Dental health is important for the health and longevity of all creatures, including your cat. Problems with the teeth, tongue, and gums can lead to health risks and can be costly if left untreated. Luckily, there are many ways you can help your cat keep a healthy mouth. Visit your veterinary clinic in Campbell or Saratoga for regular checkups, and continue reading to learn a few tips for preventing feline dental problems at home.
Completing Home Checkups
The best way to avoid problems with your cat’s oral health is to check his mouth. When your kitty is feeling calm, gently push his lips back and have a look. First, notice whether his breath is unusually smelly, which could be an indicator of gum disease. His teeth should be clean, without any brownish tartar, and his gums should be pink and firm. Check for any redness or swelling of the gums, as well as any dark red lines running along the gums. If you have noticed your cat having difficulty eating, check his mouth for any loose teeth, ulcers, or pus. In the event that you do notice these issues, it is best to see your vet.
Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth
Bacteria and plaque can form into hardened tartar, which can cause gingivitis and tooth loss. The best way to prevent the buildup of harmful tartar is to brush your cat’s teeth. All you will need in order to brush your cat’s teeth are toothpaste, a small, soft toothbrush—ideally one designed for pets—and cotton swabs. Be sure to use toothpaste formulated for animals, as the ingredients of toothpaste for humans could be harmful to your cat. Slowly introduce your cat to having fingers in his mouth, tasting the paste, and then using a soft toothbrush.
Most often, chewing on toys and eating a proper diet will keep your cat’s teeth healthy. Chew toys can clean tartar off of your cat’s teeth, as well as massage the gums and keep teeth strong. It may also be important to choose a cat food that helps clean tartar off of your cat’s teeth. Ask your vet to help you develop the right diet plan for your cat’s oral health.