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Toothpaste - Brush

The Best Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
 for Pomeranians

Overview of why Brushing Your Pomeranian's Teeth is so Important

Chewing on toys and certain dental treats can clean teeth to a certain degree. However, these do not work to fully clean the teeth.

Without proper brushing of the teeth, the following can (and often does) happen:

1) Gingivitis - This is a serious concern. Without using a good brush and paste and brushing your Pom's teeth on a regular basis, bacteria will develop under the gum line, around the roots of your dog's teeth. The gums will become inflamed, red and sometimes even bleed.
2) Plaque and tartar buildup - Saliva and tiny food particles combine to form a sticky film that covers the teeth. Chewing alone cannot remove this. 

It causes decay and in some cases, it covers the tooth so that the infection has a layer of protection and is then allowed to dig deep into the Pomeranian's mouth. 

3) Bone loss & Tooth Loss - The above reference Gingivitis, plaque and tartar along with decay will lead to infection that can lead to loose teeth and eventual tooth loss. Bones of the jaw can also decay over time. It's quite scary. 
4) Infection can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of a dog's body including the heart, liver, kidneys and brain causing major organ disease. 

5) Infection in the sinus cavities - Without the use of a great toothpaste and brush and the use of those items, when infection settles into the upper jaw, it can create pockets of pus that reach into the dog's nasal cavities. This can cause chronic sneezing and nasal discharge. 

6) Trouble with chewing and eating- If a Pomeranian survives the various infections and survives the loss of teeth, that older Pom will have trouble eating. A senior Pom without his teeth will struggle to maintain a healthy weight.  

Note: All of this is applicable to puppies as well. Issues will affect the roots of the milk teeth and the entire jaw structure that will hold the dog's adult set of teeth. Decay can travel to the teeth that are waiting to emerge.

Overview of Toothpaste for Pomeranians

Here we will discuss why just grabbing a random paste from the shelves of your local pet supply store or using your own paste is not what you want to do. 

Why can't I use human toothpaste for my Pomeranian? The use of canine paste is not a marketing scheme. There are several important reasons why you should never use your own toothpaste for your Pom. It all comes back to the fact that dogs cannot spit out the foam and bubbles. 

Fact: 95% of all human toothpaste contains sodium fluoride. This is extremely toxic to dogs. And your Pom does not need to swallow a lot of it to become dangerously poisoned. Toxic effects occur at less than ONE milligram per kilogram. Fatal poisoning occurs at a dosage of 5 milligrams per kilogram. Importantly, it gets absorbed FAST. 

At very small levels, over time, there will be staining, mottling and a wearing down of the teeth. 

It will also affect the development of the skeletal system of growing puppies. There will be abnormal bony growths and a thickening of tissue throughout the body that causes sclerosis. 

What will happen if your Pomeranian swallows a good amount of your toothpaste? If it is part of the 95% that contains sodium fluoride, the stomach and intestines will become inflamed. The dog's heart will beat rapidly. Without intervention, the Pom can collapse and die within hours. 

Fact: Many types of toothpaste are sweetened with xylitol. This is found in many, including some that are label 'all natural' and even some whitening brands. It is very dangerous for a puppy or dog to swallow any food or product with xylitol. In canines, ingestion of > 0.1 gram/kg can cause an acute, life-threatening low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) within 10-15 minutes. Additionally, it can cause severe liver disease.
What this means: The use of canine specific toothpaste is a must. There is no other option. Now, we must look at what makes one canine toothpaste better than the other. 
What makes a great toothpaste:

There are 2 factors that come into play when choosing the best toothpaste for your Pomeranian puppy or dog:

1) Taste - Without a good taste that your Pom actually enjoys, he/she will be very reluctant to having his teeth brushed. This will make things stressful for your Pom and frustrating for you. It will cut down on the length of time that you do the brushing and it may cause some owners to give up on it all together. 

When the toothpaste is flavored correctly, a Pomeranian can learn to enjoy the experience. When the right flavors are swirled around a dog's mouth, what's not to be enjoyed? 
Pomeranian with toothbrush in mouth
Mojo, photo courtesy of owner Lily Fowler
2) Actual cleaning power - The most important element that sets the best toothpaste for Poms apart from others is the proper level of abrasive cleaners in the paste. The right amount will be strong enough to scrub away plaque and food debris, remove stains and polish your dog's teeth. 

Yet, it must be mild enough so that it does not damage the enamel of the teeth. The enamel is the think outer covering of the tooth. The best paste product will draw stains from this but will not damage it. The enamel is important as it protects the tooth from daily use that includes eating, chewing and biting on toys, and involuntary grinding. 

Once the enamel is gone, it cannot grow back. If toothpaste is too harsh, it can wear down this important protective layer which leads to sensitivity, decay and possible damage to the nerve of the tooth. 

If You Need Help Choosing a Toothpaste - If you are not happy with the product that you are using or if your Pom does not like the flavor of the paste you currently have for him/her, you may wish to look to 'Dental Care' in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe. There is a helpful list of the top recommended products, along with reviews. 
Pomeranian for blog
"Woof, rufff, rrrr...grrr... UMPHF!"

Translation: "Tweets for treats...? ... or share for... ahh... a pear??? 
Well, you get the gist! Show me some love & share this site before you read on."
Toothbrushes for Pomeranians

Using the right paste is just half of the equation. The right paste and the right brush go hand in hand. The ideal toothbrush will have the following elements:

1) Properly hold the paste so that it can be applied to the teeth

2) Be the right length so that it can reach all of the teeth including the important molars in the back and the gums.

3) Have a good handle for easy grasping and control

4) Have the right texture and shape so that it cleans the tiny crevices of the tooth's surface and those sneaky little areas along the gum line. 

5) The bristles are hard enough to actually clean away plaque, yet soft enough that a Pom does not feel any discomfort. 

Toothbrush Tips:

1) With daily use, a dog's toothbrush should be changed every 3 to 4 months. If an old brush is used, you're losing some of the most important benefits. Bristles will be worn down, thus decreasing the amount of successful removal of plaque. The best toothbrush will meet all of the requirements listed above and will have no more wear-and-tear than 4 months of use. 

2) Use a timer - your goal will be to brush your Pomeranian's teeth for 2 minutes. You can use the timer on the kitchen oven, most cell phones have timers or you can even sing the numbers out loud as you do this (This will amuse your Pom, whether you can hold a note or not)

3) Find a time, each day that works for both you and your Pom. If you choose a time when you feel rushed, it will seem like a chore. If you pick a time when your Pom expects to be taken outside for a walk or when he is hungry and expecting dinner, he will be more reluctant to let you brush his teeth. 
Even the best toothbrushes and paste won't be any good if you find you can't use them. 

4) If your Pom wiggles and squirms, remember that he will become accustomed to this. Do not give up. And a bit of wiggly and a few sighs from you are worth keeping your Pomeranian free from tooth decay.

If You Need Help Choosing the best toothbrush - If you are not happy with the brush that you are using or if your Pom does not tolerate it well, you may wish to look to 'Dental Care' in the Pomeranian Specialty Shoppe. There is a helpful list of the top recommended brushes, along with reviews. 
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