The Secrets to Purrfect Dental Health
Just like humans, cats need to visit the dentist to maintain optimal dental health and keep their teeth pearly white. Adult cats have 30 sharp and pointy teeth designed for hunting and eating their prey. This includes 12 incisors for grasping and nibbling; 4 canines for tearing meat; 10 premolars for cutting and shearing meat; and 4 molars for grinding. The enamel on their teeth is quite thin, making cats prone to dental problems. Luckily, these issues can be diminished with proper preventative care.
Here are some helpful tips to promote dental health in cats:
Regular Dental Exams
Schedule routine dental exams to assess your cat's oral health. Professional cleanings may be recommended to remove tartar and plaque buildup.
A Balanced Diet
Feed your cat a well-balanced diet that supports dental health. Choose foods that promote dental hygiene by reducing tartar and plaque formation. Dental diets often contain larger kibbles or have a specific texture that encourages chewing.
Dental Treats and Toys
Offer your cat dental treats and toys that encourage chewing, help reduce plaque buildup, and contribute to healthier gums. Kittens lose their baby teeth when they are around four to six months old. Providing chew toys can both soothe them and help alleviate any discomfort.
Try to introduce toothbrushing to your cat's routine. Use a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Start with short sessions, and reward your cat with treats or praise to create a positive association.
Alternatively, you can gently wipe your cat's teeth and gums with dental wipes to control plaque and freshen breath.
Monitor for Signs of Dental Issues
Watch for signs of dental trouble, including bad breath, difficulty eating, pawing at the mouth, or drooling. If you notice any issues, consult with your veterinarian and schedule a dental exam.
Maintaining your cat's dental health is crucial for their overall well-being. Understanding common dental issues and taking preventive measures empowers you to provide the best care for your cat's teeth and gums. Regularly attending to their oral hygiene contributes to a happy and healthy life for your feline friend.