Oral health for cats
Health | Cats

Oral Health for Cats | How often Should Cats get their Teeth Cleaned

Taking care of your cat’s teeth is a great way to avoid or take plaque off their mouth. Foul breath in our pets isn’t healthy and should be avoided. Most times, foul breath is a sign that the teeth of your cat are not healthy.

The first thing to do to take care of your cat’s teeth is my providing collection of a balanced diet which consist of both wet and dry food, be alert on the signs that your cat needs a dental check-up.

If you are a cat owner, sit and dig into this article to learn more about taking care of your oral health for cats, individual health complications with unhealthy cat teeth, and how to prevent them.

Before going in depth to acquire the vital knowledge of your cat’s dental health, find out if your cat doesn’t mind touching their teeth and exploring their mouth, if it lets you do this, you’re good to go, keep digging in!

Oral health for cats

How many Teeth does my Cat have?

Starting with this question is the first step to take while equipping yourself to go about your cat’s dental health. A kitten has 26 teeth replaced by 30 adult teeth when they are about six months of age, these new sets of teeth are sharp, and your cat uses it to hunt prey and chewing food. Each tooth sits on the jaw bone and is held together by ligaments.

While the adult teeth develop, it is common for cats to have bad breath and inflammation of the gum; this can affect their appetite and ease off as the teeth mature.
However, in cases when your kitten’s feline tooth doesn’t fall off as it should, they can be pulled off.

Cat Teeth Problems

It shouldn’t surprise you that cats typically suffer from dental problems, including the jaw, mouth, and teeth. Cats are known to conceal pain and discomfort, so an owner may not notice these signs. Your cat would eat, drink, play, and feel relaxed as it should.

Dental health issues can cause intense pain and suffering to cats, but it would seem more relaxed and happier when treated. Maintaining your cat’s dental health will improve the well-being and the overall life span of your cat.

Oral Health

Feed your cat food that provided professional cleanings such as biscuits, dry foods, chicken necks, and other treats that can involve exercising the teeth.

These foods help in teeth build-up and are useful if your cat teeth are clean.

Teeth cleaning are your cat’s oral and dental health; some cat owners would place teeth cleaning the same category as bathing their cat. It is not a good idea because a cat’s teeth need inspection before cleaning. Meanwhile, most cats will not let you touch their teeth.

Consult your Veterinarian

Your vet will inspect the oral health of your cat during your annual visits, but sometimes your cat requires suitable cleaning, which vets say can get done with the help of anesthesia.

Anesthesia injection is safe for cats except those with medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, which your vet will notify you. Your cat will also need to undergo some dental tests such as being anesthetized for dental x-rays, removing diseased teeth, and polishing.

Regular Check-ups

During this session, your vet will have an annual check-up on your cat’s mouth. You must keep p with this yearly appointment. A regular check-up will help dictate if your cat has dental issues more accessible and faster.

Cat owners are always amazed when their cat’s dental status is being revealed; they are surprised because they didn’t see any of this coming.

Some symptoms of dental disease and teeth problems to look out for your cat include.

  • Reduced grooming activity, leading to the poor condition of your cat’s coat.
  • Bad breath; a strong and unusual odor may be due to digestion complications or bad dental condition.
  • Bleeding or red lines through the gums.
  • Drooling or pawing around the mouth.
  • Discomfort when eating.
  • Pawing at the mouth.
  • Bleeding gums.
  • Reduced appetite or weight loss.
  • Gum inflammation: swollen gums can result in gum infection, inability to eat, tooth loss, and can also be a sign of kidney diseases.  
  • Excessive pawing and drooling at the mouthparts.
  • Ulcers on the gums.
  • Difficulty chewing food or refusal to eat.
 
When your cat starts to show any of the above symptoms, consult your vet and complain about it.

Will I have to Pull Out my Cat's Teeth?

Some severe dental problems will require you to take your cat’s teeth off. Crown teeth repair or root canal treatment is quite usual for cats; these techniques are unnecessary if a cat has dental issues.

Dental issues that can lead to extraction of teeth include;

  • Tooth fractures – tooth fracture is when your cat has suffered an accident or fall. It tends to suffer from fractures.
  • Wearing of the teeth – when a cat’s teeth start to wear, it may lead to tooth extraction. 

Periodontal Disease

This disease is a result of the weakening and inflammation of the tissues around the cat’s gum. It causes the development of holes across the tooth, which will lead to tooth loss.

If your cat has mild periodontal disease, your vet can clean the teeth and gum while your cat has been injected with anesthesia. With the aid of dental health and regular check-ups, periodontal disease can get treated effectively.

Meanwhile, if your cat’s periodontal disease case is severe, the tooth may require extraction.

Gum Disease

The annual visitation to your vet shouldn’t be the only time you should be paying attention to your cat’s oral health, ensure you observe your cat and watch out for these signs.

  • Red or painful gums
  • One side eating of food
  • Difficult while eating.
  • Moving the food around.
  • Mild swelling of the face
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Looking unkempt or failing to groom
  • Bleeding from the nose or mouth sometime it could be frequent.

If you any of these signs below are the needed steps you should take;

  • Take your cat to the vet immediately. 
  • Your vet will recommend a dental cleaning, which will start with a test to see if it is fit to undergo an anesthetic injection.
  • If your cat is fit, your vet will give it anesthesia and commence a comprehensive dental cleaning. 

How Often Should I Clean my Cat's Teeth?

Like we humans, our oral health is essential, and we always tell our kids to brush their teeth twice a day and take the kids to visit the dentist when needed. We need to note that oral health is necessary for our entire well being and overall health.

Just like us, our cats need to have healthy teeth and gums. Adequate oral health includes brushing their teeth at home and taking them for professional oral cleaning, and this is an obligation often neglected by most cat owners.

To avoid dental severe disease and complications from affecting your cats. It is highly recommended to clean your cat’s teeth with a brush at least two or three times weekly and an annual visit to the vet for oral examination and professional cleaning.

If you’ve never brushed your pet’s teeth, then good news! We just made it quite easy for you here; read more to lean the cat teeth cleaning technique.

Make your cat get used to Brushing

Your cat may not be comfortable if you just pull in a brush for the first time into its mouth. Let your cat get used to the brushing process by giving it some time. Check these guidelines below;

Purchase your Brushing Supplies

If you try using the regular human toothpaste, it may upset your cat’s stomach. There is some pet toothpaste that your vet may recommend for you.

Toothbrushes for pets are slighter than the type of toothbrush we humans use. A cat’s tiny, cotton swabs or square gauze will be ideal if you don’t have a cat’s toothbrush.

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Petrodex Dental Kit for Cats
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Oxyfresh Premium Pet Dental Kit

Rub your Pet's Lips, Teeth, and Gums

Put your cat in a very comfortable position, using your fingers, rub your cat’s lips in a circular and slow motion, it is its first time, so don’t scare it or make it uncomfortable. Continue the rubbing procedure for 1 minute at least twice a day.

Next, similarly, run the gums and teeth. Your cat may require some time to get relaxed with the process. Place your cat in a suitable position. Use your first fingers, rub your cat’s lips in a circular, and slow-motion for at least a minute once or twice a day.

Next, massage its teeth and gums using the same action. Your cat may need a few weeks to get at ease with the new procedure.

Introduce the cat’s toothpaste

Once your cat is finally acclimated with the teeth and gum massage, you can introduce the toothpaste. Put a pea-sized amount of cat toothpaste on your finger and let your cat lick it immediately, give it a threat for a job well done. Continue this process for a few days.

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TropiClean No Brushing Oral Care Gel
C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste

Start using the toothbrush

Put a small amount of cat toothpaste on your cat’s toothbrush and let your pet lick the toothbrush. Immediately reward it. Practice this process for a few days, increasing the time between licking and the reward.

Brushing Your Pet's Teeth

Now, your cat must have gotten used to the toothbrush and toothpaste, and you can now try brushing its teeth with these steps;

  • Ensure you clean the teeth in small, circular motions. 
  • Start by taking one area of the mouth at a time, gently lift the lip and clean the outside of your cat’s teeth and the gums and gum line.
  • Clean slowly and gently in a circular motion while you do this, while you do this, talk to your cat to make it feel more relaxed. 

Clean the Teeth in Intervals

Your cat may not like it if you try cleaning its whole mouth at a time. After you clean an area, stop for a while, talk to it, pet it, and make it happy before cleaning.

Cleaning your cat’s teeth should take at least 30 seconds to 1 mixture. Always ensure that your cat finds the teeth cleaning session fun.

Alternatives to Brushing Your Cat's Teeth

Besides brushing your cat’s teeth, you can try out other options like making it chew oral gels and toys; you can supplement this with dental treats and food. They can help in teeth development and prevention of dental disease.

Conclusion

If you read through this article, then great! You can start a new beginning by taking good care of your cat’s oral health to avoid dental complications.

As discussed above, you can clean your cat’s teeth at least three times every week and ensure you observe your regular visit to the vet for a complete teeth examination and cleaning. Oral health is the overall well being of your cat, make it a priority.

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