Yesterday AnnaBelle had to have her teeth cleaned.  AnnaBelle is 6 years old and Lucy is 11.  Lucy has beautiful teeth and has never had to have them cleaned.  We tried brushing AnnaBelles when she was little but it just became a huge fight and because Lucy was always fine I never really though too much about it (bad Momma).  I have always given them hard food and crunchy treats thinking this would help with cleaning the teeth.  So, imagine my surprise when I went to pick her up and she had 2 cracked teeth that had to be pulled.  I was totally shocked.  I have never worried too much about Antlers or Nyla Bones.  Neither of them are huge chewers so they don't really spend hours chewing on them.  They each got a BeneBone for their birthday and they were tossed aside in less than 15 mins.  So, I guess the question is, what's the difference in the teeth.  Wondering why AnnaBelle had so much tartar and Lucy basically has none.  Obviously the bones have now all been put up, but I wonder, is it really the bones or is all of this just a difference in genetic make up and one has good teeth and the other doesn't.  Just all things that have been going through my head since my shock when picking her up.

I asked the Tech at the Vet what I can do to help her teeth and she mentioned that there are Enzematic Chews that are made to help remove the plaque.  Anyone familiar with these or have any suggestions?

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  • I used to give Olive Benebones, Marrow Bones and Antlers.  No more!  To my surprise just as you, the Vet discovered a cracked back molar and we have to have it pulled.  2 years later, he have the tooth before it pulled because it became loose.  Vet said that was not uncommon because of the large space.  Anyhow, I now have the same problem with Oliver, not with Ivy.  I had his teeth cleaned a bit over a year ago and I feel like they could be cleaned again.  My Vet recommended a water additive which I have been using.  I tried the Virbac Enzematic chews but I feel like those are still rawhide.  What I recently found and Oliver tolerates it are the dental wipes (Oliver does not cooperate with using a brush to clean his teeth).  I also bought an Enzematic gel which is supposed to help loosen the tarter.  I will have to let you know if that seems to work.

  • I think it has to do with how the dog chews too.  Riley chews quite hard so I do worry about her teeth...but she sort of "grinds" away at her antlers instead of chomping on them.  Luna I never worried about her because she just had very little interest in chewing in general.

    I really need to get back to brushing Riley's teeth, she is starting to get a little plaque on her back molars.  

  • Teeth are definitely genetic. That's why you can have two kids from the same parents who both eat the same diet and have the same dental hygiene habits, and one has a mouth full of cavities and the other has none. (My sister and me, and I was the lucky one, lol.) I know that none of my dogs has ever cracked or chipped a tooth, and all have been given really hard chews like beef marrow bones on a regular basis. 
    Hard kibble and crunchy treats do nothing to clean teeth or prevent tartar. It's kind of like humans eating Doritos, lol. 
    There are all kinds of dental chews and I know we've discussed them here many times, maybe in the FG, maybe the Health group. You might try doing a search in the groups, not from the main DK search function. 
    I like Whimzees toothbrushes (the chews). Do they help? I'm not sure, as I have nothing to compare them to. My last Mini Poodle chewed rawhides and had perfect clean tartar free teeth; never cleaned or even brushed once in 16 years. But whether that was genetic or from the rawhides, I have no idea. At any rate, now we know rawhides aren't safe, so that's not a suggestion. But I do think chewing appropriate kinds of chews does help keep tartar at bay.

    • I'm one of those people with the fun weak enamel needing fillings all the time.  It's so annoying!  

      Hopefully Riley has the strong teeth genetics with the way she chews lol.

    • Thanks Karen -- where is the search button to search just within a specific group.  I was in the Food Group looking for a search button and don't see a separate one.  The one at the top always says search DoodleKisses, and that was I have not been able to get any results from in quite a while now.  I was honestly pretty sad to learn the rawhides were bad because I really felt like those would help.  Our mini poodle never had teeth issues either.  Lucy had them in the early years but AnnaBelle has never had one.  We are pretty limited on what we can use for chews because of Lucy's food allergies.  Guess I have some research to do.

  • Our vets all agree that any safe "chew" must be soft enough so that a fingernail pressed into it should be able to make an impression. 

    • See, I disagree with that, because it simply isn't true. Using a fingernail, I can't make an impression in a beef trachea, or a beef tendon, or a beef scapula, but I know all of those are safe. A dog can't break a tooth on any of them, and they are all fully digestible. 
      For that matter, you can't make an impression with your fingernail in a dog biscuit, either. 
      I wish the vets would come up with some other way to say this. The fingernail impression thing doesn;t really work. 

  • We use these enzymatic veggie chews, they come on rawhide too but rawhide scares me a bit.


    • These have been recommended by other members too. Only problem would be if a dog is sensitive or allergic to grains, especially corn. 

  • Thanks everyone for your responses.  Guess I'm going to be doing some research to figure out what to do here.

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