vet dentist checking dog's teeth

Professional Teeth Cleaning for Dogs: A Complete Guide

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Did you know that, like humans, dogs require proper dental care? Dogs are known for their wagging tails, wet noses, and slobbery kisses, but around 80% of them develop some form of dental issue by the age of three.

    One effective way to maintain your furry friend’s dental hygiene is through professional teeth cleaning. While dogs can’t brush their own teeth, this procedure mirrors the dental cleaning process for humans. Before the cleaning, a vet conducts blood tests to ensure anesthesia safety.

    Pet owners must provide at-home dental care, but routine professional teeth cleaning is equally necessary. This preventive measure helps ward off gum diseases and tooth decay. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about professional teeth cleaning for dogs – from identifying early signs of dental issues to details of a typical cleaning procedure.

    We’ll also offer at-home care tips to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy between professional cleanings.

    Identifying Early Signs of Dental Issues in Dogs

    Unpleasant breath, discolored teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, painful chewing or loss of appetite, and behavioral changes can indicate dental issues in dogs. These signs may be indicative of periodontal disease, tooth decay, or other oral problems.

    Regular oral exams by a veterinary dentist are a good idea for all dogs, especially older ones. Detecting early signs of dental issues can prevent further complications such as loose teeth, bone loss, or root abscesses.

    If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to have your dog’s teeth checked by a professional.

    proffesional dog teeth clean

    What’s Included in Professional Teeth Cleaning for Dogs?

    Professional teeth cleaning for dogs typically involves anesthesia, the removal of plaque and tartar buildup, and teeth polishing. The process may also include dental extractions, root canals, or oral surgery if necessary.

    Additionally, a professional dental cleaning will often include a thorough oral health examination and dental X-rays if needed.

    The most common 5-Step Dog Dental Process

    1. Regular Brushing:
    • Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.
    • Start gradually, allowing your dog to get used to the process.
    • Brush your dog’s teeth regularly, ideally several times a week.
    • Pay attention to the outer surfaces of the teeth, as well as the gum line.
    1. Dental Chews and Toys:
    • Provide dental chews and toys designed to promote oral health.
    • Chewing helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
    • Choose products approved by veterinary professionals.
    1. Professional Dental Check-ups:
    • Schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian.
    • Professional dental cleanings may be recommended annually or as needed.
    • Veterinarians can assess the overall oral health and address any emerging issues.
    1. Scaling and Polishing:
    • During a professional dental cleaning, the veterinarian may perform scaling to remove plaque and tartar.
    • Polishing helps smooth the tooth surfaces, making it harder for plaque to adhere.
    1. Dental X-rays and Treatment:
    • In some cases, dental X-rays may be necessary to assess the health of the teeth below the gumline.
    • Dental treatments such as extractions or other procedures may be performed if dental issues are detected.

    Post-procedure recovery and Home Care

    After professional teeth cleaning, dogs may experience mild discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication if necessary. It’s important to follow the veterinarian’s post-procedure care instructions.

    Home care plays a crucial role in maintaining oral hygiene, including regular tooth brushing, dental treats, and water additives. Monitoring your dog’s appetite, gum health, and breath can help identify any issues.

    Regular dental checkups, along with professional teeth cleaning, ensure long-term oral health for your dog.

    dog brushing teeth

    At-Home Care Tips to Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean

    Regularly monitoring your dog’s oral health is crucial to prevent dental issues. Look out for signs like bad breath or swollen gums. Use the appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste for your pet. Additionally, explore alternative ways to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing.

    By taking care of your furry friend’s dental hygiene at home, you can maintain their overall oral health and reduce the risk of complications.

    Use the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

    To ensure proper dental care for your dog, it’s essential to use the right toothbrush and toothpaste. Use a toothbrush designed specifically for dogs, taking into consideration their mouth size. Additionally, choose toothpaste that is safe for dogs, as human toothpaste can be harmful.

    Opt for toothpaste with flavors that your dog enjoys to make the brushing experience more enjoyable. By using the right tools, you can effectively maintain your pet’s oral health.

    dog with chew toy

    Ways to clean dog teeth without brushing

    Maintaining good dental care for dogs is crucial in preventing dental issues such as periodontal disease. While brushing dog’s teeth is the best way to keep their oral health in check, there are alternative methods. Dental chews and treats help remove plaque and tartar.

    Raw bones and chew toys promote healthy chewing habits. Water additives prevent plaque buildup. Specialized wipes or oral sprays offer an option for cleaning without brushing. Regular professional dental cleanings at veterinary clinics are also essential.


    Taking care of your dog’s dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. Professional teeth cleaning for dogs is an effective way to maintain their oral hygiene and prevent dental problems.

    During the cleaning process, your vet will remove plaque and tartar buildup, perform a thorough examination, and address any dental issues. After the procedure, it’s important to follow proper post-procedure recovery and home care to ensure your dog’s teeth stay clean and healthy.

    Additionally, implementing at-home care tips such as using the right toothbrush and toothpaste, and exploring alternative ways to clean your dog’s teeth without brushing can further contribute to their dental health. By prioritizing your dog’s oral hygiene, you can help them lead a happy and healthy life.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How often should I have my dog’s teeth professionally cleaned?

    Professional teeth cleaning for dogs should be done at least once a year. Dogs with dental issues may need more frequent cleanings, as recommended by their veterinarian. Regular brushing and dental chews can help maintain your dog’s oral health between professional cleanings.

    At what age should dogs start receiving professional teeth cleanings?

    Dogs should ideally start receiving professional teeth cleanings around 1-2 years of age. Establishing good dental hygiene habits early on can help prevent dental disease and other potential health issues.

    Are dog dental cleanings safe?

    Dog dental cleanings are generally safe when performed by a licensed veterinarian. Regular professional teeth cleanings for dogs help maintain their oral health and prevent dental issues.

    Can my dog wear a harness after dental cleaning?

    Yes, a dog can wear a harness after dental cleaning. A good tactical dog harness is generally safe to use a harness for walking or other activities, as long as it does not put pressure on the mouth or teeth. However, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations based on your dog’s individual needs.

    Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Teeth Cleaning Costs?

    While most pet insurance accident and illness plans do not cover dog teeth cleaning, some wellness add-ons may reimburse for annual cleanings. It’s important to check with your specific insurance provider to understand the coverage options available for professional teeth cleaning for dogs.

    How long does a dog dental cleaning appointment take?

    A typical dog dental cleaning appointment lasts about 1-2 hours. During this time, the veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dog’s teeth and gums, removing plaque and tartar buildup. This helps maintain their oral health and prevent dental issues in the future.



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    More Posts

    Related Posts