Brushing a cat’s teeth can be challenging. Cats require some training before readily accepting this procedure. Please be consistent and do it every day, do not give up after the first negative response from our cat!
The cat you see in this video gets his teeth brushed every day. No wonder he is so compliant about it!
Training should start by getting the cat used to the taste of the toothpaste, offering a small amount from your fingertip as a treat. Then a small amount of toothpaste can be applied to the gums, followed by applying it to one canine tooth, progressing every day to cover move teeth.
The process may take one to two weeks, and it should not be forced, the cat should not fight it. The brushing can be done initially using the bare finger or the finger wrapped in a gauze or wipe, then a tooth brush can be introduced.
The tooth brush should have soft, short bristles that would not hurt the gums. A finger brush, kitty or baby tooth brush would work well. Using a dentifrice or toothpaste is not mandatory, wetting the brush with water would suffice.
The mechanical action of brushing is more effective at plaque removal than the toothpaste. Only the outside surface of the teeth needs to be brushed. Brushing a cat’s teeth daily is the gold standard in preventing periodontal disease. Brushing every other day is still effective, but less than that was proven to have no measurable benefits.
-Magnolia Jucan, DVM
Also, special thanks to Dr. Donald for your contribution.
Brushing teeth daily is the gold standard in prevention of periodontal disease. Brushing teeth should be done with a soft bristled brush (like a baby toothbrush) and a dentifrice with a flavor your pet might like. Using a toothpaste is not mandatory, but it may improve pet’s compliance. Do not use a human tooth paste, as most of them contain fluoride, and are not safe if swallowed.
Start training your pet to accept the touch of the gums by touching their lips, then apply a little paste to one tooth. You can start by using a wipe/cloth, and when the dog is accustomed to having the teeth touched, you can introduce the brush. Gradually increase the amount on time you spend brushing. In a few weeks you can spend 30-60 seconds brushing teeth.
Offer a small dental approved treat when you are done, and your dog will look forward to having it’s teeth brushed! It is not necessary to open the mouth, you only need to brush the side of teeth facing the lips.