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Published: May 16, 2012

One of the more common conditions veterinarians must deal with is dental disease in cats. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, approximately two-thirds of cats over the age of three have some form of dental disease. While some of these conditions may be unavoidable, cat owners who perform daily tooth brushing and pay close attention to their cat's dental hygiene stand a much greater chance of ensuring their cat is part of the one-third that isn't affected by the problem.

Caring for a cat's mouth can be a challenge, which may explain the high rate of dental disease. It's difficult for owners to get their cats to hold still and allow their teeth to be brushed. However, a pet owner who wants to avoid dental disease for their cat will need to persevere in the face of this issue. A good idea is to start brushing a cat's teeth when they are a kitten so they become accustomed to the routine. Teeth cleaning for cats is not easy but even older cats can be trained to accept it and after some time, the cat will likely come to accept the brushing as part of their life.

Never use human toothpaste on a cat, as the chemicals in these products may be dangerous to felines. There are a wide range of dental products that cats can use, including flavored toothpastes, mouthwashes and gels that can be applied to the teeth and gums. Be sure to ask your vet about possible dietary changes that can reduce tartar as well.

Even if you brush your cat’s teeth every day, a professional dental cleaning performed by your veterinarian will be required from time to time.  Your veterinarian will check your cat’s teeth at their annual health examination and alert you when a professional cleaning is necessary.

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