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Healthy Hounds: A Comprehensive Guide to Canine Dental Care

Canine Dental Care

By Hilarie Steele, RDH CEO Operations and Relationships
at Best Natural Smile, Santa Monica, California

Just as we prioritize our own dental hygiene, it’s equally important to pay attention to our furry friends’ oral health. A dog’s dental care is often overlooked, but it plays a significant role in their overall well-being.

Poor oral health can lead to various health issues in dogs such as gum disease, tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

To prevent these detrimental effects, it’s essential for pet owners to prioritize their dog’s dental care.

The good news is that with a little effort and the right tools, you can help your canine companion maintain a healthy and shining smile.

In this blog, I will walk you through the process of brushing your dog’s teeth and share my favorite products for the job.

Let’s get started.

Before you embark on the journey of brushing your dog’s teeth, gather the essential supplies.

Our canine oral health favorites:

1. Toothpaste: We recommend Radius Organic Canine Dental Gel. This toothpaste is specially formulated for dogs and comes in appealing flavors to make the experience more enjoyable for your pet. My favorite (and Brody’s) is cinnamon. 

2. Toothbrush: Opt for the Radius Lush & Plush Soft Pet Toothbrush. The soft bristles are gentle on your dog’s gums and teeth. After each use please rinse the brush thoroughly and allow it to air dry. Once a week after rinsing the brush you can apply a bit of the Nolvadent oral cleaning solution to the brush to disinfect it.

3. Mouth Rinse: Consider using Green Dog Dental Purrfect Smile mouth rinse to help freshen your dog’s breath.

4. Oral Cleaning Solution: Nolvadent is an effective cleaning solution that can be used in conjunction with brushing. This extra step helps to disinfect and reduce the amount of bad bacteria in the mouth.

5. A Small Cup of Drinking Water: A few tablespoons of filtered water will suffice. It can be used to moisten the toothbrush for a smoother brushing experience and also helps distribute the toothpaste.

The Routine

Now that you have all your supplies ready, it’s time to start the brushing process. Here’s my step-by-step guide.

1. Get Comfortable: Find a comfortable spot where you and your dog can both relax. You can have your dog on your lap or partially on you, depending on their size and temperament.

2. Introduce the Toothbrush: Let your dog get familiar with the toothbrush by allowing them to sniff or even lick it. This helps your dog become more comfortable with the toothbrush.

3. Apply Toothpaste: Apply a small bead of canine toothpaste to the brush. Use approximately ¼ inch for smaller dogs and a bit more for larger breeds. Make sure your dog is facing forward.

4. Start Slow: It’s crucial to ease your dog into the routine. Begin by touching your dog’s teeth and gums with your finger, allowing them to taste the toothpaste.

5. Brushing: Begin by holding your dog’s muzzle in one hand and the toothbrush with toothpaste in the other. With your free hand, gently pull up their lip to access their teeth.

Insert the toothbrush, and start brushing from the back teeth, moving forward on the same side in a circular motion.

You can dip the toothbrush in the water to add some fluid for a smoother experience. Repeat on the opposite side of the mouth.

Gradually introduce them to the toothbrush and brushing. Focus on the outside of the teeth, as this is where most plaque accumulates.

6. Consistency is Key: Start with short brushing sessions and gradually increase the time as your dog becomes more comfortable.

Aim for daily brushing, but if that’s not possible, ensure at least 2 to 3 times a week.

canine oral health

7. Be Patient: Not all dogs will embrace tooth brushing immediately. Be patient and understanding, and make sure the experience is positive for your dog.

8. Regular Veterinary Check-Ups: Don’t forget that regular check-ups with the veterinarian are essential to monitor your dog’s oral health and catch any issues early.

9. Consult a Veterinarian: If you see something, say something. If you encounter difficulties or notice that your dog’s breath is not optimal, please consult your veterinarian for guidance.

Check out this tutorial video which shows my recommended step by step process to introduce and successfully clean your pets teeth.

In Conclusion

A little effort in maintaining your best friend’s oral hygiene can go a long way in ensuring their overall health and happiness.

Regular veterinary check-ups and daily brushing are key to promoting good oral health for your dog. 

Remember, consistency is key, and over time, your dog should become more accustomed to the routine.

By following this dental care routine and using the recommended products, you can help your dog maintain a healthy and shining smile.

Just like us, our pets deserve to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health, and with your care and attention, they can.

dog owner - canine dental care

If you happen to be struggling at home with tooth brushing and are in the Los Angeles area, don’t hesitate to reach out to Green Dog Dental.

Happy brushing!

If you have any questions about your own oral health or smile longevity, email my team at, and we’ll get back to you! We read and reply to every response. 

P.S. If you want to book an appointment, you can give us a call or book an appointment here we’ll get it sorted for you 🙂 

A note from Hilarie:

I’m a dental hygienist and patient advocate at Best Natural Smile in Santa Monica, California. My passion lies in making dental care more accessible and assisting patients in attaining long-lasting smiles. If you have any inquiries regarding dental care or wish to schedule a complimentary coaching session, feel free to contact me at My team and I are dedicated to ensuring that you and your beloved furry companions can enjoy the radiance of healthy smiles.

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hilarie steele, rdh

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