Ask Harley

Do animals need to brush their teeth?

We all know it is important to clean your teeth regularly. Doing so helps avoid caries (tooth decay), plaque (build-up of bacteria), tartar (build-up of minerals), and gingivitis (gum inflammation which can lead to infection).

Although human beings are the only animals that actually use toothbrushes, many other mammals have gum problems and chronic infections. So, yes, some animals do need to brush their teeth, although, of course they can't.

If you have a dog or cat, you can do him a big favor and clean his teeth regularly. (I brush my cat's teeth every day.)