New oral healthcare products
Recent innovations in preventive dental care can help control plaque and calculus in pets—in the office or in your clients' homes.
Jan 01, 2005
In the office, veterinarians and technicians perform small animal dental care and encourage owners to brush their pets' teeth daily to decrease plaque accumulation. Although daily brushing is a noble idea, it's rarely attempted or properly accomplished by the average pet owner at home. While two-thirds of clients understand the importance of pet dental care, only 20% attempt to brush their pets' teeth and only 2% brush with enough frequency to maintain proper oral health, according to a 2001 Gallup survey. The roadblocks to brushing include the pet's reluctance to have a brush placed in its mouth, the pet owner's frustration with brush and finger positioning, and the lack of a sanitary way to store the brush when finished.
Fortunately, the veterinary industry has responded by introducing several innovative oral hygiene options to help veterinarians and pet owners control plaque—the initiator of periodontal disease. I will describe a few of those new products here.
OraVet's plaque prevention system allows veterinarians and pet owners to work together to improve pets' oral health. "In my experience, this technology substantially reduces plaque and calculus. We've found good client compliance with the home-care version of the dental sealant because pet owners are increasingly placing value on good oral health. Another advantage to using a product like this is that our clients are getting their pets' mouths open for examination on a weekly basis. This keeps my clients interested in plaque-control programs of all kinds," says Tom Klein, DVM, adjunct clinical professor of dentistry at The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus.
C.E.T.® HEXtra™ Premium Chews (Virbac) combine the mechanical plaque-removal action of rawhide with chlorhexidine in a palatable chew for dogs (Figure 3). Chlorhexidine induces bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects against bacteria, fungi, and some viruses, and is the most effective plaque-inhibiting substance for people.3 Once applied and bonded to the tooth surface, it continues to be effective for up to 24 hours.3