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Brushing your cat’s teeth regularly is an essential component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for them. Not only will it prevent your cat from developing diseases like gingivitis, it will also keep their breath smelling fresh. Nearly 90 percent of cats develop dental problems over their lifetime. Just like us, they can develop gum disease, tartar and plaque build-up, foul breath, and abscesses, all of which can develop into infection and tooth loss. As a carnivore, your cat needs to have clean, strong, sharp teeth. Unfortunately, many cats aren’t provided an adequate food for conditioning their teeth. If your cat has a tooth problem, it may take a while for you to find out. One reason is that cats instinctively hide their pain as a response to not appear vulnerable to predators, so it may take you awhile to figure out that they’re hurting. If they hide more than usual, refuse to sleep, or become more aggressive, this could indicate that they’re experiencing tooth pain. 

The single most effective mode for cleaning teeth is the mechanical action of direct contact.

First, get your cat used to the idea of having their teeth brushed. Keep the sessions short and positive. Gently massage the gums with your finger or a cotton swab.

Next, use a toothbrush designed especially for cats; it’s smaller than a human toothbrush and has softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available.

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 Use toothpaste designed for cats; using your own toothpaste can cause distress and upset your cat’s stomach. If your cat has inflamed gums, brushing their teeth too hard might be painful. Visit the vet for a quick check-up before you begin brushing. 

Also, be sure to reward your cat for being so patient while you brush their teeth with either a treat or play. This will let them know that they did a good job, as well as help make future brushings easier on you both.

In addition to brushing your cat’s teeth, chew toys and oral gels, along with specifically formulated dental treats and food can slow the formation of tartar and avoid the onset of dental disease.

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