Dental disease is a severe condition that affects Boston Terriers. Untreated, it can cause bad breath, tooth loss, and even permanent damage to your beloved pet’s vital organs. Bella, my Boston, has all these except damage to the vital organs, thank goodness.
It starts when plaque builds up on your dog’s teeth. This plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which is more difficult to remove than plaque. As tartar builds up, it can irritate your dog’s gums and spread bacteria throughout your dog’s mouth. This bacteria can cause infection, which can lead to abscesses or teeth falling out.
The infection can also spread to other parts of the body. Thankfully, dental disease is entirely preventable with regular dental care. Good oral hygiene is a result of at-home brushing and regular check-ups with your veterinarian.
Brushing Your Boston Terriers Teeth
Brushing your Boston Terrier’s teeth at home is an easy way to prevent dental disease and reduce the frequency of professional dental cleanings. A professional dental cleaning can cost as much as $700.00. When my veterinarian quoted me this price, I thought, no way!
Cleaning at home takes only a few minutes each day to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy, but it must be done every day. If you were to brush your teeth only once a week, you can imagine how quickly plaque and tartar would build up.
The sooner you can start brushing your dog’s teeth, the better. It’s easy to teach both puppies and adult dogs to sit patiently while you brush their teeth, and most dogs come to enjoy this moment of bonding with their owner.
Initially, neither you or your dog enjoy the process, but with time and practice, it will become a simple part of your daily routine.
First, you’ll need a quality toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Toothpaste made for humans contains ingredients that aren’t safe for dogs, and they can’t rinse their mouth out afterward as we do. So it is best to use a toothpaste that is intended for use on dogs.
Your local pet store or favorite online retailer likely has a few different options for you to choose from. Most pet toothpaste is flavored, usually something like beef or chicken. You can also find vanilla or peanut butter flavored toothpaste if the meat flavors don’t appeal to your dog.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can also make your own doggy toothpaste. There are many different recipes online that include pet-safe ingredients such as baking soda, coconut oil, and parsley. Many pet owners choose to use coconut oil on its own, or a paste made from baking soda and water. When making your own toothpaste, just make sure that the ingredients you are using are safe for dogs to consume.
Check out these five homemade toothpaste recipes from Care.com.
You’ll also need a toothbrush to use on your dog, and you have plenty of options here, as well. When shopping for canine toothbrushes, you will likely find brushes of many shapes and sizes. It’s crucial to find one that is an appropriate size for a Boston Terrier’s mouth. A brush that’s too big might be challenging to use and uncomfortable for your dog. Unlike with human toothbrushes, dog toothbrushes typically only have one level of firmness for the bristles.
The type of toothbrush you use will depend on your own preferences, as well as your dog’s. You may want to try out a few different kinds to see what you prefer. I have tried the finger version as well as the regular toothbrush. I personally like the ordinary toothbrush.
This type of brush is like a bristly thimble that allows you to use your finger to reach all the nooks and crannies of your dog’s mouth. If your dog is a biter, this may not be the best option for you, but many dogs tolerate this type of brush well.
You can also find brushes that are more similar to the type of toothbrush humans use. They are usually made of plastic and come in different shapes and sizes, but all will allow you to brush your dog’s teeth without having to put your finger in his mouth.
If your dog has never had his teeth brushed before, he’s probably not going to enjoy the process at first. However, with a little patience and positive reinforcement, getting your dog used to having his teeth brushed is an easy process.
To start, you may want to have your dog on a leash to prevent him from walking away from you. Put a little toothpaste on the brush or your finger and just let him sniff it and lick it off. Be sure to praise your dog to let him know he’s doing a good job.
Eventually, you can try brushing his teeth for a second or two at a time, praising him and letting him lick the toothbrush afterward. With practice, you can build up the brushing time until you can brush all of his teeth.
Don’t rush the process, or you may scare your dog and make him unsure of the process. Patience is essential during these initial stages of training. Don’t forget to praise your dog and let him know how good he has been!
Using Treats For Oral Health
Brushing your Boston Terrier’s teeth every day is only part of a good oral hygiene routine. You can also provide your dog with various treats and toys intended to help brush his teeth. This can be especially helpful while your dog is still adjusting to having his teeth cleaned. There are many different types of toys, chews, and crunchy treats on the market that can help remove plaque and tartar, so don’t be afraid to try a few out to see what works best for your dog.
Veterinarian Visits For Oral Health
Don’t forget to take your dog for regular veterinary check-ups. Most vets recommend professional dental cleanings every six to twelve months. Once again, this was recommended for Bella, but I personally chose to do the brushing myself because of the cost.
Talk to your vet about your dog’s individual situation to determine how often he needs professional cleanings. Some dogs may even be able to go longer than twelve months between cleanings, especially if they have their teeth brushed every day. Daily brushing is an essential aspect of dental care, so get out that toothbrush and toothpaste and start brushing!
Oral hygiene is as crucial to your dog as it is to you. Be sure to inspect your dog’s mouth when you clean their teeth to ensure everything looks normal. Bella had lost a number of her teeth due to a metal kennel years ago.
However, Emily and I were not in a brushing habit back then, so by the time we discovered missing teeth, she only had a few left. Do not let this happen to your cute little Boston!
What kind of oral hygiene routine do you have? Please share by commenting below.