Digestion of food starts with the chewing so a strong set of teeth are essential to your dog's health! The best way to be sure about the health of your dog's teeth is to have a good working knowledge of what a health set looks like. Starting young is your best bet here to ensure your dog is comfortable having their mouth checked, being as gentle as possible to avoid anxious bites.
A healthy set of teeth will be white, with a possible yellow tinge. We can't expect our dogs to have rose petal breath, but the odour shouldn't knock you for six! Healthy gums should be a bright pink/red with plenty of blood flow. Knowing what to look for can make identifying issues all the simpler. Problem signs to look out for include Halitosis (bad breath), Pain while chewing, sore or bloodied gums, excessive plaque build-up and ultimately tooth loss.
Plaque build-up on the teeth can turn into tartar and cause many issues, especially with bacterial build-up. Tooth and gum disease can cause loss of teeth, pain and bad breath as well as being linked to major health issues such as heart and liver disease. Prevention is better than a cure, and the earlier you spot signs of dental disease, the better for your dog and your wallet!
Regular dental care from a young age will ensure your dog's used to having his teeth brushed and inspected. Finger brushes make the process considerably simpler and improves the accuracy of the brusher. Use the same technique you would for yourself, ensuring all areas are covered. Do not use human toothpaste, the chemicals can make your dog severely ill. Specially formulated dog toothpaste can be bought from any good pet shop. Most vets will check your dog's dental health during general check-ups and if they don't, they'll happily do it if asked!
On top of this, regular chewing of our chews works towards cleaning and strengthening your dog's teeth, and they won't even know you're helping protect their precious pearlies!