Homecare - the Most Important Aspect of a Basic Dental Procedure
Bring the patient back after five to seven days to allow you
to demonstrate the techniques once the soft tissues have healed.
Stress that home care is a daily maintenance task to
mechanically remove plaque. Note that humans do this twice daily.
Brushing every second day is 60% less effective than once daily.
Brushing less frequently will have dubious effectiveness.
Advise owners that professional scaling and polishing without
home care is unlikely to be effective.
- Review the mouth using an interval consistent with the disease
present. In severely affected cases 1-3 months is advised. An
interval of 4-6 months is more usual. At the time of review, use
a disclosing solution to demonstrate any areas of plaque that
the client may be missing. This can be added to the ongoing dental
How to Brush
Home care involves training the animal to accept something
new. Realistically it may take a month to introduce it fully.
Show the owner how to apply the dentifrice with their fingers,
initially to the buccal surfaces of the teeth.
Once the principle is accepted by the animal, introduce the
brush and gradually move it rostral to caudal to distribute
the dentifrice. Finally attempt to rotate the brush head in
a circular motion at a 60° angle to the gingival margin
to debride the crowns, gingiva and gingival sulcus. Both sides
of the teeth need to be brushed - buccal and lingual
Aids to Home Care
Other useful aids to home care help the process but should be used
in addition to brushing - not instead of it.
ProVseal is a product making use of barrier technology.
The tooth surface carries a negative charge which allows positively
charged transfer agents to bind strongly with it. These agents
are easily applied by the owners and prevent plaque attachment
for 4-7 days. They should be considered complementary to brushing.
Canine and Feline t/d diet (Hills Pet Products) can be
a useful adjunct to brushing but never a substitute for
it. It only removes supragingival plaque in the teeth used to
chew the food. Painful areas that the animal does not use will
Chews for cats and dogs have also improved in recent years.
These can be either the traditional cow hide type or, more effectively,
the newer circular manufactured chews. (CET Cat Chews:
CET Dog Chews ( Virbac) and Rask (Waltham)).