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The Importance of Brushing Your Cat's Teeth

Good dental hygiene for your cat is critical for fostering good health. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, regular toothbrushing can help prevent development of periodontal disease, which is known to affect a great majority of cats. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease and bad digestion as well. As part of preventive maintenance, brushing your cat's teeth regularly is one way of showing how much you love him or her.

Eliminate bad breath

Brushing your cat's teeth will help to remove food and other particles which may be stuck in between your cat's teeth or gums. This is one of the most common ways cats develop bad breath.

Reduce buildup of plaque and tartar in your cat's mouth

If your cat's teeth aren't brushed, the debris will accumulate and can eventually lead to plaque. Over time, the bacteria and saliva can create tartar, which will then have to be removed by your veterinarian. Brushing your cat's teeth regularly helps avoid this potentially expensive veterinary visit and procedure.

Prevent periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is one of the top five reasons cats are taken to the veterinarian. Once tartar has continued to accumulate in your cat's mouth, the condition can worsen by the bacteria forming underneath your cat's gums. This bacteria can then enter the bloodstream and affect other organs in your cat's body.

Enhance quality of life for your cat

Allowing your cat's dental health to deteriorate can lead to more serious problems. Once the bacteria from periodontal disease enters the bloodstream, it can affect the kidneys, liver, or heart. Infections can occur and cause severe damage to these organs. By preventing this from occurring, you are helping your cat live a longer and healthier life.

Molly's Tip

Whether you have an adult cat or a kitten, keep in mind it will take time and patience for your cat to accept dental hygiene as part of his or her daily routine. The key is to gradually introduce the process to your cat.