Dirty teeth can lead to bad breath and dental disease. In addition to the pain caused by decaying teeth, dangerous bacteria can enter your dog’s bloodstream and lead to more serious health issues. Start cleaning your dog’s teeth when he is young so it becomes routine. Help your dog become accustomed to having his teeth and gum touched. Reach in and massage his gums and touch his teeth. Next move onto a piece of gauze and eventually work up to a doggy toothbrush or a finger brush. Add some dog-safe toothpaste for more effective cleaning and to act on hard to reach places. Work to clean your dog’s teeth at least twice per week. Consider using plaque-reducing water supplements and synthetic chew bones to work on tarter reduction and gum health. Remember that even with the best of care, your dog will need periodic professional cleanings. For more information, contact your London, ON veterinarian.