For one thing, you have to take care of both of them. In a way, you are the “parent” over your teeth just like you are the “parent” over your puppy—or gerbil or cat or goldfish.
And while caring for your teeth might not be at the front of your mind most days, feeding and training your pets is—which is how having a pet can teach you about your teeth.
You probably have to take your dog to the vet at least once a year for shots and a checkup. Well—and you have probably heard this more than once—the American Dental Association recommends semi-yearly cleanings and x-rays for your teeth, or every six months. So the next time you get a reminder from the vet to bring Spot in for a checkup and his rabies shot, you should think about how your dentist wants to see your teeth, and for the same reason—to make sure they’re staying healthy.
Regular cleanings at the dentist are important. The benefits include prevention of gum disease, a brighter smile, prevention of cavities and tooth decay, and maintenance of overall health. Did you know heart attacks have been linked to gum disease?
Your dog requires constant care to keep him clean enough to reside in your home. He needs to be brushed and washed frequently, and fed everyday. You have to keep up with his heartworm medications and feed him things that keep his breath smelling nice (like dental bones).
Your teeth need similar attention from you. You have to brush them twice every day, which keeps your teeth white and your breath smelling nice (just like the dog!). You have to floss them once a day to keep plaque from growing. Keeping up with your teeth is a daily activity, just like caring for a pet.
You only have one set of teeth—and there is only one of your favorite pet. You keep your dog or cat alive each day because you love that particular animal. Once you bury Spot, he’s gone. No matter how many dogs you get that look just like him, he can’t ever be replaced.
You teeth are the same way. You brush and floss every day to make them last longer because they are the only set you have. Sure, you can probably get dentures if they fall out one day, but your smile be affected. In fact, the bone beneath your gums that supports dentures will gradually be reabsorbed by the body! You see that your teeth are like pets—the longer you take daily care of them, the longer they last.
How long will your teeth last?
Pets and teeth. Who’d have thought they were so similar? Use the morning feeding to remind you to brush your teeth, and again with dinner. Use the dental bone you give your puppy to remind you to floss. And use vet checkups to remind you to make appointments at the dentist. This is a lesson you can teach your kids, too.
How is the health of your teeth? Do you take proper care of them with daily brushing and flossing? And how about Spot—do you keep up with his vet checkups and taking care of his teeth? Tell us about your dental routine—if it works especially well for you, maybe one of our readers will be inspired. You can even tell us about how healthy your pet is because of how well you take care of him. We’ll think it’s great—because it probably means you take good care of your teeth too!