Tooth Brushing 101

The Straight Scoop on Tooth Brushing

Don’t laugh. Don’t roll your eyes. You need to brush your pet’s teeth!

Regular tooth brushing helps keep mouth odor down. You wouldn’t go for years without brushing your teeth and neither should your pet.

Regular tooth brushing at home should become routine for you and your pet. A professional cleaning is terrific, too (see for yourself in our before and after photos below).

Tooth brushing prevents dental disease, gingivitis and root decay. The build up of bacteria in the mouth can travel to the heart or kidney where it will settle causing inflammation or inefficiency in these organs.

Tooth Brushing In Action

Tooth Brushing Step by Step

play with your pet's muzzleStart slowly.  Play with your pet’s muzzle. Get him used to you handling his mouth. Try to expose the teeth and inspect. Do what you can a little at a time. Stop before either of your are frustrated. Reward with praise or small treat.



gauzwe for ttoth brushingToothbrush. You can use any soft bristle toothbrush you already have at home (and we have free ones as well). For smaller dogs and cats, some people like using a fingertip toothbrush, a toddler toothbrush, or just wrapping a bit of gauze around the index finger.



brushing your dog's teethToothpaste.We recommend using enzymatic pet toothpaste. The enzymes do most of the work this way! We sell a few varieties and you can also find this at most pet stores. We do not recommend using human toothpaste as sometimes those contain Xylitol, something problematic for dogs.


brushing your dogs teethTo brush. Use a circular motion as you would for your own teeth. Spend 3-4 brushes per area. Be patient and don’t try to brush everything the first time. Take your time and offer lots of praise. A little bonus:  You only need to brush the outsides of the teeth! Their tongue takes care of the inside surfaces.


How often and when. Work up to brushing 3 times per week. Daily is great, but do what works with your schedule. Brushing at night is optimal as you’ll have clean teeth overnight. That said, any brushing–any time, any where–is better than nothing!

dog licking her chops

Thanks for brushing my teeth!

We Can Help

We can show you how to brush your pet’s teeth–for free!  When you feel comfortable and confident with the brushing, that makes the process much easier.

We also recommend having your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned once a year starting somewhere between 2 and 3 years of age (this depends on the individual nature of your pet’s teeth and the breed involved).   Some pets need twice yearly cleaning, so we are happy to develop a personalized pet dental health plan.

Please check out this short video to see a demonstration of what a professional teeth cleaning looks like for your pet.  You’ll be amazed at the difference!  Check out the before and after pictures below.

You don’t neglect your own dental hygiene in terms of brushing and regular check-ups.  Don’t neglect your pet’s either.  We want to work with you to help keep your pet’s pearly whites, pearly white!

Teeth before cleaning.

Teeth after cleaning.


Teeth before cleaning.

Teeth after cleaning.