As wonderful and naturally affectionate as dogs are, they’re not always too grateful about our efforts to look after their dental health. When all’s said and done, regular brushing is far and away the most important and effective step in keeping your canine companion’s mouth healthy. Unfortunately, many dogs aren’t big fans of this process, and need to be eased into regular toothbrushing sessions.
If you’ve read our recent Ask the Vet: Dental Care blog post, with our in-house vet Dr Jayne Laycock, though, you’ll know that brushing needs to be done at least three times a week to really be effective. So, what’s a caring pet parent to do? The answer is to introduce canine dental sticks into your dog’s dental care routine.
The question is, do dental sticks really work? Let’s take a look…
Dental sticks can have a mechanical cleaning effect
One potential benefit of dental sticks is that – like dry dog food – they can have a mechanical cleaning effect on your dog’s teeth. In other words, they can help to reduce the build-up of plaque on the surface of the teeth and at the gum-line.
Of course, the shape, ingredients and texture of the dental sticks will play a big role in how effectively they’re able to do this.
Not all dental sticks are created equal
Dental sticks come in many different varieties, with some containing ingredients that are scientifically proven to make a difference, and others that, put simply, aren’t backed by science.
Here are just a few ways that quality can vary between different dental sticks...
For dental sticks to have a good cleaning effect on your dog’s teeth, without risking unnecessary complications, there’s a sweet spot they should hit in terms of how firm they are.
Too soft, and they may not have the desired mechanical cleaning effect. Too firm and they may be uncomfortable for your dog or could risk irritating their mouth.
If the dental sticks achieve the right balance though, they’ll be able to achieve a good mechanical cleaning effect while also being safe and enjoyable for your four-pawed pal.
One of the challenges when cleaning your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush can be getting to those hard-to-reach areas at the back of their mouth.
Dental sticks with a good shape can encourage a dog to chew with their back teeth and therefore help with cleaning those hard-to-reach areas.
Pay attention to the shape of the dental sticks you’re buying, the claims made about the shape, and other customers’ reviews.
3. Deeper-level oral hygiene
While various dental stick brands will be able to give your dog’s teeth a basic ‘scrub,’ there’s a lot more to overall oral health than simply the mechanical cleaning portion of things.
Unfortunately, not all dental sticks address these deeper-level aspects of oral hygiene and dental health. Thankfully, YuMOVE are on hand with a product that does.
The elephant in the room: some dental sticks don’t directly target the oral microbiome at all (but ours do)
The truth is that some dental sticks simply don’t address the balance of bacteria in your dog’s mouth – and bacteria is at the heart of everything when it comes to dental health.
‘Plaque’ is a sticky bacterial film that naturally forms in the mouth. If it isn’t properly tackled at this stage, it hardens to form ‘tartar,’ a tough deposit than sits on the teeth. From here, the tartar traps more bad bacteria, making it even harder to clean the teeth and resulting in smelly breath and sore gums.
While some dental sticks will partly scrape away plaque, not all dental sticks actually target the bad bacteria directly...
Enter YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks – a revolution in canine dental care!
YuMOVE Dental Care Sticks are the only dental sticks to contain our unique, scientifically proven ActivBarrier™ soft centre, which is designed to create a barrier along teeth and gums. Proven to target bad bacteria while supporting the naturally good bacteria and helping to maintain a healthy mouth.
Not only do our Dental Care Sticks actually tackle bad bacteria directly, but their flexible spiral shape is also designed to maximise contact with the tooth surface. This means they effectively reduce the build-up of plaque and help to reduce the formation of tartar.
Thanks to their effect on the oral microbiome, our Dental Care Sticks also target the bacteria that cause bad breath, resulting in a cleaner mouth and fresher breath.
In addition to all of that, our sticks can be used alongside regular tooth brushing but don’t use antibacterial toothpastes as this can impact the effect of our ActivBarrier® technology.
We know we’re tooting our own horn here, but the fact is we’d simply be doing you and your dog a disservice if we didn’t.
Final verdict: dental sticks can help, but quality is everything
Like we said at the beginning of this article, a good dental care routine for your dog should involve regular toothbrushing. When it comes to the question of whether dental sticks can work, though, the answer is a clear ‘yes,’ but with an important caveat:
Dental sticks can really help, but quality is everything.
When you buy your dog well-designed dental sticks, with quality ingredients, the right texture, and the right shape, they can have a noticeable effect. When you step it up a level and give your dog a product like ours, that also gets to the root of the issue by tackling bad bacteria directly, the results can be revolutionary – and we’re being totally toothful about that claim!
Ready to sink your teeth into some more juicy articles about canine dental care? If so, check out 5 tips to promote overall oral health, and Ask the Vet: Dental Care, with our in-house vet, Dr Jayne Laycock.