8 Great Foods for Dental Health

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Health Conditions

How often do you clean your pet’s teeth? 

Some pet parents are diligent and make sure to do it at least once a week. Others do it once a month. Some do it far less often…

But maybe you unconsciously take care of your animal’s teeth in other ways…

Want to know one of the best ways to support your pet’s dental health?

Food!

Seriously. The right dietary choices can have a huge impact on overall oral health. There are many foods that support the mouth by managing the biofilm on the teeth and reducing plaque buildup.

And that’s what we’re talking about today – 8 great foods for dental health. 

Why Oral Health Matters

Our pets’ oral health is way more important than many people realize. Sure, if you don’t brush you animal’s teeth, they may have stinky breath, but it actually goes way beyond that. Think about it: the mouth is the entry point of the GI tract, and eventually the rest of the body… you following me?

Many different areas of the body can be negatively impacted by not paying enough attention to the mouth. Tartar buildup, gum disease, and tooth decay can pave the way for infections that may affect overall health!

There are many reasons to keep an eye on your animal’s dental health:

Dental Health. When plaque and tarter build up, so does bacteria, and that can cause bad breath. Too much plaque and tartar build-up can push the gums away from the teeth. This exposes new areas for bacteria to develop. This leads to gum inflammation, and can also cause cavities, infection, tissue destruction, and tooth loss. 

Heart Health. There’s a huge connection between dental health and heart health. Infections that start in the teeth and gums can travel through the blood and negatively affect organs like the heart. Bacteria found within the mouth of pets with dental disease are some of the same bacteria that are often associated with both endocarditis (inflammation/infection of the interior of the heart) and valvular disease in dogs and cats. Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease in dogs.

Liver and Kidney Health. The liver and kidneys are also susceptible to the effects of dental disease. The primary function of the liver and kidneys is to filter the blood. If bacteria from the oral cavity spreads to each of these organs, it has the potential to cause major problems. Infection and inflammation within the liver and kidneys can cause other issues, while also interfering with their functioning.

Brushing alone can make a big difference. And it should be done on a regular basis. But as we mentioned, a good pet toothbrush isn’t the only way to keep those pearly whites in tip-top shape!

[RELATED] Here’s our recipe for a natural toothpaste that really helps support the oral microbiome and clean the teeth!

Our Top 8 Foods for Dental Health

It’s easy to add a variety of foods to your animals diet to protect the teeth!

In general, we prefer a low starch/carbohydrate diet, with lots of antioxidants, plenty of healthy fats, and a variety of mineral rich foods. Plus, don’t forget the pre and probiotics for the gut!

Here are some of our favourite foods for dental health:

  1. Raw meaty bones – these are they closest thing to nature’s toothbrush. The biting and crunching of bone and cartilage scrapes off plaque and tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth, while cleaning and massaging gums in the process. Here’s more on how to choose the right ones and how to feed them.
  1. Bone broth – not only do we love bone broth for the gentleness on the digestive tract, we also love it for the nutrients! It is a natural source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as collagen, which help build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Here’s how to make it.
  1. Raw goat milk kefir – this gives the double whammy with the calcium (to help keep teeth strong) and the probiotics to strengthen the microbiome.
  1. Celery – think of this stringy vegetable as nature’s dental floss. The crunchy stalks require a lot of chewing to make them digestible, and this chewing acts as a natural tooth cleaner.
  1. Apples and pears – apples and pears are crunchy and high in water content, which helps dilute their sugars and stimulate saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles from the mouth. They also contain prebiotics which feed those beneficial probiotics!
  1. Shiitake mushroom – different extracts of shiitake have shown potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activities, which is great for the whole body, along with the mouth. . Shiitake mushrooms have also been shown to reduce oral biofilm formation, and have anti-gingivitis effects.
  1. Garlic – yes, garlic is your pet’s friend! There are many reasons to add garlic, and the protection of dental health is just one of them! One of the main components of garlic, allicin, can help to protect the teeth from gingivitis and, ironically, even halitosis (chronic bad breath). 
  1. Dark leafy greens – these vegetables are chock full of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, that can help repair the gum tissue.

And something we don’t want to forget with relation to eating and oral health, is drinking! Water is critical component of oral health. It flushes out and redistribute the bacteria, both good and bad. It moves, dislodges, washes away, purifies… it’s like nature’s mouthwash! Make sure your pet always has access to plenty of fresh water.

Our pets’ teeth and gums – the whole mouth in fact – have a big job to do. So, we want to support them as best as we possibly can. And thankfully, we can do it all in a way that makes our pets smile – feeding delicious foods that they love! 

The Adored Beast Team

Bringing you decades of animal health experience. They are product gurus, nutrition specialists, industry experts and researchers, but most importantly, pet owners, pet parents and animal lovers. The Adored Beast team is made up of people who care about the health and wellbeing of your animal family. Their fundamental goal is to provide information, advice, and experienced support you can use, each and every day, to help your pet live the longest, healthiest, happiest life possible.

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