How to brush your dog's teeth!

Desensitize to mouth handling

Start very slowly by gently touching your dog's muzzle, eventually moving up to lifting the lip and touching their gums. Use plenty of praise and treats after each repetition. It's best to start when they are young, but even older dogs can learn new tricks!

Choose the right tools

Use a small or large dog toothbrush, baby toothbrush, dog dental wipes, or even plain gauze. Make sure to use toothpaste specifically formulated for dogs, as human toothpaste can be toxic. A wide variety of flavours are available, so find one that your dog enjoys!

Positive association

Continue to go slow and use positive reinforcement. Keep sessions short and gradually build duration. The toothbrush should mean things are coming! 

Start brushing

Once your dog is comfortable, begin brushing their teeth. Use gentle, circular motions, focusing on the outside surfaces of the teeth. Don't forget to sneak the toothbrush under the cheeks to reach the back teeth!

Establish a routine

Make tooth brushing a part of your regular routine. Aim to brush their teeth at least 2-3 times per week to help reduce the accumulation of plaque.

Continue to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's oral health and address any issues early on. While tooth brushing is the best preventative measure you can take at home to slow dental disease, it cannot reverse existing disease and does not replace dental treatment under anesthesia.
If you're still unsure where to start, feel free to schedule a dental assessment with one of our veterinarians.
Navid, Veterinary Technician