How To Care For Your Cat's Teeth Between Dental Appointments

As cats grow older, it is a good idea for them to periodically see the vet for regular dental exams and cleanings. To care for your cat's teeth, the vet will typically sedate them, take x-rays of their jaw, clean their teeth, and extract any teeth that are decayed or otherwise painful. In addition to this professional care, however, you should be sure to provide your cat with good, at-home dental care between appointments. Here's what that entails.

Provide clean, fresh water for them to drink

Years ago, it was common to give cats milk to drink. But this is actually a bad idea for a few different reasons. First of all, cats don't always digest lactose well once they are adults, so giving them milk can upset their stomachs. Second, the lactose sugar in milk is not great for adult cats' teeth, as it lingers on their surface and allows oral bacteria to proliferate, leading to decay. So, instead of giving your cat milk to drink provide them with fresh water, only. Make sure you change your cat's water every day as this will make it more attractive for them to drink. Drinking the water will help rinse any food remnants off your cat's teeth, reducing decay.

Give a combination of wet and dry cat food

If your cat already has really poor teeth, they may not be able to chew dry food. But barring already existing dental problems, giving your cat a combination of wet and dry cat food is ideal for their dental health. Chewing some dry food will help scrape debris off the surface of their teeth. The wet food will provide some more moisture in the diet, which is important for keeping your cat hydrated. Well-hydrated cats are less prone to dental problems.

Brush their teeth

Ask your vet to recommend an enzymatic toothpaste for your cat. Such toothpaste help remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth without scrubbing. You can essentially wipe the paste over your cat's teeth once a day in order to clean them. Some people do this with their finger, while others use a finger glove or small cloth.

With the tips above, you can take better care of your cat's teeth between professional dental visits. Remember, your cat only has one set of adult teeth. Taking good care of them will help ensure they last a long time without causing your cat any pain. Contact pet dental care services near you for more information.