See Waggletooth Work: Instructional Video and Guide for Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Waggletooth Instructional Video
Watch the video below to see Dr. Evie, Waggletooth Founder, demonstrate proper brushing with the Waggletooth toothbrush and toothpaste.
Waggletooth Instructional Guide
The Waggletooth Dog Toothbrush is intended for well-trained dogs that can sit and tolerate having their teeth brushed. Our toothbrush is unique – it provides 360-degree bristles and bite resistance so you can feel confident brushing your dog’s teeth safely, quickly, and efficiently!
The toothbrush is not intended for chewing. In fact, if your pet begins to chew on the brush, remove your hand and start again at a different angle that does not encourage chewing behavior. Reward your pet for good behavior as you brush, and remove your hand and the toothbrush if poor behavior and or chewing patterns begin. For many dogs, it will take multiple sessions before a positive dental care routine can be established.
Choose a time of day and environment that is calm and quiet for your pet. Slide the toothbrush onto your pointer finger. Ensure a snug and secure fit. Apply a small amount of the Unflavored Waggletooth Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste to the toothbrush. The toothpaste is unflavored so your dog does not think the toothbrush is food. This is an important part of the training process. You can later reward your pet with something delicious after they have sat nicely for their dental cleaning session. Evenly distribute a small amount of the toothpaste on your 360-degree brushing surface and rub it into the bristles. Please note: the Waggletooth Dog Toothbrush is intended to be bite resistant, not bite proof. Use your best judgment as to whether or not your dog will safely allow your finger in their mouth. Use at your own discretion and risk.
Depending on the size of your dog, position yourself in a way that maximizes gentle control over your pet’s head and mouth. For large dogs this may be standing, straddling the dog, or holding them in a way that allows you to face the same direction. For medium and smaller dogs this may be in a seated position with your pet in your lap. For some pets a second helper may be necessary to comfort your dog while you develop your dental care routine.
Begin by gently massaging the cheek side of the teeth, concentrating where the teeth meet the gum line. Continue this process for the top and bottom teeth. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or scrub, as this will produce bleeding of the gum tissue. If you do see a tiny amount of bleeding this may be due to gingival inflammation from bacteria that has invaded your dog’s gums. This should resolve after future brushing. If it does not, speak to your veterinarian about periodontal therapy for your dog. Use your opposite hand to stabilize your dog’s mouth and head while using the working hand to gently work around the mouth. Once you have completed the cheek side of the teeth, it is time to move on to the tongue and pallet side.
What about small dogs? The Waggletooth Dog Toothbrush can work for smaller dogs using the proper technique! For smaller dogs, use only the tip of the toothbrush as your working surface. Try positioning your finger perpendicular to the tooth, instead of the parallel position commonly used in large dogs.
It is important to note that the Waggletooth Dog Toothbrush is to be used on the sides of the teeth, avoiding the sharp pointed surfaces. These parts stay clean by virtue of their shape. Bacteria and debris generally slide down the tooth and hide where the teeth meet the gum line. This is the most important area to keep free of bacteria and debris. Buildup at the gum line can lead to periodontitis, the number one most common oral disease in dogs. Left untreated, periodontitis can lead to bad breath, pain, and tooth loss.
After completing this routine, give a healthy treat to your dog and praise for a job well done. Wash your hands and the Waggletooth Dog Toothbrush thoroughly with soap and warm water afterwards (do not boil!). The periodontal bacteria found in your pet’s mouth are transferable to humans; it is important to not cross contaminate your hands or surfaces with the bacteria. Replace the Waggletooth Dog Toothbrush at the first sign of wear.