When was the last time your cat had a professional dental cleaning? If it's been several years, or if you're like many pet owners who have never brought your cat in for a dental cleaning, it may be time. Just like humans, cats' teeth and gums need regular care. By having a better understanding of the importance of cat dental care and what to expect from an appointment with a cat dentist, you can be better informed about your cat's oral health.
The Importance of Routine Dental Care
Whether your cat eats dry food, wet food, or a combination of both, food particles can get in between the teeth and cause plaque build-up on the surfaces of the teeth over time. This plaque can eventually harden into tartar, which can be difficult to remove and can make the teeth more prone to decay and other problems. When plaque makes its way under the gum line, this can also lead to painful gum disease, infections, and other health risks (such as an abscessed tooth).
With regular at-home dental care and occasional dental cleanings, you can protect your feline companion from these common oral health issues.
When a Professional Cleaning is Necessary
How do you know when your cat needs a dental cleaning? The best way is to simply bring your cat in for an annual physical exam; any dentist will be able to assess the health of your cat's teeth and gums during the appointment and make recommendations for further treatment. Your vet may also recommend steps you can take at home to protect your cat's dental health as well, such as regular tooth brushing, giving your cat dental treats, or putting a flavorless additive into your cat's water that will help protect against plaque build-up.
What to Expect From a Cat Dentist
If your cat does need a dental cleaning, he or she will need to be put under anesthesia; this is to ensure your cat's comfort and that the dentist is able to do a thorough job. Most cats are able to return home the day after a dental cleaning is performed, though a longer observation period may be needed if tooth extractions are required.
Taking care of your cat's teeth and gums is just as important as caring for any other aspect of your cat's health. If your cat is overdue for a dental cleaning, schedule one with your vet today.