Should You Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Every Day?

Written by: Deanna deBara

April 25, 2019

As a human, chances are, you brush your teeth every day (at least we hope so!). And for good reason! Taking care of your oral health is part of taking care of your overall health. A solid oral hygiene routine can help ward off a host of health issues in the future, including gum disease, periodontitis, and immune issues. Clearly, brushing your teeth is important—but what about your dog’s? Is it necessary to brush your dog’s teeth every day?

Veterinarians say the answer is 100% yes, which is why we created Bright: an easy-to-use cleaning system that, when given to your pup every day, will reduce plaque buildup and freshen their breath. Here’s why you should start daily “brushing”—and using Bright—and stop being one of the nearly 70% of puppy parents who don’t regularly brush their canine’s canines. 

Why Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth Is Important

Brushing Corgi Teeth

So, first things first—is it actually necessary to brush your dog’s teeth every day?

And if you want to take the best care of your dog—and keep him healthy as long as possible—the answer is absolutely yes.

There are a number of reasons you should be brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis, including:

Daily Brushing Can Prevent Serious Infections

Dog Boogers

Just like humans, plaque and tartar builds up on dog’s teeth. That built up can lead to periodontal disease—a chronic infection that, if left untreated, can lead to heart, kidney, and liver issues with your pup.

Daily brushings help remove the build up on your dog’s chompers. And when you remove that build up every day, after every meal, your dog is far more likely to avoid periodontal disease—and all the serious health issues that come along with it.

In a nutshell, daily brushings = healthy teeth and gums = healthy dog.

If You Brush Regularly, Your Dog May Not Need A Professional Cleaning

Happy Pit Bull

Your dog needs healthy teeth and gums—and if you don’t take care of your dog’s teeth and gums with daily brushing, eventually you’re going to have to take them to the vet for a regular cleaning.

Having your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned carries a lot more risk factors than a human risk to the dentist—and that’s because of the anesthesia.

Dogs have to be put under for professional dental cleanings (otherwise, they’d be tempted to bite the vet!). And, just like with humans, there are inherent risks in going under anesthesia. If you can avoid putting your dog under, you should—and you can avoid putting him under for dental reasons if you brush his teeth every day.

Not Brushing Can Be Painful For Your Pup

Brushing dog teeth

Perhaps the most simple and straightforward reason for brushing your dog’s teeth every day? Regular brushings will make your dog’s mouth a happy, comfortable place.

Without regular brushing, all that plaque and tartar build up can lead to inflamed gums, tooth sensitivity, and abscessed teeth—all of which can be extremely painful for your pup. By taking a few minutes to brush your dog’s teeth every day, you can help him avoid all these oral health issues—and the pain that goes alongside them.

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Clearly, brushing your dog’s teeth every day is an important part of being a responsible puppy parent. But how, exactly, do you do that—without getting your finger chomped in the process?

Invest In The Right Products

You might be tempted to raid your own cabinets for dog tooth brushing supplies, but don’t! Human toothbrushes aren’t the right size or shape for dogs—and human toothpaste is full of ingredients that could be toxic for your pup.

 Instead, use Bright, your one-stop-shop for all things doggy dental hygiene. Each Bright Dental Kit includes a month’s supply of dental sticks and delicious, chicken-y triple-enzymatic toothpaste. Simply squeeze the toothpaste along the groove of your dog’s daily chew, and voila! They are brushing their own teeth, and for just $1/day, your investment will have long-term positive effects. 

Prep Your Pup

noodle the pug at barkbox in a small bed

Once you’ve got all your supplies, it’s time to get your dog ready to have his teeth brushed. And the key to that? Getting him used to having his teeth and gums touched.

Sit down next to your dog and slowly rub your fingers along his teeth and gums. Don’t use too much pressure. The point is to get him comfortable having you touch in and around his mouth.

He might resist, and that’s ok—it may take some practice before your pup is totally comfortable with you touching his chompers. But once he is, you can move on to the actual brushing process.

Get Your Brush On!

Brushing dog teeth

Once your pup is comfortable with having you touch his teeth and gums, it’s time to start brushing!

Brushing your dog’s teeth is, in many ways, similar to brushing a human’s teeth. Lift your dog’s upper lift and angle the brush so it reachers his gums. Brush gently, using circular motions, to remove built up plaque and tartar. Make sure to spend time brushing each tooth and the gum line on the top and bottom of your dog’s mouth.

General Tips For A Successful Brushing Experience

A subtle but powerful change.

Brushing your dog’s teeth is pretty straightforward (and not too different from brushing your own teeth!). But here are a few tips to make the brushing process successful for you and your pup:

  • Brush at the right time. The best time to brush your dog’s teeth is when he’s calm and relaxed. If you notice your dog is anxious, let him calm down before attempting to brush.
  • Experiment with different toothpaste flavors. If your dog is resistant to having his teeth brushed, it could be because of the toothpaste. Experiment with different flavors until you find one your dog loves. The more he likes the flavor, the more likely he’ll be to let you brush his teeth without a hassle.
  • Be patient. If your dog isn’t used to having his teeth brushed, it may take him a little while to get used to the process. And that’s ok! Be patient and give him plenty of love and reassurance. Eventually, he’ll get more comfortable with the whole toothbrush and toothpaste thing—and brushing will become infinitely easier.

Try Benebone Dental Chews For Good Measure!

Doodle chewing bacon dental benebone

Good oral hygiene doesn’t stop at brushing! Dental chews (like the Peanut Butter Benebone or the Benebone Bacon Dental Chew) are a great way to keep your dog’s chompers strong and healthy in between brushings.

Featured image via Eyesplash/Flickr

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Written by: Deanna deBara

April 25, 2019

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