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What do you do for teeth?

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  • What do you do for teeth?

    I've seen dental picks sold on some different wholesalers websites, and I'm wondering do any of you offer tarter scraping? If so is this pretty common? What percentage of groomers offer it? My school was not as thorough as most of your probably were and she didn't even mention it anything other than a quick check of the condition of the teeth so we could mention it to the client. How many groomers brush the teeth of the dogs? I have a rubber gum massager/tooth "brush" for my dogs: would I buy one of these and sanitize it for each dog?

  • #2
    You're opening up a huuuuge can of worms here. But I'll take the bait, lol.

    First of all, we are GROOMERS, and realistically speaking, we have NO business doodling around inside the mouth of a dog. Scaling? How do you get under the gumline? If you're not getting under the gumline, what is the point?

    I think your school taught you well about teeth: Check them, let the owners know what you see, and send them on their way. I don't ask my hair stylist to clean my teeth, and I wouldn't ask a groomer to scale my dog's teeth.

    Do I brush them? Yes...and no. I brush the teeth on dogs that are regular clients at the animal hospital who get regular dentals, and because the vets I work for tell me it's part of my job. Fine. But I don't put a toothbrush near a mouth that looks bad. The bacteria you loosen can get into the bloodstream. While it is rare, it CAN potentially kill a dog. This is a fact.

    I feel our clients are better served by our professional opinion, "While going over Fluffy, I checked his teeth and gums, and he could really use a dental." I often give the client a hand-out that has photos of various grades of periodontal disease, and put a checkmark by the one that is pertinent. I often check this with the vets.

    Curious to see all the other replies. Please don't get upset, we are all passionate about what we do, just hear the opinions and then give yours.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate


    • #3
      really! Ok, that was really good to hear-I do NOT want to go messing up those dogs mouth. I can totally see that being true about the bacteria getting into the bloodstream because I know a dog who has a really ugly looking thing going on with her mouth, so I've seen scary looking dental problems! I was looking on ehow, and it didn't mention that, it just said scrape away from the teeth, so it makes it sound pretty easy for any pet-owner to do. Thank God someone on this site has vet training and posts all the time-I always learn interesting things from you!


      • #4
        The "school" I went too offered teeth scaling. I did it for awhile. That was before I realized how dangerous it was. I simply didn't know any better and that is what the school taught. I saw teeth crack and teeth fall out. The bacteria COULD have gotten into the bloodstream. I COULD have killed a dog or caused serious problems!

        Now I believe that a groomer has absolutely no business going into a dog's mouth. I have TWO dogs that I brush their teeth and their owners had to BEG me to do it. If a client asks me about it, I explain to them that unless the dog is having its teeth brushed three times a week it won't do any good. So it's a waste of money. If they are brushing the dog's teeth then they don't need me to do it AGAIN it is a waste of money. Then I show them a bag of CET chews (I don't brush my own dog's teeth, but I do give them one CET chew a day and dentals once a year).

        In some areas it is also considered practicing medicine and it is illegal.
        Last edited by keyray; 04-02-10, 09:45 PM.
        "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


        • #5

          Three words: Oh. My. God!! That's crazy. Don't worry, I will definitely leave the teeth alone!! And maybe get a little stricter about brushing my own dogs teeth ALOT more often to prevent stuff like this lol.... Yeah, it seems more like it would fit in the field of medicine: after all, dentists are doctors too aren't they? I'm interested in those CET chews you mentioned: what are those? And where do you get them?

          Hm, it's interesting that suppliers sell them.


          • #6
            Thanks for not being offended. I just re-read my post and boy did I sound harsh! I don't know how I do that, when what is going through my mind is so far from harsh!

            But anyway, yes, I think we need to be careful about putting our hands in a dog's mouth.

            Actually, Keyray said something really important: In some states that is practicing veterinary medicine...without a license. BUUUUSTED.

            Tammy in Utah
            Groomers Helper Affiliate


            • #7
              Aside from how dangerous it can be, there is also the problem of, if it's simply scraped away and not polished, you are leaving grooves in the tooth for the tarter to come right back on.

              My shop has an independent company of trained vet techs that do anesthesia free teeth cleaning. Its exactly what you would get from a vet, and most of the technicians used to do just that for the vet, but instead of putting them under they wrap them in a towel, lean them back, and clean them that way. They do a great job and I don't have to worry about anything. I don't even promote our teeth brushing service.
              There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.


              • #8
                My vet says no way....

                My vet and I suppose most vets would say DO NOT scale teeth. The only thing my vet said I could do was to swab the teeth with a cotton balls that had hydrogen peroxide on it. It will help to break up the tarter, whiten, etc. However, unless the client is willing to do this regularly it's probably pointless for us to do it.
                A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~


                • #9
                  I don't even BRUSH!!!

                  Many groomers get $$ for brushing a dog's teeth, but in my research of this the information is that unless the dog gets teeth brushed/wiped every day or two, it does no good. Now I could take $5 for one minute of work, but I just can't do it knowing that it is useless. So I no longer offer it. Besides, many people ask for this as a way to make themselves feel better about not getting the dog's teeth cleaned by the vet when it is needed, so I just tell them that their dog DEFINITELY needs the vet to do the teeth!!


                  • #10
                    We offer it, don't promote it, don't encourage it, but will do it if the owner insists.

                    It is basically a rip-off.


                    • #11
                      The only thing I do regarding try like the dickens to avoid them connecting with my flesh.
                      Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


                      • #12
                        There are several products available that you can offer for sale to your clients. You still get the money...only they do it! Oxyfresh, Petzlife, and Plaq Clnz all come to mind as something you can market to your clients that the vets don't seem to have an issue with. You can check them out online and carry products if you'd like. Several years ago, I took a bottle of Oxyfresh to my vet. At that time she hadn't heard of it but said it looked fine to use. She now sells a lot of it to clients at the clinic and says she's seen a clear difference between the pets that use it and the ones that don't.


                        • #13
                          Spikey, the handout you mentioned with the pictures of dog's teeth, did you get it from somewhere or make it yourself? Would you be willing to share? :-D


                          • #14

                            Soooo Glad I read this post.
                            I scale my own dogs teeth, (just the front)- not anymore! Thanx for the info.
                            On another note, I've starting using a spray, new product by Plqclnz.
                            It doesn't taste awful like Petzlife & it REALLY freshens their breathe.
                            I also purchased the irragator that they promoted, (looks like a water pick) but I have hooked it up yet.
                            I didn't realize the extra plumbling involved w/ it. I don't have a clue where I'm gonna hook it up.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Briarpatch View Post
                              Several years ago, I took a bottle of Oxyfresh to my vet. At that time she hadn't heard of it but said it looked fine to use. She now sells a lot of it to clients at the clinic and says she's seen a clear difference between the pets that use it and the ones that don't.
                              See, I used it for like 3 years, not only on my own dogs, but I sold it to all my friends and many clients. I stopped because I just could not find a single dog out of like, 30-40 that I checked regularly (again, including my own so I know it was being used correctly) that it made a difference with. That's not to say that it can't or won't in certain cases, but I just couldn't justify selling it anymore.
                              There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.