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Salisbury Surgery 01722 412211
Amesbury Surgery 01980 623888
Wilton Surgery 01722 742332

How to Clean Your Dog's Teeth

Apply the pet toothpaste to the soft-bristled dog toothbrush and then push it down into the bristles.

Choose a time when your dog is settled. Sit him down quietly, either on the floor or a table/counter surface for a small dog.

Without restraint, allow him to lick the toothpaste first.

Place one hand across the bridge of the nose (muzzle) with a finger or thumb under the chin to keep the mouth closed.

Gently lift the top lip and insert the toothbrush inside the cheek.

At your discharge appointment, one of our team will discuss with you how to care for your pet after an operation and arrange post operative appointments where necessary

The most important place to brush is at the gum line. Move the brush in gentle circular motions with emphasis of the stroke away from the gum line.

DO NOT scrub the teeth. The goal is to brush the outside surfaces of all the teeth in a systematic way.

If, initially, your pet does not co- operate for long enough; start each session by brushing at a different position in his mouth. The back (molar) teeth should be cleaned first, especially the upper ones; next the canine teeth and finally, once your pet is happy to accept this, the front teeth.

Brushing the inner surfaces of the teeth can prove to be difficult. If you are unable to do this, don’t despair. Providing the rest of the teeth are reasonably clean, the tongue will do quite a good job of this.

If your pet has inflamed gums (gingivitis), our vet may advise that you use a dental gel or solution containing chlorhexidine to improve the gums.

Chlorhexidine works best when combined with daily tooth brushing to remove the debris.

Remember, there is no point wrestling with your pet. Try the make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Reward him with a small treat and lavish praise if he behaves well.

Dental Care

It is generally recognised in clinical practice, between 70-80% of cats and dogs over three years old will have some degree of dental disease.

Over time, debris, bacteria and inflammatory cells build up on the teeth to form plaque which, if not removed, will become mineralised to the hardened substance known as tartar, or dental calculus.

This in turn, can cause inflammation of the gums know as gingivitis, and may lead to periodontitis which can cause loosening of the teeth in their sockets. Ultimately dental disease can leave pets with sore, smelly and painful mouths, and cause them to be unwell.

In some cats there is a genetic weakness in the tooth enamel that leads to painful erosive lesions on that can lead to the crowns breaking away exposing the nerve and root.These teeth require extracting to remove the source of pain.

These, and other dental conditions, are always checked for as part of any veterinary or nurse clinic examination and during the annual health check and vaccination.

Once a vet or nurse has examined your pet, advised a dental procedure would be beneficial and discussed all the pre-operative considerations, we will move forward with a general anaesthetic when a much more extensive examination will be possible.

The tartar will be gently removed from the surfaces of the teeth with special instruments and a sonic scaler.

All the teeth will be checked for areas of damage and security within the socket and then polished carefully to remove any microscopic lines on the surface of the enamel which will help to slow down the accumulation of plaque in the future.

If extractions have been necessary, your pet may require pain relief and antibiotics. We have a state of the art dental machine which has a high speed drill to aid in tooth extractions and root removal, a sonic scaler, high speed polisher and water spray coolant.

When your pet has recovered from the anaesthetic, a nurse will discharge your pet and book a FREE follow-up appointment. This is to ensure the mouth and remaining teeth are comfortable, all extraction sites are healing well and your pet is eating normally again.

They will also give you clear guidelines on how to continue with good dental health and oral disease prevention.

It is well known that plaque can begin to build up on the surfaces of the teeth very quickly after a dental has been performed and that tooth brushing, in conjunction with other measures, is the most effective way of minimising this accumulation.

Pets should be introduced to brushing slowly, using a soft pet toothbrush and specially formulated toothpaste.

The toothbrush should be used in small gentle circular movements in the area where the tooth meets the gum.

It is known that plaque can start to build up on the tooth surfaces very quickly even after a dental has been performed, and tooth brushing is the most effective way of minimising the accumulation of dental deposits.

Pets should be introduced to this process slowly, using a soft toothbrush, and toothpaste formulated especially for pets.

The toothbrush should be used in a gentle circular motion around the area where the tooth meets the gum. To supplement home dental care regimes, there are specialised veterinary diets, chews, pastes, gels and granules available to buy from us, all of which help to decrease the accumulation of plaque on the teeth.

At Avon Lodge we have a Dental Care Scheme which includes a general anaesthetic, scale and polish, with check-ups at a week, a month and 6 months following the procedure to monitor for new plaque formation and discuss on-going dental hygiene.


  • Have your pets’ teeth properly cleaned
  • Feed dry food exclusively – no tinned or other processed foods and no adding water to dry food
  • Provide specific dental chews but not too often as these can cause weight gain
  • Brush regularly if possible
  • Check your pets’ teeth on a weekly basis

You are most welcome to make an appointment with our qualified dental nurse, Jane, for a FREE dental examination and demonstration on simple, easy and practical ways to maintain good dental health. Please phone on 01722 412211.

Review from a Client

"As a first time dog owner I didn’t realise that I was over feeding Arthur my Lhasa Apso, with treats on top of his food. I wanted to be kind to him so I kept “treating him” and I also treat trained him too. Over time he gained a lot of weight and maxed out at 11.4kg when he should have been around 9-9.5kg. Also as a small breed he is prone to teeth problems due to cramming so this was another area I was very concerned by.

I tried to address the weight loss myself but failed miserably! So when I moved vets and found out Avon Lodge offered a free service to guide you with weight and dental care I was over the moon!

Every month we saw Helen for weight advice & Jane for guidance on dental care. Both of these lovely ladies have advised me on what to feed Arthur and how to care for his teeth brilliantly! We are soooo grateful to them! We now know how to brush properly to keep the plaque at bay so hopefully he’ll never suffer with toothache and not be able to tell me he’s in pain as that would be just awful and his weight is under control.

I am so happy that’s he now weighs 9.7kg (a big ole 1.7kg loss!!) and is a much healthier little man!

The service that these two lovely ladies have given us is just fantastic! I can’t praise the practice enough. ALL the staff at Avon Lodge are amazing. From the minute we joined we have received nothing but sound advice, friendliness and superb care from everyone we’ve met! This free advisory service they offer really is so helpful and very much appreciated by us!

A huge huge thank you from a healthy Arthur and a happy Sarah."