outside of their teeth, but not on the inside. This hardens to form tartar, irritating the gums and causing gingivitis and loss of teeth. The bacteria can even enter the bloodstream and damage the kidneys and other organs.
Clinical signs of advanced gum disease include bad breath, reddened gums, yellowish-brown tartar on teeth, and drooling. When gingivitis is severe, cats may even drop food from their mouths and lose weight because they are unable to eat. Should this happen your vet may recommend specialist dental care to remove any loose teeth and de-scale using ultra-sonic vibration, which gently removes plaque and tartar without damaging the surface of the teeth.
Teach your cat to accept a daily brushing (or wiping) of its teeth. Your vet can provide you with a soft brush (a baby toothbrush is ideal) or a rubber fingertip applicator, (alternatively use a gauze pad wrapped around a finger), plus special pet toothpaste in flavours that you cat will find tasty, like malt or chicken. Never use toothpaste made for humans!
- Wash your hands and pull back the gums.
- Apply the bristles to the teeth at a 45 degree angle, reaching both the tooth surface and just beneath the gum margin.
- Use small circular motions on the outside surfaces.
- Start slowly and end on a positive note – be persistent but gentle.
If your cat is still very young, do not attempt to brush milk teeth. Nonetheless, help get your kitten used to having it’s teeth touched from a very early age, as precursor to daily dental care.
Call our Bromsgrove surgery for your free of charge dental check.