2. Know what a healthy mouth looks like. Regularly examining your pet’s teeth and gums makes it easier to detect any developing abnormalities. After the weekly brushing, lift her cheek flaps to get a closer look. What’s normal: pink gums, white teeth, and decent breath. What’s not: redness near the gum line, bleeding after brushing, discoloration, or irregular growths or masses. See your vet if you notice something out of the ordinary.
3. Get teeth-friendly treats. To keep her teeth clean between brushing (or if she won’t cooperate when you come near her mouth), try a treat designed to scrape off tartar. Rope chews, rawhides, or reformulated Greenies (specially shaped goodies that help to remove tartar when eaten) are all good choices; water additives and mouth sprays, on the other hand, are not. They may reduce plaque and tartar buildup, but they can’t scrape away bacteria the way brushing or dental treats can and often don’t taste good.