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Before Switching to a Dental Diet …
You should decide whether a dental diet is appropriate for your pet by discussing it with your veterinarian first. It is not always appropriate to use a dental diet instead of a brush, and not all animals are suited to this type of diet. This may be due to underlying health issues, the current health status of the teeth and gums, or the age of your pet. Before initiating a dental diet, your veterinary dentist may even suggest a professional teeth cleaning, among or other procedures.
If you are planning to switch to a dental diet you will also need to keep in mind that in order to make it work you will need to abstain from sharing table scraps or extra treats with your pet, as this will defeat the purpose of the dental diet. It may be difficult to get used to not sharing with your furry friend, but keep in mind that if she loses her teeth or suffers from gum irritation due to tartar buildup, she won't be able to eat anything but mushy foods.
In the long run, you will be glad that you and your pet endured the short-term suffering of unhealthy treat withdrawal in favor of the long-term benefits that come from having healthy teeth.
Image: D. Sharon Pruitt / via Flickr
Another word for the gums; the membrane around the teeth and the lining of the mouth
A soft deposit from food left on the teeth; easily removed