Wikipedia: Canine Dental Hygiene

Canine dental hygiene is the process of cleaning a dog’s teeth to prevent bad breath, plaque buildup, tartar buildup, and other dental issues that can lead to infections, gum disease, and tooth loss.

Plaque & Tartar

Plaque is a yellow film that forms on teeth and grows bacteria, which causes teeth to decay [1]. Tartar is hardened plaque that is virtually impossible to remove with a toothbrush and must oftentimes be removed surgically from a dog’s mouth. Dental surgery on a dog requires anesthesia.


Toothbrush and Toothpaste

A toothbrush and toothpaste are used to help remove plaque from a dog’s teeth and prevent tartar buildup.  Dog toothbrushes and toothpastes are available at most pet stores. It is not recommended to use human toothpastes for dogs because they include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs [2]. Dog toothbrushes have soft bristles and are available with two sides. Dog toothpastes come in an assortment of flavors, such as chicken, ginger, and banana.

Additional Products

Various products are available to help clean a dog’s teeth in addition to regular brushing. Dry dog food, chew bones, and chew toys help with a dog’s dental hygiene [2], but must not be used as substitutes for brushing. There are also water additives, breath strips, and mints available for dogs.



It is recommended that a small amount of toothpaste first be offered to the dog to introduce the taste [3]. Once the dog is familiar with the product, it can then be applied to his teeth. By lifting the dog’s lip, the outside of the teeth can be exposed and easily accessed. The toothbrush should be held at a 45 degree angle towards the gumline and brushing should be done in gentle circular motions [2][4][5]. Forcibly brushing a dog’s teeth will make the experience less enjoyable and difficult each time it must be done, which is why gradually easing a dog into the process is more effective.


Veterinarians recommend brushing a dog’s teeth every day starting at a young age [3][6]. This will help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Daily brushing will also help the dog become more familiar and comfortable with the process.


[1] Oral hygiene. Wikipedia. Retrieved from

[2] How to clean your dog’s teeth. Cesar’s Way. Retrieved from

[3] Do I Need to Brush My Dog’s Teeth? Banfield Pet Hospital. Retrieved from

[4] Are Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy? WebMD. Retrieved from

[5] Brushing Teeth & Home Dental Care. Retreived from

[6] Gorrel, C. & Rawlings, J.M. (1996). The role of tooth-brushing and diet maintenance of periodontal health in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Dentistry 13(4):139-143. PMID: 9520789.


2 thoughts on “Wikipedia: Canine Dental Hygiene

  1. Nice job changing beats, Kazmir.

    There is a lot of material here and you understand the various purposes it serves, as writing and Web design. The instructions and wiki assignments balance out the devils advocate with logic and research.

    Your instructions take on a recipe format. They are lean and clear and organized, but this isn’t much of a revelation for your work because it already had these characteristics. However, when you describe the building process, a few steps are open to enough interpretation that things could go wrong for the reader:

    “For wood with a thicker surface, cut the ends at an angle so that they can lay flush against the high point and low point of the ramp. For a freestanding ramp, cut the wood at your desired length so that you can form two L shapes with it under the surface of the ramp, that you can then connect across.”

    You could use a few diagrams, but that’s the trick of the assignment. If you can make it thorough without pictures, enough to teach another person, your writing reaches another level. I recommend trying to teach a friend with something you’ve written. Or just ask a friend to describe a piece of writing back to you. It illustrates the gap between you and your audience and how detailed you must be.

    Notice how much your algorithm/wireframe assignment looks like your instructions. They both have steps in bold. Take away the bolded steps and you just have a good post. Every post or article is a set of instructions on how to think like you. You understand how complete the instructions have to be to describe a Web site from first screen to last. To reach your audience, you need to be just as comprehensive explaining your thought process.

    Your Wikipedia entry creates another level of editing. What previous knowledge supports your claims? How do you bring links into your work? You can identify the strength and originality of an article by the quantity and variety of sources the piece brings together.

    I found a short mention of Dentistry under the Wikipedia Dog Health article. You could bring some of your research into that article. It’s a worthy exercise to publish one sentence on Wikipedia and see how the editors interact with your work.

    You put a link to another Wikipedia article in your endnotes. Internal links go into the body of a Wikipedia article and external links go at the bottom.

    The assignments give me a good idea of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. You have no issues with the rules, Kazmir. Even your personas are as sinewy as the rest of your work. But writing lies outside of the comfort zone you mention in your midterm. Yes, writing and sites have to follow the rules and reach the audience, but they also have to play with ideas.

    I would encourage you to write more, for yourself, openly, about your thoughts, without a goal, either in a blog, or in a journal that only you see. Thinking with the writing process becomes an engine for everything else. It gives you the ideas worth all of the research and teaching, planning and designing. We follow the rules of communication to share how we have broken other rules successfully. When it becomes a struggle to share an idea, you finally have an idea to share.

    I loved the lump post. It’s “crept” and not “krept”, by the way.

    A lot of nice work. I look forward to reading more.


  2. J.,

    This was pretty comprehensive, and I learned another way to care for my dogs.

    When you mentioned anesthesia, it was a little brief. Just a quick explanation—a sentence or two—about what effects anesthesia can have on a dog would help. Is it expensive? Tell us about this tartar removing process.

    Additionally, you could tell me about the history of canine dental hygiene. When did it start? What methods did they used to use?

    Other than that, you did a good job of taking me through every fact I needed to know.



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