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Pet Dental Care FAQs

As a cat owner, you know the importance of providing your pet or pets with the best possible care for their health and well-being. Tending to your pet's oral hygiene is a part of this care. If your cat is suffering from a dental issue or if you need assistance with teeth cleaning, contact The Cat Practice is ready to assist you. Our veterinarian, Dr. Lori Coughlin, has years of experience providing residents of Oak Park with reliable pet dental care. Following are some questions we often receive regarding pet dental care.


Why Is Pet Dental Care Important?

If your cat does not receive regular dental care, it is at risk for a variety of health issues. If a cat's gums become inflamed, it will suffer discomfort and pain. If a tooth becomes broken, it can cause injuries to the interior of the cat's mouth. It can also cause issues with eating food. If a cat's teeth are not cleaned, bacteria will build-up on the surfaces, leading to gingivitis and periodontal disease. If this is not treated, your cat may lose teeth.

How Can A Cat's Teeth Be Cleaned?

To get your cat used to brushing the teeth, first apply a small amount of the pet toothpaste to your finger or a cotton swab to let them taste it (there are a variety of flavors, poultry, fish and beef tend to be most popular). Go slowly and don't force them as that can cause anxiety and make them avoid you. If you make home oral care fun and positive, it can be a healthy way to bond with your cat.

Once we know they like the flavor of the paste and don't mind it being in the mouth, you can start to use the brush to clean the teeth. If that does not work, you can revert to the swab, or put some paste on dry food (Science Diet Oral Care or other dental diets can be helpful when kitty does not want you to brush the teeth). We have handouts on adapting your cats to having their teeth brushed at the clinic if you would like more information, as well as toothpaste and finger brushes.

You can also try water additives like CET, Biotene, and Healthy Mouth to help with fresher breath and reducing gingivitis and plaque with use of enzymes. They are available at pet stores or online but should not be used with fountains that have filters.

What Happens During an Appointment?

Our veterinarian will perform a full examination to rule out issues that are causing your pet to experience dental problems. Afterward, your cat's teeth will be inspected for problems requiring treatment. If your cat needs a tooth pulled, it may be done during a subsequent appointment. Dr. Lori Coughlin will also clean your cat's teeth in our office to remove plaque and tartar as needed.

Veterinarian in Oak Park

If your cat needs pet dental assistance, contact The Cat Practice in Oak Park to meet with Dr. Lori Coughlin for an evaluation. For more information on pet dental care or to schedule an appointment, call us at (708) 383-5997.