Honestly, they're just animals at the end of the day, aren't they? Why all the fuss about clean teeth? Does it really matter whether Fluffy has bad breath or not? Well YES it does! Pet dental care has grown dramatically in popularity and importance over the past few years, and there are good reasons for this.
Plaque, an accumulation of bacteria, builds up at the gum-line of all teeth - human, canine and feline - unless they're brushed daily. Eventually, hard, discoloured calculus forms that further irritates the gums, causing infection to progress and the attachments of the tooth to the jaw bone to loosen and become destroyed. Blech!
And this infection is also at risk of spreading to the liver, kidneys and the heart - this means that your beloved pet, who may be sitting on your lap with dirty teeth and smelly breath (you STILL want to kiss that face, don't you!), is at risk of losing teeth AND becoming ill from the infection surrounding them. What's more, he may be in considerable discomfort and you don't know it! After all, can he say, "Oiy! My tooth is killing me! Help!" (Don't ya just love guilt-trips? )
Full-blown dental cleaning which removes plaque and calculus from above AND below the gum-line requires your vet, general anesthesia and special equipment. Your job is to brush Fluffy's teeth twice daily (in an ideal world!), or as often as you can, with special pet toothpaste - this will thankfully decrease the need for and frequency of veterinary dental cleaning procedures. Yeeehaa!
Remember this about teeth:
Love... and other stuff too