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A Handy Guide to Cleaning Your Cat's Teeth

Cat Teeth Cleaning
Cleaning a cat's teeth is just as important as human dental hygiene. If you are a cat owner, then this CatAppy article will be a useful read for you in understanding the importance of dental care for your pet cat.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2017
Have you ever given it a thought, that the sharp weapons of your little kitty needs regular cleaning? Cleaning teeth is a part of cat grooming procedure that every owner should carry out. However, dental hygiene for cats is not a very popular agenda on the owner's manual. This is because, who would risk the painful bites of the sharp incisors.
Cleaning your cat's teeth is very important, if you want to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. These are preventable and curable diseases, if you carry out regular cat teeth brushing. It is important to begin early, when you bring home a kitten, as it will get used to the procedure, and offer less resistance while getting older. Regular cleaning of the teeth can also prevent the many dental problems that may arise in older cats.
At Home
So, now that you have made up your mind, let us begin with explaining the procedure that you need to follow. You need to get all the accessories ready, before you start cleaning your cat's teeth. You need to get a special cat toothbrush or a toothbrush that can be worn on your finger for better grip. Further, you should get a special cat toothpaste. These toothpastes have a flavor that your kitty will love, and won't object to brushing. However, as a beginner, you should not directly start with the toothbrush. You need to get sterile gauze, and wrap it around your index finger. Put some toothpaste on the gauze, and gently massage it on the cat's teeth and gums. You can begin with one tooth at a time. Continue doing this for a few days, till you cover all the teeth and gums. Also, the cat will get used to this procedure and respond positively.
You need proper reinforcement to get the cat used to teeth cleaning. Do not force your pet, as you will end up with a bite injury to yourself. To prevent the cat from scratching or biting you, wrap the kitty in a large, soft towel. Once the cat is used to the cleaning process, you should brush its teeth twice a week. If you have a high-strung cat, you should not let a toothbrush anywhere near its mouth, and visit a vet for the same. The vet will carry out professional cleaning procedure, and make your kitty's smile sparkling clean. Let us know the vet's procedure of cleaning a cat's teeth.
At a Vet's Clinic
Many vets would carry out dental procedures like scaling, polishing, fluoride treatment, etc., for cats. All these procedures are carried out under anesthesia. The vet will check all the teeth of the sedated cat carefully, and diagnose any underlying periodontal disease. He will dissolve the plaque buildup using specialized tools. In case of dental cavities, the vet may carry out root canal, if needed.
Complications may arise due to anesthesia or some stressful conditions. Cats with feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may develop complications under anesthesia. Sudden death or unexplained complications may also be seen. Thus, many cat owners opt to clean their cat's teeth without anesthesia. The vet will perform a blood test before giving anesthesia to your pet, and make sure no complications arise.
Average Cost
The cost incurred during cleaning your cat's teeth depends on the veterinarian clinic that you visit. The average cost will be around $300. This cost will include the anesthesia fees of $150. You may find that the average cost is a bit higher, but it will prove to be economical in the long run.
Cleaning a cat's teeth is necessary for maintaining strong teeth and preventing periodontal diseases. Also, bad breath may be an indication of poor dental hygiene of your feline companion. Hence, you should begin the cleaning procedure to help maintain shiny, sparkling teeth of your cat.
Maine coon cat and toothbrush
Veterinarian brushing cat teeth