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how to brush teeth?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So Teddy had his annual yesterday, and we brought up a concern about his bad breath. He has gingivitis, and his teeth aren't in great shape. He's 8 years old, and is the sweetest cat. He loves getting the sides of his face rubbed, so we hope he'll be receptive to teeth brushing. He's going to go in soon for a full cleaning, but we're going to want to brush his teeth as well.

So, how do you approach this? Are there any particular techniques or products that are good?

post #2 of 3
First off, how is he about letting you touch his mouth? Some cats are more or less docile in this area.

The advice I hear most often (there may even be an article here somewhere) is to start slow. Hold him and get him used to you touch his mouth. Then start gently rubbing toothpaste in his mouth (over a period of days). DON'T use human toothpaste. Use one of the cat tooth-pastes, they usually like the flavor so that's not an issue.

Then start using the brush. You can get the brush that slips on the finger, but my girls mouths seem so small for that. I like the little toothbrushes with the long handles because it doesn't make me have to get their mouths too far open. I tried using one of the three sided brushes (that gets both sides and the top at once) and while I really like the idea, they hated it because it was so large.

Go slow, if he's hating it go ahead and stop for the day, no reason to make it unpleasent.

Ideally you brush everyday of course. But I've heard that even a few times a week or month makes a difference.

Hope that helps.
post #3 of 3
I brush my cats' teeth, and Sara covers it pretty well in her post (previous). The only things I'll add are don't expect to be able to do it in a matter of days. It may take weeks before you actually work up to full tooth brushing. Do only as much as they'll take in one sitting. Make it a pleasant experience with plenty of petting and praise. I do recommend trying to do it daily, so the cats are used to doing it on a schedule. Good luck!!
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