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Dental Cleaning & Age

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Mattie needs a dental cleaning. I don't know her exact age but she's a young cat. I am shocked that my vet thinks she needs one (well, not really...her teeth are bad and have always been that way since I adopted her). I think she is about 2 years old.

I have a mouth wash for her that I squirt on her teeth daily and then I brush them daily, but she has a lot of buildup. (Our other cat, Chloe, is starting to get gingivitis and she's only 1. I brush her teeth every day too and use the rinse. I'm hoping she won't need a dental cleaning as soon as Mattie).

So, I am not going to have it done for at least another 6 months ($$$, it's expensive), but I'm curious as to how old your cat was when your vet first thought it was necessary for them?
post #2 of 14
Buster, my older cat, had a dental cleaning at approximately age 6-7. It was never mandatory; however, he underwent an emergency surgery at that time (2002) because he had a hematoma in his ear. The vet suggested a dental cleaning since he would receive anesthesia. I decided to do it and I'm glad I did because his teeth are still pretty good in his old age (13 or 14).

Holly Golightly, my younger cat, was feral and living off Kentucky Fried Chicken for about a year. Naturally, she didn't receive good care until living with me. During her last vet visit this past month, the doctor diagnosed her with gingivitis. I'm not surprised because her gums were red and her breath stunk badly. The vet knew I couldn't afford a dental procedure at this point and prescribed Clindacure, an antibiotic. It worked well because her breath doesn't stink anymore and her gums look good. You might want to ask about Clindacure.
post #3 of 14
My Twtich's teeth were rotten at 7 months when she was spayed. When she was a couple years old, they were all pulled out as there was no saving them. A lot depends on genetics - some cats are just unlucky enough to have bad teeth.
post #4 of 14
Some cats are just prone to dental issues. Some cats will be diagnosed with gingivitis at just a few years old, and others live long lives with no problems. I don't know how bad your cats teeth are. It may be that the vet is suggesting it for preventative measures. If you have a cat with dental issues the best you can do is get annual dental cleanings, brush daily... If you wanted, you could also try Science Diet t/d. It's a prescription dental food. As it was explained to me the kibbles are designed in such a way that the kibble won't break apart until the tooth has completely penetrated, therefore scraping the tooth clean. The kibbles are very large, so a cat would have to chew them apart.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Some cats are just prone to dental issues. Some cats will be diagnosed with gingivitis at just a few years old, and others live long lives with no problems. I don't know how bad your cats teeth are. It may be that the vet is suggesting it for preventative measures. If you have a cat with dental issues the best you can do is get annual dental cleanings, brush daily... If you wanted, you could also try Science Diet t/d. It's a prescription dental food. As it was explained to me the kibbles are designed in such a way that the kibble won't break apart until the tooth has completely penetrated, therefore scraping the tooth clean. The kibbles are very large, so a cat would have to chew them apart.
Mika just had her yearly check-up and our vet suggested that kibble. Since I'm not a big fan of SD I've agreed to add some of it to my current dry food each day. Our vet says it has been proven to help and also knows my feelings about SD, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt at this point and add a bit each day to see if it helps. Mika has to go back in 6 months to have her teeth checked.
post #6 of 14
T/D actually is one of a handful of foods that studies HAVE proven the dental benifits ...
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
T/D actually is one of a handful of foods that studies HAVE proven the dental benifits ...
Thanks Jen, that makes me feel a bit better about giving them some.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
What are the other foods that have been proven to help teeth? The Science Diet has byproducts and a lot of corn I wasn't thinking of switching her food but if there is one that really would help...
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
T/D actually is one of a handful of foods that studies HAVE proven the dental benifits ...

My dental tech suggested T/D also, but one look at the ingredients told me no way was I feeding that. I know it's supposed to help, but the trade off is feeding something with poor ingredients.

I'll stick to CET chews (not 100% great ingredients, but much better than T/D) and (hopefully) brushing.
post #10 of 14
Jaffa was nearly 9 when the vet recommended he had a dental for the first time. I tried the hills t/d afterwards but Jaffa still manage to swallow the kibble whole! He just sucked it until he could swallow. I didn't like the ingredients either so decided I wasn't going to feed that. I rely on raw chicken wings, logic gel and plaque off to keep his teeth clean instead.
post #11 of 14
Chicken necks do the scrubbing for my kitties. The only teeth that I have to religiously brush are the canines, the others get a once over every so often.
post #12 of 14
I hadn't realized how important it was to have your pet's teeth cleaned until I ran into problems with Chynna when she was 15 years old and had an infected tooth She had a dental done and most of her teeth were extracted, and it was very expensive.

Abby is 10 years old and has never had a dental. That's the first thing I'm attending to when I get my first full pay cheque from work in December: she will be going in for a senior blood panel and a dental in January.

Any future cats that I have will be going for regular dental check ups starting at age 2 years old.
post #13 of 14
I don't intend to switch over totally to the T/D but I will add a bit in with their Orijen. Hopefully that way I'll get the best of both. Since both wet and dry foods that I'm currently feeding are grain-free, I assume a bit of T/D isn't going to hurt them.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura View Post
I'm curious as to how old your cat was when your vet first thought it was necessary for them?
Nabu (and Raven) has bad teeth. Always has. His first dental was right around when he turned 2 yrs old. And I adopted Nabu (and Raven) when they were about 1 1/2 yrs old. They both had regular dentals. Sometimes annual. I think the longest we went between cleanings was 2-3 yrs. Nabu's last one was in June, but he didn't handle the anesthesia well, so we are making sure we brush his teeth and are hoping to go a few more years before he needs another. He's 11 1/2 yrs old. Given that I've gone from feeding all dry, to 50/50 dry/wet, and now more wet than dry....I'm thoroughly convinced it's all genetics. One of my other cats is 8 yrs old and they still don't think he needs a dental because he has great teeth.

We tried Friskies Dental Diet as treats for a while, it's got the approval that it cleans teeth on the label, but Nabu decided he didn't like it after a while and I donated the rest of the bag. I try to use the kitty toothpaste and rub it on his teeth instead. He seems to like the flavor. We also tried the water additive, but discolored the Drinkwell, and got slimey. So I stopped that. I don't think it's really "flavorless" like the label says. The cats were onto it.

Raven used to like to chew on an electric pet toothbrush that I bought with cat toothpaste on it. He thought that was so neat.
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