Puppies and kittens are born without teeth. That’s the good news. Six to eight weeks later they’ll develop a full set of baby teeth – and a potential set of problems.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that veterinary dental care begin at this early stage, evaluating puppies and kittens for issues related to healthy oral development.
During a routine examination, which can be performed while patients are awake, your veterinarian will look for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease, and oral tumors. A more thorough examination, including dental cleaning, requires a short-lasting anesthetic and should be performed at least annually once your pet reaches adulthood. The teeth should be professionally cleaned, scaled, and polished to remove all plaque and calculus. Many veterinarians now use ultrasonic dental units, similar to the ones used on people, for cleaning your pets’ teeth.