Dental disease is perhaps the most preventable of any disease encountered in veterinary medicine. Some animals will suffer the effects despite owner intervention, but for the most part, all animals will benefit from dental care in the home.
The gold standard of dental home care is brushing. This should be done with a veterinary approved toothpaste and an appropriate sized soft brush.
Finger brushes are typically not as useful as standard bristle brushes. Studies have shown that, to be effective, brushing should be done a minimum of 4 – 5 times per week.
There are other forms of home care besides brushing, and these should be considered as adjunctive treatment. There are numerous rinses, gels, and sprays that claim to be effective in reducing dental disease. As with most things, some of these claims do not hold up under scrutiny. A good place to start would be with WWW.VOHC.ORG.
Certain diets also help to reduce plaque, calculus, and gingivitis.