Did you know that 80% of dogs and cats in Australia are silently suffering from painful dental disease? 

Does your pet brush its teeth? Chances are they don’t. Tartar and calculus build up on our pet’s teeth due to lack of chewing and tooth overcrowding. This leads to tooth decay, tooth loss and pain. Over time, the heavy bacterial burden within the oral cavity can adversely affect other important organs such as the heart and kidneys. 

Signs of dental disease include:

  • Inflamed gums (gingivitis)
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloured teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reluctant to eat hard food or chew
  • Facial swelling
  • Changes in behaviour (aggression, disrupted sleep patterns)

The good news is that, dental disease is completely preventable!

So, how can I keep my pet’s teeth free from dental disease? 


  1. Encourage regular (ideally daily) chewing

    Daily chewing for at least 5 minutes per day helps to mechanically clean your pet’s teeth. Chewing options can include: dental diets, specially designed dental chews, raw hides and pigs ears. 


    Cooked bones splinter during chewing and can lead to life threatening damage to the body as they pass (or become lodged) in the mouth and digestive tract. Raw bones can also pose a threat to your pet’s health as the marrow within is very fatty and can cause pancreatitis or other tummy upsets. 

  2. Dental Diets – Hills Science Diet T/D

    This is the gold standard in dental care. Each piece is substantially larger than standard dry kibble and has properties to reduce tartar and calculus build up. It is ideally used daily as part of your adult pet’s complete diet.

  3. Tooth brushing and anti-bacterial mouth rinses

    Some pets will allow you to brush their teeth. This is most successful when started early (i.e. when your pet is a puppy or kitten). Soft small toothbrushes and specifically designed toothpastes are available from Vets on Balwyn. Human toothpaste is not suitable for dogs and cats. Vets on Balwyn also recommends the use of an anti-bacterial mouth rinse. When used daily this rinse kills the bacteria which contribute to bad breath and periodontal disease.

  4. Plaque Off or water additives

    Plaque Off is a powder made from seaweed that helps prevent the binding of plaque onto your pet’s teeth. (Fun fact it started off as a product for humans!) Simply sprinkle onto your pets food each day to help reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar. There are also products you can add to your pet’s water to help neutralise bacteria growth in your pet’s mouth. But just remember to also have a second bowl with fresh water at all times, especially over the warmer months.

  5. Veterinary dental cleaning

    In humans even with twice daily brushing, flossing and mouth washing we need to have our teeth cleaned by the dentist regularly. This can be the same for our pets too!
    As part of your pet’s regular health assessments provided at Vets on Balwyn, your vet may recommend a professional dental scale and polish to:

  • Prevent the onset of irreversible dental disease and tooth loss; and 
  • To extract infected and damaged teeth that might be causing your pet pain 

Vets on Balwyn utilises dental x-rays and sophisticated ultrasonic cleaning equipment and other facilities to provide the best dental care for your pet. After an ultrasonic clean has been performed, the team at Vets on Balwyn will formulate a dental care plan tailored to your pet’s needs.

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