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Scaling Teeth


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I've finally gotten into the habit of brushing the dogs' toofers every night. Shadow had a dental in April and his teeth still look fabulous. Tori was close to needing a dental when I started. Her teeth are definitely better. When I look at her teeth I can actually see the tartar lifting from the tooth, but I can't seem to get it off when I pick at it with my fingernail.


I'm guessing that with a dental tool I could pick at least some of it off, but does that do any good? Will she still need a dental? If I do pick it off, what tool should I be looking for?


Is it better to just leave it for the vet, then continue with preventative maintenance?





Jenn, missing Shadow (Wickford Big Tom), Pretty Girl (C's Pretty) and Tori (Santoria)

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I do occasionally scale my hounds' teeth with "cast off" curettes from my dentist. But I used to work as a periodontal assistant and know how to do it only to sort of "burnish" off visible tarter. I know what I'm doing is not going to get up under the gumline or into pocket areas, and I've used it only as a sort of between cleanings thing when brushing has failed. I would not consider it a substitution for a periodic dental by a vet who knows what s/he is doing.

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Guest FrostyBottoms

I give mine an Ostrich bone to chew on...it works wonders for their teeth and they are easy on the sensitive stomach.

My guys LOVE them, you can find them at a natural dog food store. They are almost a yard long and they are $12.


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My vet taught me to scale since with the raw diet, about the only place my guys get tartar is at the top of their canines. The senior vet in the practice would have made me get a dental to get that cleaned, but Dr. Patty said it would be silly to put them under for that little bit. Dr. Patty and I do keep an eye on things and make sure we don't need a thorough cleaning, but they've been fine.


I just went looking for a picture of the tool I use, but I can't find it now.

Deanna with galgo Willow, greyhound Finn, and DH Brian
Remembering Marcus (11/16/93 - 11/16/05), Tyler (2/3/01 - 11/6/06), Frazzle (7/2/94 - 7/23/07), Carrie (5/8/96 - 2/24/09), Blitz (3/28/97 - 6/10/11), Symbra (12/30/02 - 7/16/13), Scarlett (10/10/02 - 08/31/13), Wren (5/25/01 - 5/19/14),  Rooster (3/7/07 - 8/28/18), Q (2008 - 8/31/19), and Momma Mia (2002 - 12/9/19).

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I think you can scale the obvious tartar if you know what you are doing and are uber careful. You probably won't be able to get tartar that is under the gums. Unless you have had training in doing it I don't think I would recommend it nor should you let ppl on an Internet message board convince you to do it. JMO

and yes I have a scaler tool and played with it a bit and decided I'm just not the person who should be attempting to do this on my hounds.

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I don't scale my own dogs teeth. If they are bad enough that they need scaled... then they need cleaned properly under the gumline.


What SusanP posted sounds reasonable to me if you are very careful not to scratch the teeth thus making it easier for more tartar to accumulate. However, if your pet needs thorough scaling... they need a real cleaning.





Bella and Sky at the bridge

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anabele France


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Guest LindsaySF

You can buy a dental pick (for people) at a pharmacy or supermarket.


I occasionally scale Teagan's teeth, especially up near the gumline and just under it. But Teagan stays still for this, many dogs do not, and they would need to be put under.

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