Dog and Cat Dry Kibbles and the Myth of Cleaner Teeth
Imagine going to your dentist and being told to forget using your toothbrush — because all you really need for good dental health is to simply eat a few crunchy tortilla chips every day.
And like magic, your teeth will be sparkling clean.
Well, you’re right. It’s utterly ridiculous.
But that’s precisely what most of us have been told about the magical tooth-cleaning power of dry dog and cat food.
Well, now it’s time to separate the science from the myth.
Why Tooth Debris
Is So Difficult to Remove:
There are three kinds of dental debris…
- Food particles
- Tartar (calculus)
Food particles are easy to remove. Just drinking water can even remove much of the free-floating fragments from around a dog’s or cat’s teeth.
However, plaque and tartar are different.
Plaque is the sticky biofilm that adheres tightly to every tooth surface. It requires physical scrubbing to remove it.
What’s worse, once cleaned away, plaque returns again within just 24 hours.
Left along the gumline long enough, plaque slowly and inevitably turns into a rock-hard, barnacle-like crust referred to as calculus, more commonly known as tartar.
Plaque is what you remove with your toothbrush. Tartar is the hard stuff your dentist scrapes away when you get your teeth cleaned.
Dry Dog and Cat Food Causes More Dental Problems
Than It Solves
Sure, crunchy kibble can remove some of the plaque near the tops of a dog’s or cat’s teeth. But it’s completely ineffective within the critical zone near the gumline.
And that’s where plaque and tartar do their ultimate damage — causing cavities and gum disease.
Even industry watchdogs look the other way when products claim to cleanse or whiten teeth. They simply avoid the issue altogether by labeling these unscientific claims as “not objectionable”1.
In plain English…
Dry dog and cat food does not help create healthier teeth and gums.
In fact, since most are loaded with a much higher refined carbohydrate content, dry dog and cat foods can actually increase plaque and tartar levels — and thus cause more dental problems than they supposedly prevent.
So, when choosing between canned or dry dog or cat food, it’s OK to choose dry kibble. But don’t choose it because you believe it’s better for your dog’s or cat’s teeth.
A Much Better Way and Effective
to Clean Your Dog’s Teeth
Although it’s not perfect, there’s a simple and more natural way to improve a dog’s dental health without resorting to “teeth cleaning kibble”.
And that’s using raw meaty bones.
Because of their mildly abrasive texture and their ability to flex around the teeth, raw meaty bones can help remove plaque without using harsh toothpastes and chemicals.
These bones are generally considered safe and digestible for most dogs.
However, because they can splinter, never use cooked bones of any kind. And for the same reasons, avoid weight bearing leg bones from larger animals.
The Most Reliable Way
to Prevent Dental Disease in Dogs and Cats…
The only scientifically proven way to decrease plaque and tartar is the same for dogs and cats as it is for humans — daily brushing combined with routine tartar removal by a health professional.
Unfortunately, without daily care and regular professional cleanings, canine and feline dental disease is a near certainty.
So, give it a try. Notice how it’s done here in the photo — using a baby-soft toothbrush. Or you can add a special food-flavored canine toothpaste.
Another way to reduce and/or eliminate plaque for dog’s and cat’s if your dog or cat will not tolerate having their teeth brushed…
There are now a number of all natural enzymes offered on the market meant for removing plaque on teeth by simpy adding a little to the dog’s or cat’s food. An internationally patented and clinically tested product, ProDen PlaqueOff® Animal fights tartar and plaque on tooth surfaces and reduces bacterial presence. The active element in PlaqueOff® Animal is a specially selected seaweed, Ascophyllum nodosum, harvested from the clean and cold seas of Norway and Iceland. A 100% all natural product, ProDen PlaqueOff® Animal is free from artificial colours and preservatives and contains no gluten or sugar.
The Bottom Line
Dry dog food is probably not the best way to keep your dog’s teeth clean and free from dental disease. For better results, use a toothbrush. Or raw meaty bones. Or natural plaque reducing enzymes.
You’ll be adding comfort and years of better health to your dog’s life.