HOW OFTEN DO YOU BRUSH HER TEETH?
As a family we brush her teeth several times a week. Our goal is to brush her teeth every single day, but sometimes we slip, and it doesn’t get done. I do believe her teeth should be brushed daily, so this is something we need to work on.
WHEN DO YOU BRUSH HER TEETH?
I usually brush her teeth in the evening before bed, but I will brush her teeth whenever it crosses my mind. So sometimes, she will get brushed in the morning or even in the middle of the day. I try not to restrict myself on the time of day. Just aim to get it done once a day.
HOW DID YOU TRAIN HER TO GET HER TEETH BRUSHED?
With regards to teeth brushing, I think it has more to do with desensitizing than training. My first step was to get her comfortable with my fingers in her mouth. I started by rubbing my index finger along her gum line, teeth, and tongue. When she no longer seemed alarmed by this, I started to add toothpaste to my fingers. This step was easy for me because Miso likes the taste of her toothpaste. I quickly moved on to introducing the toothbrush. I would let her chew the toothbrush with the toothpaste and eventually the brushing came naturally.
It was also helpful that I decided early on what position I wanted her to be in when getting her teeth brushed. For me, it was “down” (belly on the floor). Once she is in this position, it is easy for me to ask her to roll from one side to the other so that I can get a good visual of her teeth and be at a decent angle to tackle her back molars. More importantly, asking her to get into the same position every time helps to bring a sense of familiarity and order to the process. I find that when she knows what to expect, she is less likely to struggle.
WHAT TOOTHBRUSH DO YOU USE TO BRUSH HER TEETH?
Currently I use a sonic toothbrush made for infant and toddlers. They are available on amazon. Link.
I have tried a variety of toothbrushes for her and this one has worked the best for us by far. The sonic vibrations on this toothbrush is super gentle and quiet compared to Miso’s Oral-B electric toothbrush for infants that I was previously using.
It comes with two brush heads. Surprisingly, I use the larger of the two for Miso. You press the power button once and the brush head lights up. You press the power button again, and the sonic vibrations kick in. I love that it lights up because it helps me see her whole mouth, teeth, gums and all. Its important for me to keep tabs on how everything is supposed to look, so that I can easily spot changes that may need to be addressed.
If you need refills, you can buy them here. Link.
WHAT TOOTHPASTE DO YOU USE TO BRUSH HER TEETH?
For toothpaste, we use the one by Virbac. We order them from Chewy. Link.
Virbac toothpaste has 3 flavors, poultry, beef, and vanilla mint. Miso has tried the poultry and beef and likes the taste of both. I don’t give poultry to Miso anymore, so she only uses the beef one now.
This toothpaste was recommended by Miso’s vet and is the only tooth paste I have ever used on Miso. Unfortunately, this means I don’t have valuable insight on how this product rates compared to other toothpastes on the market. I have never liked that I could never understand any of the ingredients on the tube. If anyone has more insight, please share.
Update 1/3/22: Some of the virbac toothpaste flavors for pets contain an ingredient called titanium dioxide. Due to my concerns over this ingredient [link], I have decided to switch toothpaste brands for Miso. I now use Petsmile Professional Pet Toothpaste for Miso.
DO YOU NEED TO BRUSH HER TEETH AS OFTEN IF YOU GIVE HER CHEWS REGULARLY?
Yes. I personally don’t think chews replace the need for teeth brushing and while I give Miso chews on a daily basis, I still aim to brush her teeth regularly.
This is because chews come in a variety of forms and some work better than others. Also, I don’t have any control of where Miso decides to chew. So if she suddenly decides to only chew with the left side of her mouth, I’m going to have a lot of teeth brushing to do on her right side.
That being said, the chews I’ve picked for Miso does a great job at removing tartar from her teeth. And the pressure she can put on her teeth by gnawing is way better than any pressure I can apply on her teeth with a toothbrush. Sometimes, I’ll see that a particular section of her teeth needs work and knowing that tooth brushing alone won’t work, I will literally hold the chew for her in my hand and encourage her to chew it at that particular spot.
I find that teeth brushing, and chew sessions compliment each other and have both contributed to keeping Miso’s teeth clean.
You can find my chew recommendations here.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST HELPFUL THING YOU DID FOR YOURSELF WHEN IT COMES TO KEEPING HER TEETH CLEAN?
Keeping her toothbrush next to mine. It reminds me to brush her teeth every time I brush mine!
YOU CAN FOLLOW MORE OF MISO'S ADVENTURES ON HER INSTAGRAM
This blog post is meant for readers who are interested in Miso. It is neither advice nor recommendation for any of the products mentioned or linked. We do not have a professional background in dog training or veterinary medicine. All thoughts and opinions in these posts are time stamped as of the date posted and may change at any time. Thank you for your readership.
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