There’s no substitute for regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian. Every one to three years, your pet will likely need to have his/her teeth professionally cleaned. In addition to producing a sparkling smile, the most important work occurs out of sight, beneath your dog’s/cat’s gum line. Your veterinarian will carefully clean every tooth surface and remove plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach recesses below the gums and between teeth. Unchecked and uncleaned, pathogenic bacteria will eventually cause significant gum recession, resulting in oral pain and tooth loss. Tooth abscesses have been linked to heart valve infections and other serious medical conditions. The next time your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning, remember the procedure is much more than cleaning teeth; it’s about preventing disease.