Cats are usually vulnerable to gum disease, especially in the first few years of their lives. This is often a result of accumulated plaque around the teeth that can cause serious infections, bleeding of the gums and premature loss of teeth.
If you notice any yellow or brown spots on the teeth or difficulty chewing, there may be a chance your cat could be developing gum disease. A good way to prevent gum disease in cats is to regularly brush their teeth. Here is a look at how to start regularly brushing your cat's teeth so as to keep gum disease at bay.
Visit a veterinarian
Before any attempts to brush your cat's teeth, be sure to take the pet to a vet so that they can be examined for any signs of severe dental disease. These may include inflamed gums or sensitivity around the mouth. Treatment of such conditions would be necessary before any brushing can be done in order to prevent bleeding of the gums or tooth loss.
Additionally, your vet could perform professional dental cleaning to remove stubborn plaque deposits that would be difficult to remove via regular tooth brushing. The vet can also recommend plaque-preventive products to help reduce the buildup of plaque on your cat's teeth.
Patience is crucial when getting your cat used to regular tooth brushing. Although you can start brushing your pet's teeth at any age, it may be easier to get them accustomed to the process at a young age.
The first step in the brushing process is to get the cat used to being touched in and around the mouth. Gradually use your finger to touch the cat's lips and teeth so they get used to contact in these areas. Next, apply a bit of pet toothpaste to the finger and let the cat lick it as you gently scrub the outside of their teeth and the gum line. Once the cat gets used to this on a regular basis, you may now introduce a pet toothbrush for more thorough scrubbing.
It is important to remember to only do as much scrubbing at a time as the cat allows. If the cat is fussy, stop the cleaning to avoid being bitten and give them time to relax. You can also make the process enjoyable for the cat by giving them a treat after every cleaning session.
Finally, be sure to feed your cat dry foods, as they can help scrape off plaque from the surface of the teeth. Regular visits to vets like Deep Creek Veterinary Hospital are also important so that the cat's oral health can be examined.