If you’re new to my blog, let me fill you in on something… Lucy and I love to do everything together! When I found out that February was National Pet Dental Health Month I thought it would be a great time to focus on dental health for both of us! Read on to see how a dog mom does pet dental health month and get more details on Lucy and my new routines. We want to keep our pearly whites healthy and beautiful!
Lucy’s Dental Health
The American Veterinary Medical Association has a ton of resources about Pet Dental Health. I took this quiz to see how much I knew about caring for my dog’s teeth, and actually learned a ton! The AVMA points out that daily brushing is ideal, but they realize that’s not always realistic. They recommend that you aim to brush your pet’s teeth at least three times per week. That sounds pretty do-able!
One of the most shocking things I found out while taking the quiz is that 80% of dogs have some kind of periodontal disease by the age of 3! Lucy just turned 5, so there’s no better time than now to get serious about her teeth. I found a ton of dental care products at our local pet store to help Lucy and I get on track. Since I’ve never actually brushed her teeth, I decided to take baby steps getting her comfortable with it.
I bought an enzymatic dog tooth paste and a rubber ball with “bristles” that I squeeze a little paste on a few times a week. This will get Lucy comfortable with the taste of the paste and by giving it to her on a ball it seems like a special treat that she gets excited for! I’ve been doing this for a few weeks and plan to graduate to add brushing into the routine soon. Although there are a lot of treats on the market that claim to clean your dog’s mouth, there’s no replacement for actual brushing. I might still give Lucy those types of treats because they can’t hurt, but we’re going to be brushing on the regular from now on.
Tori’s Dental Health
For my own dental health, I’ve struggled with plaque build up for years and recently noticed dark plaque stains showing up in between my teeth. So, the first step was to step up my flossing game. I committed to flossing daily and it cut down on the dark stains. Making my teeth look good isn’t just about appearances. Just like with pets, dental health is closely linked to my overall health. A 2016 study found that “having gum disease increases the risk of a first heart attack by 28%.”
Flossing helps, but so does watching what you eat and brushing regularly. If my teeth are nice and white, I know I will be more inclined to keep them that way. Luckily, I had the opportunity to try out a professional at home teeth whitening system from Smile Brilliant.
I did whitening strips years ago, but haven’t really done anything like that since. I am very sensitive to sulfates and most whitening toothpastes contain that ingredient, so I never really pursued teeth whitening. I was excited to find out that Smile Brilliant gels are sulfate free, and the whitening gel actually only contains 7 ingredients. Part of the whitening process is flossing before each use, so I knew this was a good step to take to help me keep up with my new dental health routine!
When you purchase a Smile Brilliant kit, the first thing you get is a set up impression trays and paste to make molds of your top and bottom teeth. It took me about 15 minutes to get the molds created, then I shipped them back so my whitening trays could be created. Throughout the whole process I got emails updating me on the status of my trays, which was a really nice extra touch!
When I got the trays back I was really impressed with how perfectly they fit my teeth. They are such a great fit that you can hardly tell I have them in just by looking. This gave me the confidence to whiten while I walked the dog (two birds, one stone!). However, I couldn’t really talk that well with the trays in, resulting in one pretty awkward interaction at the library!
In my kit I got a few syringes of the whitening and desensitizing gel. Each syringe is plenty for several treatments, so far I’ve only used up 1 syringe of each and think I have great results! This is from about half a dozen sessions of 1-2 hours. When I got over 2 hours I experienced a lot of sensitivity, so I’d recommend gradually working your way up and seeing what works best for you and your teeth. I’m going to continue treatment with one more syringe and save the last one for a touch up later in the year, if needed. You can always order new syringes, so hold on to those trays!
I was provided with a complimentary Smile Brilliant kit in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.