As with humans, puppies have baby teeth, they have 28 of these, which will fall by six to eight months of age and are then replaced by 42 adult teeth, (20 on the top and 22 on the bottom). Similarly, kittens have 26 baby teeth which are replaced at a similar age with 30 adult teeth (16 on the top and 14 on the bottom).
A proportion of cats (and some dogs) will not tolerate anything past this stage, While dental hygiene is very important, do not risk your safety, if you see signs of your pet getting very stressed despite this initial desensitisation period, it may be preferable to use gels, rinses or dental chews for your pet instead
These products contain chlorhexidine which is effective in killing bacteria in the mouth. It is these bacteria that form the plaque which goes on to damage teeth and gums. Chlorhexidine also has a residual effect which continues to fight bacteria for 18 hours after application. Gel products are beneficial in pets that suffer from or are likely to develop gum disease and can also be beneficial in cats where brushing is not tolerated as they can be applied with a cotton bud and may allow progression to a toothbrush. Oral rinses are especially useful if gums are too sore to brush, especially immediately after a dental treatment. Both gels and oral rinses are to be used on a daily basis. Specific instructions will be given for individual pets, however usually a small volume (1 – 5mls) is flushed into the mouth with a syringe twice daily.