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Does Your Dog Need an Orthodontist?

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Jessie, the dog who is always eager to show off her pretty smile:  Hey, Brace Face!  Yeah…that’s what I would say to our late friend, Bo.  I always gave him a hard time, and making fun of him was all a part of my charm and undying affections for him.  Speaking of braces, did you know that dogs can actually wear them? (And you thought they were just for lanky, pimply-faced teenagers!)

If your dog has a bad bite created by poor positioning of the teeth, also known as malocclusion, orthodontic treatment can actually create a healthy, more comfortable bite for your dog.  This can prevent other problems down the road, such as soft tissue trauma, facial growth, and certain developmental problems.

Your dog may need braces if he has certain congenital issues, genetic abnormalities, an infectious disease, any nutritional imbalances or endocrine problems, or even when suffering from chemical or radiation effects.

When your dog’s teeth do not properly meet the jaw, he can have problems with eating, develop periodontal disease, and sustain growth deformities of the mouth and the face.

Your veterinarian should be able to make a complete assessment and diagnosis if you suspect your dog could benefit from orthodontic treatment.  Such treatment may include the application of orthodontic buttons and elastic chains, an incline plane, and the extraction of baby teeth or sculpting of the soft tissue by a CO2 laser. (Cool!)

If your dog does get orthodontic treatment, home care is vitally essential.  Make sure to brush your dog’s teeth every day, check the braces routinely for proper placement, and schedule regular follow-up visits with your veterinarian.  Also, please be advised that braces for dogs can average in price from $1,000.00 – $2,000.00.  (And you thought kids were expensive!)

(Thanks to petplace.com for this helpful information!)

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