Our pets rely on their teeth for a variety of activities. In addition to chewing food, animals use teeth to scratch itches, carry and transport items and their young, and defend themselves. They count on us to make sure that their teeth are in top condition throughout their lives. Dr. James Gillen of Orange Park Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, can help you with this.
Like humans, animals’ teeth must be maintained at home between office visits. Brushing kits can be purchased that offer the essentials for keeping teeth healthy and free of plaque and decay. These kits come with specialized toothpaste that is safe for pets to ingest while cleaning, as well as brushes designed for humans to use on animal teeth (sometimes in the form of a glove, so that a finger can be used as a brush).
There are a variety of snacks, chews, and chew toys that are designed to clean teeth, as well. Depending on your dog’s size, some options are better than others. These are not meant to substitute brushing but can be significant between brushings.
Be mindful of food and treats. The same sugars that are bad for human teeth are bad for our pets’ teeth.
Just as with checkups, teeth cleaning should be a regularly scheduled visit with your vet. While brushing and dental chews can help prevent plaque and tartar buildup, they don’t clean away what is there. Additionally, cleaning won’t end specific issues that have already begun, such as tooth decay or gum disease. In addition to cleaning the teeth, the vet will examine your pet’s mouth to check the overall oral health of your pet. This can help keep expensive procedures from becoming necessary.
If a tooth is broken or the mouth is otherwise injured, seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible.
If you are looking for what pet teeth cleaning in Jacksonville, Florida, can offer, Orange Park Animal Hospital is here! Contact our office at (904) 560 8006 to see how Dr. James Gillen and his team can help you with your pets’ dental health.
Dr. James Gillen is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to Jacksonville, Florida at the age of 12. He knew growing up he wanted to be a veterinarian because it brings together the two things he loves most – animals and people. He completed his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and afterwards worked as a veterinary technician, an SAT/ACT tutor, and a high school teacher before completing his veterinary degree at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2019.
Dr. Gillen has special interests in dermatology and academia and co-authored two research papers in canine atopic dermatitis and Leishmaniasis. In his free time, Dr. Gillen enjoys anything involving the water (beach/pool, surfing, scuba diving), going to theme parks, exercise (weight lifting, running, biking, boxing), and science fiction books – among other genres. Dr Gillen lives with his wife and son, one dog, two cats, and a ball python.