If your dog's teeth are misaligned or if they have a pronounced over or underbite you may be wondering if dog braces could help. Our Madison vets discuss dog braces, when they are used, and how to tell if your dog needs braces.
Can dogs wear braces?
Dog braces have been used for decades to correct severe orthodontic issues in our canine companions.
While dog braces may seem silly to some people, this orthodontic intervention can help dogs with severe orthodontic misalignment and bite issues to chew and eat normally - something they couldn't do before treatment.
What conditions do braces for dog's teeth help?
Dog braces can help pups with crowded, misaligned or lanced teeth (a condition in which the upper canine teeth are pointed more forward than normal).
Some other conditions that dog braces can help correct include:
- Overbites (when top front teeth extend beyond bottom front teeth)
- Underbites (when the lower incisors are in front of the upper incisors and the lower canine tooth is resting against the upper 3rd incisor)
- Linguoversion (when the lower canine tooth or teeth are angled inward, often making problematic contact with the roof of the dog's mouth)
- Misalignments caused by baby teeth that don't fall out
- To prevent tooth movement follow jaw surgeries
What are the signs that my dog needs braces?
If your dog attends routine wellness exams or annual dental exams your vet will be able to tell you whether orthodontic braces could benefit your dog's health, but there are some signs you can watch for.
Signs that your dog may need braces include:
- Top front teeth extend unusually beyond their bottom front teeth
- Bottom jaw extending unusually far in front of top front teeth
- Large gaps between teeth
- Overcrowded teeth
- Dropping food while eating
How long will my dog need to wear braces?
Unlike orthodontic treatment for people which can take years, dogs typically only wear braces for a few weeks or months.
How do I care for my dog while they have braces?
While your dog is undergoing treatment with braces you will need to be diligent about keeping your pup's mouth clean. This will involve brushing your dog's teeth around the braces and flushing their mouth out with an oral antiseptic rinse.
Depending on how well the dog tolerates the braces, it may be necessary to switch your dog over to soft (canned) dog food.
Bones, rawhide and chew toys are not allowed while your dog has braces since these could damage the apparatus and cause pain to your dog.
While your dog has braces you will also need to take them in for frequent dental appointments at your vet's office.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.