Are Braces Safe for Dogs? Everything You Need to Know About Canine Braces

Are Braces Safe for Dogs? Everything You Need to Know About Canine Braces

Your dentist wants you to have a beautiful smile.

But that’s not the only reason they might recommend getting braces.

One of the most important reasons your Cerritos orthodontist suggests orthodontic treatment is to improve the function of your teeth and jaw joints.

Did you know that you aren’t the only one who can benefit from improved dental function? Your dog can, too.

In fact, canine orthodontic treatment is more common than ever. Just how safe is it for your furry friend? And how can you tell if your dog might need braces?

Are Braces Safe for Dogs?

First and foremost, most pet owners are concerned about whether a particular type of treatment is safe for their pets. That makes total sense because our dogs are part of the family, and we want to keep every member of our family safe and sound.

Thankfully, braces for dogs are safe – as long as they’re placed and regularly evaluated by a veterinary professional.

What Type of Braces Are Used on Dogs?

Most often, a vet will recommend traditional metal braces. However, if a pet owner is concerned about aesthetics and the dog has long-enough canines, their dentist might be able to use ceramic brackets instead of metal. 

Why Would a Dog Need Braces? 4 Reasons Why Your Vet Might Recommend Them

Like humans, some pet owners want their dogs to get braces because they want to improve the appearance of their teeth. Such concern is most common amongst owners of show dogs. A dog’s dentition is a crucial component in scoring in these competitions.

However, the most important reason a dog needs braces is that their malocclusion contributes to ill health or causes pain. Here are some reasons why a vet might recommend braces for dogs.

1. The Dog Has Linguoversion

Linguoversion is when the teeth are positioned so that they look like they’ve been pushed back toward the tongue. This condition is uncomfortable because it causes the teeth to rub against the roof of the mouth. Over time, this can cause sore tissue, bleeding, and infections. In the most extreme cases, the teeth can poke holes into the roof of the mouth, leading to sinus infections.

2. The Baby Teeth Don’t Come Out Properly

As with humans, some dogs’ baby teeth don’t come out like they’re supposed to. As the adult teeth start to come in, the dog can experience dental crowding. It’s extremely difficult to keep crowded teeth clean. Plaque and tartar can build up more easily and lead to dental decay, gum disease, and oral infections.

3. The Dog Has an Overbite

When the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw (called an overbite), the teeth point out instead of down. An overbite can make it difficult for your dog to chew their food thoroughly and comfortably.

4. Dental Issues After Cancer Treatment

Sometimes, if a dog has cancer, a part of its jaw needs to be removed. Misalignment can result. Braces can help create a better bite, making it more comfortable for your dog to eat.

What Happens When Your Dog Gets Braces?

A diagnosis is the starting point. The diagnosis is best made when the dog is relatively young, around four to six months of age. The vet must determine whether the dog is a good candidate for orthodontic care and healthy enough for treatment, including undergoing anesthesia.

If you get the all-clear, your vet will start by performing a dental cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar. Then, they’ll apply the braces. The entire process takes between 30 and 90 minutes.

How Often Will You Need to Visit the Vet?

Pet owners need to take their dogs to the vet weekly or biweekly for as long as they’re in braces.

How Much Do Braces for Dogs Cost?

The cost of canine orthodontic care depends on:

Typically, dog braces can cost between $2000 and $5000. Most, if not all, of the cost is out of pocket for pet owners, however, in some cases orthodontic treatment is covered by pet insurance.

How Should You Care for Your Dog’s Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment?

While your pet is undergoing orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to brush your dog’s teeth, making sure to get around the brackets to clean the gum line. You might also need to flush your pet’s mouth with an oral antiseptic rinse.

Switching your dog from dry to wet (and soft!) foods might be best. Transitioning to softer foods will keep your dog comfortable, as they can experience discomfort when the braces are put on or adjusted. Soft foods will also help prevent brackets from dislodging or breaking.

Chew toys and bones should be avoided during treatment.

What Options Are Available Besides Braces for Dogs?

Your vet has several options for moving your dog’s teeth into proper alignment, including:

While these options are often cheaper than orthodontic treatment, they aren’t without risks. For example, bite adjustments might need to be done every few years. And extractions can be painful and complicated.

Would You Like to Improve Your Smile?

Dogs aren’t the only ones who need orthodontic care!

You might be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment if you have crooked, crowded teeth or you have chronic jaw pain and headaches. Similarly, sore or cracked teeth might be an indicator that you have some sort of malocclusion. Properly aligning your teeth can provide you with relief from pain and tooth soreness.

And if you just aren’t happy with the aesthetics of your smile because of gaps in your teeth or crowded, crooked teeth, we can help. We offer Invisalign treatment, as well as traditional and ceramic braces. Your Cerritos orthodontist will help you find the best treatment for your needs.

Schedule your orthodontic consultation at Orthodontist of Cerritos today!

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