Author Topic: Scaling teeth  (Read 583 times)

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Offline Ariel

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Scaling teeth
« on: August 21, 2017, 05:34:14 PM »
Does anyone else scale their dogs' teeth? I got a scaler and did Mochi and Jubi for the first time. It became really apparent how much it helped that Jubi has been handled everywhere since I got her. Mochi's teeth were a bit worse being that she's a 9ish year old small mixed breed dog, but I was able to get her done fairly well. Jubi laid down with her head in my lap and did not have any issues letting me run the scaler over her gum line and taking a teeny bit of plaque off her molars and the back of her canines. The beards on both made it a little more difficult but the job got done. I plan to incorporate this into our grooming routine. Jubi's only 23 months now so the amount of plaque was very minimal but it'll be nice to easily keep her teeth plaque free and healthy for many years into the future. I'd love to avoid unnecessary anesthesia and full dentals down the road if I can.
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Offline SalukiLover

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 05:36:43 PM »
I'm always afraid I will scratch the enamel.
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Online Kirsten

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 06:04:48 PM »
It's not the enamel you have to worry about but if the dog jerks you can injure their gums.  The scaling work needs to be done at and just below the gum line.

I've scaled my dogs' teeth since about 2000.  I was taught by a human dentist who was sometimes called upon to assist with veterinary work (such as a root canal on a tiger) and who owned dogs and regularly attended training classes.  Your veterinarian can do a more thorough job because he can polish as well as scale.  Scaling may leave a roughened surface of small particles of calculus that can make it easier for plaque to reattach, easier than if the tooth had been polished, but I think it's still better than no scaling at all.

I do my dogs without sedatives, of course.  I do it myself primarily to avoid sedation.  So far, none of my dogs has needed a professional cleaning.  My personal vet does not object to me scaling their teeth.  It does take training, but for my guys the foundation is already laid.  I teach them to lie on their backs in my lap for daily exam.  This is the position where I check them over, do some of my grooming, do nail trims and do dental scaling.  They are very used to being in this position, very relaxed, confident, trusting, and comfortable.  Their mouth is close to my face and easy to see into clearly.  I've handled their mouths from the day I brought them home.  I brush teeth regularly in addition to scaling teeth.  They are seriously used to me putting my hands and fingers into their mouths.

I think it makes a difference to have real, professional dental scalers instead of the cheap knock offs they sell in catalogs.  You can probably ask your own dentist or veterinarian to order one for you and to teach you how to use it.  I think I paid around $10 for each of mine but that was back around 2000 so they've probably gone up.  Don't use the ones they sell in hardware stores either.  They aren't right for tooth scaling.  They aren't sharp enough and the dull ones catch on the tooth surface and jerk and can jab a dog in the gums.
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Offline Ariel

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 06:38:45 PM »
I think it makes a difference to have real, professional dental scalers instead of the cheap knock offs they sell in catalogs. You can probably ask your own dentist or veterinarian to order one for you and to teach you how to use it.  I think I paid around $10 for each of mine but that was back around 2000 so they've probably gone up.

Mine is an actual dental scaler. I got it on Amazon for roughly $10, maybe a dollar or two more.
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Offline Candy3

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 07:10:45 PM »
We have dental scalers, but I haven't had to use them with Peter Pan. I've been using an enzymatic toothpaste, made for dogs, which I think just dissolves the plaque away or something.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 07:14:24 PM by Candy3 »

Offline SandyStern

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 08:08:10 PM »
I use Sentry toothpaste and my dogs have always loved the taste. If I don't brush their teeth by a certain time each morning, they sit by the kitchen sink looking annoyed. They never get tartar build up.

Offline Ariel

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 09:11:32 PM »
We have dental scalers, but I haven't had to use them with Peter Pan. I've been using an enzymatic toothpaste, made for dogs, which I think just dissolves the plaque away or something.

Might be worth it just to touch all his teeth with it as a positive experience. Jubi had essentially no plaque other than a teeny spot of it on the back of each of her canines and in that groove on her molars. For the most part with her it was just having a positive experience with the scaler rubbing her teeth and near her gums than anything. She's already quite comfortable with me grabbing her lips and putting my fingers in her mouth. It didn't seem to be a big deal for her. She was just pleased it wasn't nail clipping day. She lays there but isn't a fan of nail clipping.
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Offline Candy3

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2017, 12:04:41 AM »
We have dental scalers, but I haven't had to use them with Peter Pan. I've been using an enzymatic toothpaste, made for dogs, which I think just dissolves the plaque away or something.

Might be worth it just to touch all his teeth with it as a positive experience. Jubi had essentially no plaque other than a teeny spot of it on the back of each of her canines and in that groove on her molars. For the most part with her it was just having a positive experience with the scaler rubbing her teeth and near her gums than anything. She's already quite comfortable with me grabbing her lips and putting my fingers in her mouth. It didn't seem to be a big deal for her. She was just pleased it wasn't nail clipping day. She lays there but isn't a fan of nail clipping.

I just hate having to scrape the plaque off. That's why I use toothpaste, instead. Since Jubi is fine with you handling her mouth, she'd probably be fine with you brushing them, as well. By the way, I want to thank you for your recommendation of the red handled Miller's Forge nail clippers. Peter Pan hated getting his nails clipped with other clippers, but he's fine with these.

Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2017, 02:38:49 AM »
I scale all of my dog's teeth. I'm not too worried about getting everyting, just the big chunks of tartar. I brush their teeth as well and check teeth weekly or every other week so I notice buildup easily. Our senior dog was at the verge of a sedated dental but it made me nervous putting a ten year old GSD/border collie (geriatric for his breed mix) under for just a dental. I scaled it myself and was satisfied enough to put off a dental. Az had very little build up and Rayner had a decent bit on his molars, I think he leaves food sitting on his teeth between his cheek.

Our cat was about as bad as our senior dog, I have been handling her in ways she finds unpleasant  (baths, teeth checks, ear cleaning, nail clipping) since she was very very tiny. She was the most unwilling but still sat still with a little restraint on her face pulling the lip back. Her's were the grossest of all.
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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 08:14:38 AM »
The Miller's forge clippers are the best I've ever used. They stay sharp and that means less squeezing sensation on the nails. I use the small ones and nip bits and pieces off (multiple cuts per nail) even though my dogs are large. Sometimes I use clippers, sometimes a Dremel, sometimes both.
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Offline Candy3

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 05:46:33 PM »
I forgot to mention that applying a small amount of the toothpaste to the end of the dental scraper will actually help the plaque come off much easier than just scraping it without the paste. I use Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste for dogs. Peter Pan loves the malt flavor, but they have other flavors, as well. . .in case you're interested.

The Miller's forge clippers are the best I've ever used. They stay sharp and that means less squeezing sensation on the nails. I use the small ones and nip bits and pieces off (multiple cuts per nail) even though my dogs are large. Sometimes I use clippers, sometimes a Dremel, sometimes both.

That's good to know, Kirsten. I've only clipped his nails once, so far. I was too afraid to do it before, but these clippers make it much easier to do. My husband is much happier, too, knowing that he doesn't have to do it anymore. And, of course, Peter Pan is happy, because it isn't such a horrible event, anymore.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 05:48:27 PM by Candy3 »

Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 05:52:40 PM »
I usually use dollar tree bypass clippers on the dogs, I throw them out when they dull.

That doesn't really work for the cat through, I have trouble finding a pair of clippers that stay sharp and don't fray her nails when I trim them. The dollar tree and even walmart clippers are too dull at purchase to cut without splitting the layers from each other and leaving a frayed tip.

I'll look into the clippers you mentioned Kirsten
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Offline mommagrizzly

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 06:49:42 PM »
I usually use dollar tree bypass clippers on the dogs, I throw them out when they dull.

That doesn't really work for the cat through, I have trouble finding a pair of clippers that stay sharp and don't fray her nails when I trim them. The dollar tree and even walmart clippers are too dull at purchase to cut without splitting the layers from each other and leaving a frayed tip.

I'll look into the clippers you mentioned Kirsten

I used regular human fingernail clippers on my cat when I had it. It worked great. You just turn them verticle, and the nail goes right in.

I scale Bailey's (pet dog/mini schnauzer) teeth. I have never tried to do Keturah's. She gets her teeth brushed regularly so it hasn't been a problem.
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Offline Moonsong

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 07:13:48 PM »
With teeth brushing, I have a question. Can you reuse the finger brushes, or are they only disposable?
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Offline Candy3

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Re: Scaling teeth
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 07:48:36 PM »
I used regular human fingernail clippers on my cat when I had it. It worked great. You just turn them verticle, and the nail goes right in.

When Peter Pan was tiny, we used human fingernail clippers on him, too. Of course, he's too big for them, now.  :happy:

With teeth brushing, I have a question. Can you reuse the finger brushes, or are they only disposable?

Moonsong, I've never used the finger brushes, so I can't answer that. I just use soft human toothbrushes. If your SDiT is used to having fingers poking in around his mouth, he should be fine with any kind of toothbrush or finger brush.