2019 AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats
Dental disease prevention strategies
It is important to communicate with pet owners the importance of dental disease prevention strategies, beginning at the first visit and then throughout the patient’s life stages. It is particularly important to emphasize individualized prevention strategies that should be maintained on an ongoing basis. Some companion animal practices use progress visits to evaluate oral health and home oral hygiene efforts by pet owners. A helpful aspect of client education is for veterinarians and staff to explain to clients the following three ways preventive oral health products work:
- mechanical (abrasion),
- nonmechanical (chemical), and
- a combination of mechanical and chemical modes of action.
Some experts prefer oral health products that have dual action because all the teeth can benefit from the combination of mechanistic activities.
In most patients, periodontal disease is a preventable condition. Fractured teeth can often be prevented by appropriate selection of dental chews and toys and behavior modification for separation anxiety and cage-biting.