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Brushing older chihuahua's teeth

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Old December 21st 06, 07:38 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
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Default Brushing older chihuahua's teeth


I adopted an older (8-9 years old) chihuahua from a friend last
February (2006). She had been with him for years, but he had 9 other
dogs and just couldn't give them all personal attention. Before that,
she was in a shelter. Last October, 2005, at her annual vet visit, she
had to have a couple of teeth removed because her teeth simply had
never been taken care of. She's the sweetest dog you could ever
imagine and I want her to live as long as possible and be as healthy as

possible. So, I started to brush her teeth every once in a while about

July of this year and for the past 2 weeks I've attempted to brush her
teeth every night.

Last night I noticed that one of the teeth on the left side of her
mouth was loose and about to fall out. The tooth is by itself and the
teeth which used to surround it are the ones that were pulled last
year, I presume. It seems that her gums are very soft in that area and

the tooth will definitely fall out, no stopping it. I suspect that my
recent advent of tooth-brushing did speed along the loosening of the
tooth, but it would have come out anyway.

So, my questions... I don't want to do any more damage. I don't want
any more of her teeth to fall out, hopefully it's not too late. Is
there a way to strengthen her gums so that the teeth she has can be
strongly held in place? I use a beef-flavored toothpaste I got from
Target... is there any special kind of fluoride toothpaste or special
toothpaste that might help her teeth remain solid? Am I doing her more

harm than good by brushing every night and accelerating her loose teeth

in coming out? While her tooth is loose, what should I do as far as
brushing goes, just avoid that area? Is there anything special I can
do for an older dog's teeth?

I've also read before about people buying teeth cleaning kits for home
use at Walgreens or CVS. On her back teeth, she has some buildup of
tartar. Would it be a good idea for me to try to get one of those kits

and scrape that off so it doesn't continue to decay her back teeth?

(By the way: I took her to the vet in July for an annual checkup and he

said that her teeth were in such good condition that he didn't think
she needed her teeth cleaned until next year. Her teeth are in better
shape than many dogs.)

Thank you for your replies!


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