Keep Pets Smiling All Year Long

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, which helps us remember the importance of providing good oral and dental care for our pets throughout the year. A professional dental cleaning performed by your veterinarian is a routine, safe procedure that is administered under general anesthesia to create less stress for your pet and to allow the veterinarian to fully clean your pet's teeth and gums.

"Since many dental conditions are not easily seen and can contribute to infections and even pain for a pet, it is very important to get at least a yearly dental examination from your veterinarian," said Heidi Lobprise, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, a veterinary dentist and Texas Veterinary Medical Association member who practices at Main Street Veterinary Hospital in Flower Mound, Texas. "A complete dental program includes these examinations, regular professional care, including dental cleaning and other procedures performed under general anesthesia by your veterinarian and good home care whenever possible."

The biggest part of home dental care is cleaning your pet's teeth with a toothbrush and specially formulated pet toothpaste. Toothbrushing might be challenging at first, but it's the best way to keep your pet's mouth and teeth healthy in between professional cleanings. If your pet refuses the toothbrush, you can also try tartar-fighting dental chews or anti-plaque water additives.

For more information, watch the TVMA Pet Dental Health Month video at youtube.com/watch?v=_CP7hF4TcRI&feature=youtu.be. To make sure you have the right dental program for your pet, check with your veterinary team or find a veterinarian in your area by accessing the Texas Veterinary Medical Association's Find A Vet search at bit.ly/XPDBRs.