Products that control plaque in a non-mechanical way
Water additives - Healthy Mouth™ is the only water additive to carry the VOHC seal. (VOHC seal for plaque). This is an all natural product including chlorophyll, so it turns the water green! It is extremely efficient at removing plaque and is best started directly after the teeth have been cleaned.
Sanos®: See my article in the Fall 2015 issue of 4 Legs & a Tail. The polymers in this product form a film in the space between the gum and the tooth, hindering plaque attachment in the area where periodontal disease starts. Applied by the veterinarian after cleaning the teeth. Must be reapplied every 6 months for full efficacy.
Some products combine mechanical action with a plaque control product OraVet® Dental Hygiene Chews (VOHC seal for tartar). OraVet chews work by disrupting the formation of plaque, so that it no longer sticks to the teeth. The delmopinol in OraVet dental hygiene chews disrupts plaque, reduces plaque formation and makes bacteria susceptible to attack. Add this to the mechanical action of chewing on a mildly abrasive chew, and you get pretty close to the ideal of tooth brushing. And my fussy dog Annabelle really likes them. Feed only one per day. Comes in 4 sizes.
Rawhide chews with chlorhexidine added. Chlorhexidine is a disinfectant that binds to tissue, giving it a long acting effect. It is found in some mouth washes. The rawhide is in the form of thin strips. As long as your dog is a “chewer” rather than a “gulper” these chews will not cause choking or bowel obstruction. Vetoquinol Dentahex Oral Care Chews with Chlorhexidine and Virbac C.E.T.® HEXtra® Premium Oral Hygiene Chews are two such products. Fall 2017
Dental Wipes: Just like it sounds, these are small pads that are wiped over the teeth and gums to remove plaque and to deposit plaque control products onto the teeth.
Of course you can and really should use more than one product to keep the teeth clean and the mouth healthy. With all these great products available it is easier than ever to keep your dog’s teeth as clean as when s/he was a puppy. It still will be necessary to have professional dental cleanings done by your veterinarian. If you keep the teeth clean it will take less time under anesthesia for your veterinarian to clean the teeth, it will mean less extractions that will need to be done and it may mean that you can spread out the interval between cleanings. I will do cat products in the next issue. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services.