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I'm curious, I know several dog owners and they all do something to maintain the dental health of their dogs but their approaches are all very different.

What do you do for your poodle?
 

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Daily brushing with enzyme toothpaste. I have tried most things - gels, Plaque-Off, raw bones, etc, etc - but a reasonably thorough brushing every day gives the greatest benefit for cost/time, for my toy dogs.
 
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I brush every second day with a baby toothbrush and doggy toothpaste. It’s kind of a pain, which is why I take breaks. This way I’ve been able to keep the routine going for years. Whereas when I tried to do it everyday, I would give up.
 

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I brush Basil's teeth like fluffyspoo's pinned video everyday after I brush mine. I make sure to get each side of her teeth. However, I maybe get 3-5 good swipes before moving on to a different side. Basil's not a fan of me holding her chainsaw teeth, neither am I (thank goodness for bite inhibition), but it's better then nothing. Plus, they look nice and white.
 

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I brush my dogs' teeth nightly with dog toothpaste and afterwards give them a reward of "lactic acid bacteria" gel that is supposedly be able to be used instead of toothpaste. Since they eat wet food, I have tried to be careful from when they were puppies. So far, the vet says that their teeth are in good condition and nothing excessive build up of tartar or plaque.
They don't really like having their teeth brushed, and when they hear me get the toothbrush, they both pretend they are asleep and don't look at me when I call them at first. After I look at them directly, and call again, they open their eyes and then slowly move towards me for the nightly brushing. They do enjoy the gel afterwards. It tastes a little sweet, so I call it their desert.
 

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Home care has been pretty well covered here. I will add that I took my girl to a vet dental specialist to have retained puppy teeth pulled. This vet recommended yearly dentals for all poodles beginning around 2 years of age as "the standard of care." I imagine not all folks would agree with this, but I thought I'd share her vet dental recommendation.
 

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Home care has been pretty well covered here. I will add that I took my girl to a vet dental specialist to have retained puppy teeth pulled. This vet recommended yearly dentals for all poodles beginning around 2 years of age as "the standard of care." I imagine not all folks would agree with this, but I thought I'd share her vet dental recommendation.
If there weren’t general anesthesia involved, I would agree. But since it’s part of the deal, I think you have to balance the pros and the cons. General anesthesia is not trivial; there are risks associated with it. Even risks of deaths. It seems extreme to me a vet would five this kind of advice. Especially when brushing your dog’s teeth makes dentals unnecessary, or at least not required every year. Maybe every 3-5 years, even longer in some cases.
 

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Poppy, at 11.5 years, has never needed a dental. Sophy is very prone to tartar and has had two in her 12 years, the first under sedation only and the second under anaesthetic. No extractions either time. I would say a dental check at least annually, yes, but a full dental under GA only when actually required.
 
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I like to use a scaler every couple of months. Takes some training to accept it, but my old dude avoided pro dental cleanings his whole 15 years and only lost one tooth.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone, I think that as I am getting a miniature it would be wise to go with the brushing route. But I have heard from some owners who intended to do so but never got their dogs to accept this procedure. Did you find that hard? at which age were they reluctantly accepting this grooming routine?

@fjm which brand of toothpaste do you use? i wonder if its available on my side of the channel.
 

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Thanks everyone, I think that as I am getting a miniature it would be wise to go with the brushing route. But I have heard from some owners who intended to do so but never got their dogs to accept this procedure. Did you find that hard? at which age were they reluctantly accepting this grooming routine?
It's not hard lol, Basil's always nosing my hand when I'm brushing my teeth. I make "yummmmm" and "mmmmmmm" sounds like it's food, like I just tasted chocolate after a 48 hour fast. Like it's sooooo good. She looks at me in the mirror like "it's my turn next, right?" With an occasional nose lick. We've been doing this since 8 weeks old, she'll be 7-3/4 mo tomorrow.

You just gotta try it and see what happens. Don't worry if it doesn't go as planned the first few times. You'll want puppy to be comfortable with you poking around their mouth even if they don't like it.
 

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Unfortunately the toothpaste I use is no longer available even from my own vet! It is similar to Virbac, but less viscous.

I taught mine to accept teeth cleaning by taking it very slowly, then had to start all over again with Sophy when I tried to flick tartar off with my thumb nail and she refused to let me near her mouth for a while. The key is to spend a few months working on teaching that teeth cleaning is a nice thing, or at least OK, using a paste that they really like. This is how I did it:
Step 1: lick toothpaste off finger; for a puppy, at other times of day make handling head and muzzle and opening mouth a highly rewarded game.
Step 2: gently rub paste onto teeth with finger - at first just one stroke, gradually building up to several strokes. Reward if necessary - for Poppy the taste of the toothpaste was enough; Sophy needed chicken!
Step 3: start again with a baby toothbrush - first just licking, then one stroke, then more. Reward as above.

Slowly build up to a full cleaning and reduce the rate of rewards, so just one at the end of the session - these days for both it is a tiny lick of the toothpaste.

I rub the paste along one side of the mouth, then brush first canines and premolars, then molars on the other side. Repeat on the first side, then bottom/top incisors. Sophy hates me doing her incisors so for her I compromise and just angle the brush to get them as clean as possible. Remember that a puppy's mouth may be sore from teething - you may need to go back to using a finger for a while. And learn from my mistakes with Sophy - don't try to go too far too fast. It took nearly three months of careful work to get her to accept brushing again, and even now I have to remind the vet that the cue "Just looking!" means precisely that!
 
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