Despite the old saying, that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a humans, dogs can still develop problems like tartar and plaque buildup and gingivitis. But it’s not just bad breath and yellow teeth you have to worry about. As with humans, these canine dental problems can actually lead to life-threatening infections and issues including heart, liver, and kidney disease. Here’s how to practice good dog dental care that will extend your dog’s life.

Brush their teeth early and often!

Take them for routine teeth cleanings

Feed dry dog food

Use chew bones and chew toys

To brush your dog’s teeth use a canine toothbrush and a little strategy. The best brush to use is double-headed with the brushes at a 45 degree angle to clean below the gum line. Your dog might not go for the tooth brushing at first, but try to make it a reasonably pleasant experience. Try and choose a time when your dog has had a good amount of exercise, so he’s more apt to sit still for the brushing. Don’t overdo it the first few times. Start slowly and quit if your dog gets stressed. You can increase the time every day as he gets used to it. Also, make sure to speak soothingly and pleasantly during the brushing and reward your dog with a treat afterwards.