Even though dog braces may seem new and strange to you, they have been used since the 1980s. Not for aesthetics purposes, but to treat painful and even potentially dangerous dental issues.
A healthy and comfortable bite can drastically improve the overall health of your canine friend. However, applying braces shouldn’t be taken too lightly.
Your dog has to be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and tolerate any possible complications.
Issues that require dog braces
Braces can help your dog with condition such as crowded teeth or overbites. They can even be useful after cancer treatment.
The most common condition requiring braces is linguoversion – a condition in which the teeth are pushed back towards the tongue. This can lead to rubbing of the teeth against the roof of the mouth. In mild cases this would cause discomfort, however in more severe cases it can lead to the teeth poking holes in the roof of the mouth. Eventually, this could lead to serious gum infections.
Other issues that can cause problems include an overbite, when the lower jaw is shorter than the top, and lance teeth, when the upper canines point out rather than down.
In more extreme cases, braces may also be applied after part of the jaw has been removed for cancer treatment.
It’s the vet’s job to determine whether the teeth are only crooked, or crooked and also causing problems. No responsible vet will apply braces for cosmetic reasons only.
How to know if your dog needs braces?
Most dental problems can be spotted when the canine’s permanent teeth come in. This usually occurs around six months of age. However, some puppies won’t show any signs of discomfort.
To check if your dog needs braces, your vet will examine the pet. Before applying, your vet needs to be sure your dog is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Other tests include x-rays and possible cleanings. The procedure of applying the braces takes only 30 to 90 minutes.
Moving dog teeth is also a relatively quick process. It only takes from a few weeks to a few months. And the best part — your dog wont even have to wear retainers.
How much do braces cost?
This largely depends on how long will your dog have to wear braces. The longer he wears them, the more rounds of anesthesia he will have to go through. Dog braces can cost anywhere between $1,500 to $4,000.
How to care for a dog with braces?
Firstly, you will have to switch up the diet of your canine. For the first few days it would be best to not give him any hard foods. Also, make sure to brush around the braces and flush the mouth of your dog with an oral antiseptic.