The 5 Most Common Problems in Cat Dental Care

Provide your cat dental care in order to prolong his lifespan and ensure lasting good health. Pet dental care is an important element of veterinary medicine, and proper cat tooth care is essential to a happy and healthy cat. Many pet owners do not provide the proper feline dental care, however. Read on to learn about some of the most common problems in cat dental care.

1. Failing to Take Your Cat for a Veterinary Exam

The first step in beginning a feline dental care program should be a veterinary examination. Although there are many aspects of feline dental care that can be performed successfully at home, only a veterinarian can provide a thorough tooth scraping and oral examination.

A veterinary tooth scraping serves the same function as a trip to a dentist's office. It helps to remove plaque and tartar buildup that home care cannot resolve. You should have your cat's teeth professionally scraped about once per year, or upon your veterinarian's recommendation.

Another important reason to take your cat for veterinary dental care is the oral examination. While he is cleaning your cat's teeth, the veterinarian will also check for cysts, tumors or other signs of oral disease and cancer.

2. Improper or Infrequent Brushing

Brush your cat's teeth daily for the best plaque and tartar control. Although cats may be resistant to tooth brushing at first, most cats grow accustomed to the daily routine after a short period of time.

When brushing your cat's teeth, use a veterinary-approved toothbrush and toothpaste and follow all instructions for dosage and method as indicated by your vet. Brushing your pet's teeth incorrectly may reduce the benefits and may even prove harmful to the animal.

3. Using Incorrect Dental Tools

In no circumstance should you ever brush your cat's teeth using human toothpaste. Always use veterinary toothpaste from a vet's office or pet supply store, because human toothpaste contains chemicals that may be poisonous to your cat.

4. Improper Diet

Your cat's diet will have an impact upon his oral health. A combination of hard food and canned food will provide the best mix of textures to help reduce and eliminate tartar buildup. Still, some tartar will inevitably build up over time, and you should take your cat for a routine scraping and oral exam at the first signs of gum irritation.

5. Failure to Notify a Veterinarian When Something Is Amiss

If you notice any changes in your cat's teeth, gums or breath, notify a veterinarian immediately. A number of underlying conditions may contribute to any of these symptoms, and delaying an examination may mean the difference between a successful treatment and a poor prognosis.

Take care of your cat's teeth and gums to ensure that he maintains proper oral health throughout his life. Follow these instructions and ensure that you are educated about the proper methods and common pitfalls of caring for a cat's teeth.