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11 Best Dog Teeth Cleaning Products

| Published on December 22, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Just like humans, dogs need teeth cleaning products to maintain their dental hygiene. Dogs who don’t have good dental health could be in pain or have extra stinky breath. However, dogs can’t brush their teeth on their own like we can, so it’s up to us to help them. We want to ensure that all dog parents can give their dog the dental care needed, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the best dog teeth cleaning products.

Brushing Yorkie's teeth

The Best Dog Teeth Cleaning Products

The number of products on the market for dog dental health can be overwhelming, so how do you choose? Dog toothbrushes and toothpaste are the most effective choices, but some dogs refuse to have their teeth brushed. Thus, we’ve selected a variety of dental products so you can find one that’s both effective and convenient for your dog.

1. iHeartDogs Happy, Healthy Brushy Sticks Dental Treats for Dogs

iHeartDogs Brushy Sticks

If you find yourself struggling to brush your dog’s teeth every day, you may want to use these treats on the days your dog refuses to cooperate. The iHeartDogs Brushy Sticks look, smell, and taste like a delicious treat to your dog, but they can remove plaque and tartar while also freshening breath as your dog chews. They come in two sizes, both with an easy-to-chew texture that dogs of all ages and breeds can appreciate. Plus, every bag purchased donates seven meals to shelter dogs! 

2. TropiClean Fresh Breath Dog Oral Care Water AdditiveTropiClean Dog Water Additive

A water additive is the easiest way to add dental care to your dog’s routine. All you have to do is add a little to your dog’s water and they will get the benefits every time they take a drink. Most dogs won’t even notice this in their water bowl, making it perfect for dogs to avoid teeth brushing at all costs. This formula can help control plaque and tartar while also freshening your dog’s breath.

3. Nylabone Power Chew Easy Hold Dog Toy

Nylabone Power Chew

Nylabone is known for making durable toys for heavy chewers, and this one is designed specifically with dental hygiene in mind. The toy is shaped in a way that makes it easy for your dog to hold it with their paws while they chew. Each side has unique grooves on it to help remove plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. It even has a bacon flavor to entice dogs, making them less likely to chew on things they shouldn’t.

4. Vet’s Best Dog Toothbrush and Enzymatic Toothpaste Kit

Vet's Best Toothbrush and Toothpaste Kit

This kit comes with just about everything your dog needs for proper dental health. It includes dog toothpaste and two types of dog toothbrushes. The smaller toothbrush slides on your finger, making it easier to brush hard-to-reach areas of your dog’s mouth. The enzymatic toothpaste can gently remove plaque and tartar while also freshening their breath. Most dogs will be hesitant about getting their teeth brushed, but it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent dental disease.

5. Virbac CET Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste

Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste

This is another effective dog toothpaste option. It cleans your furry friend’s mouth by reducing plaque and freshening breath. It’s vet-recommended and safe to swallow, helping pet parents feel at ease when using it on their dogs’ teeth. You can choose between vanilla, chicken, or beef flavors to make the toothpaste more appealing to your pup.

6.  Petkin Dog and Cat Dental Wipes

Petkin Dog and Cat Dental Wipes

Dental wipes are another convenient teeth-cleaning product for dogs. All you have to do is wrap one of the damp cloths around your finger and then rub it against your dog’s teeth. It’s quicker and easier than traditional teeth cleaning while still effectively cleaning teeth and gums, reducing plaque and tartar, and freshening breath. It’s veterinarian-approved, and it doesn’t require any water or rinsing to do its job. It even has a mint flavor that many dogs love.

7. Whimzees by Wellness Natural Dental Chews

Whimzees dog dental chews

Whimzees are another dental chew that most dogs will mistake for a normal treat. When your dog chews on these vet-recommended snacks, they’ll experience fresher breath and less plaque and tartar. These chews come in a variety of unique shapes, all of which have small grooves to clean the hard-to-reach spaces of your dog’s teeth. They’re available in four different sizes, so all breeds can enjoy them.

8. iHeartDogs Fresh Mint Scented Brushing Bone Toy

If your dog loves to chew, this toy can satisfy that need while also cleaning their teeth. The natural rubber chew toy has a refreshing mint scent to entice your dog and freshen their breath. Then, the soft bristles help scrape off plaque and tartar as they chew. You can even stuff small treats and kibble pieces in the crevices to make the toy more exciting for your furry friend. Plus, every toy purchased donates a toy to an animal shelter.

9. iHeartDogs Fresh Mint Scented Brushing Ball

This natural rubber chew ball is similar to the bone toy. It entices your dog and freshens their breath with its mint scent, and it scrapes off plaque and tartar with its soft spikes. It also has several grooves where you can hide treats and kibble if you want. These balls can be great for fetch because they can bounce easily, making them exciting for dogs to chase. Each purchase donates a toy to a dog in need.

10. Oratene Brushless Toothpaste Gel for Dogs and Cats

Oratene Brushless Toothpaste Gel

If you don’t have a dog toothbrush handy, that’s okay. This toothpaste gel can be used without any brushing. Simply squirt the toothpaste directly onto your dog’s teeth or use your finger if needed. It’s vet-recommended because it’s safe for daily use and it’s easier to use than some of its competitors. By using this product regularly, your dog can have cleaner teeth, cleaner gums, and fresher breath.

11. Petlab Co. Dog Dental Formula

PetlabCo Dental Formula

This is another water additive formula that’s proven to give your dog a brighter smile with daily use. Like similar products, all you have to do is add a little to your dog’s water, and the product will work when your dog drinks from their water bowl. It can reduce tartar buildup while also freshening your dog’s breath, making your pup more kissable.

Frequently Asked Questions Dog Teeth Cleaning Products

1. Can I Brush My Dogs Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide?

While hydrogen peroxide can be handy for some things, it’s not the best option for brushing your dog’s teeth. Using hydrogen peroxide in your dog’s mouth can cause irritation and might upset their tummy if they accidentally swallow it.

Instead, use toothbrushes and toothpaste that are specifically designed for dogs. Remember, taking care of your dog’s teeth is really important for their overall health, just like it is for us!

2. Do Apples Clean Dogs Teeth?

Apples are very helpful when it comes to cleaning your dog’s teeth. When your pup chews on them, the crunchy texture helps scrub away some plaque, and the natural roughness can clear out food bits. But remember to take out the seeds and core before giving your dog an apple. Those parts of the apple aren’t safe for dogs. Also, since apples have sugar, it’s best to offer them in moderation to avoid upset stomachs. 

3. What Do Vets Use To Brush Dogs Teeth?

Vets generally use special toothbrushes made just for dogs, which have softer bristles and longer handles to make brushing easier. Sometimes, they might also use finger brushes that fit over their finger. In addition, vets also use toothpaste specially designed for dogs. If you plan on brushing your dogs’ teeth at home, make sure not to use your own toothpaste, as it could be harmful to your pup.

4. Will Baking Soda Remove Tartar From Dog’s Teeth?

While baking soda is known for its mild abrasive properties that can help remove surface stains, it is not recommended as a solution for removing tartar from a dog’s teeth. The most effective way to remove tartar on your dog’s teeth is through professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian. 

5. Can Apple Cider Vinegar Remove Tartar From Dogs Teeth?

Apple cider vinegar contains a natural acid called acetic acid. This acid is effective in fighting bacteria that cause plaque buildup in their teeth. Put a small amount of apple cider vinegar in your dog’s food or directly in their mouth to reduce bad breath and reduce tartar. 

6. What Is The Black Tartar On My Dog’s Teeth?

The black substance you may be noticing on your dog’s teeth is actually hardened plaque that is formed due to a buildup of food, saliva, and bacteria. Sometimes, the color of the plaque may be due to the presence of blood and other pigments. It is important to address this issue as it can cause more severe problems like gum disease, cavities, and unpleasant breath in your dog if left untreated.

7. What Do Vets Use To Remove Tartar?

Veterinarians use specialized instruments such as dental scalers and curettes to remove tartar on a dog’s teeth. The process of removing tartar is called scaling. During scaling, veterinarians carefully scrape the tartar from the teeth without causing any damage to the enamel or gums. Sometimes, veterinarians may use an ultrasonic scaler, which utilizes high-frequency vibrations to aid in dislodging and removing stubborn tartar deposits stuck on teeth. 

8. What Foods Cause Tartar In Dogs?

You may be surprised to learn that certain high-carb and sugary foods can cause tartar buildup in your dog’s mouth. These foods can encourage plaque production, which, if not taken care of, can solidify into tartar over time. Be careful with sticky or soft snacks, as they can cling to your dog’s teeth and cause issues. In addition, those tempting table scraps you sometimes share could also add to the problem, especially if they’re loaded with sugars and starch. To keep those pearly whites gleaming, feed your dog a well-balanced diet tailored to their needs and steer clear of sugary treats.

9. What Is The Difference Between Tartar And Plaque On Dogs Teeth?

Tartar Plaque
Tartar is hardened plaque.  Soft, sticky film consisting of bacteria, food particles, and saliva.
Develops when plaque is left on teeth too long. It begins to harden and becomes tartar.  Forms within hours of eating. Can be removed by brushing. 
Tartar is brown or yellow deposits on teeth. Colorless or pale yellow appearance.
Requires a dentist to remove. Can be reduced by a consistent brushing schedule. 
Leads to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. Can cause gum inflammation and early stages of dental issues.

10. Why Do My Dogs Teeth Get Plaque So Quickly?

You have likely noticed your puppy’s teeth tend to accumulate plaque quickly. Several factors can contribute to this issue. For example, diets high in carbohydrates and sugars can exacerbate the problem. Additionally, if you have yet to be diligent about brushing your pup’s teeth or providing appropriate chew toys, plaque buildup can occur even faster.

Certain dog breeds are more prone to dental problems, and as your dog ages, they may become more susceptible to plaque buildup. Genetics can also play a role in this, just like in humans. Additionally, certain health conditions can exacerbate dental issues.

To keep your dog’s teeth shining bright, make sure you have a regular dental care routine in place. That means brushing their teeth, giving them the right toys to chew on, and popping in for dental check-ups with your vet. They can give you the best advice tailored to your dog’s needs.

11. What Is Better Than Greenies For Dogs?

Looking for something even better than Greenies to keep your pup’s dental health in top shape? You’re in luck! There are some fantastic alternatives out there that can do the trick.

  1. Dental chews: Dental chews help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Look for products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) for their effectiveness.
  2. Raw bones: Raw, meaty bones can help promote dental health by naturally scraping away plaque and tartar. However, it’s crucial to choose bones that are appropriate for your dog’s size and to monitor your dog while they chew to prevent any choking hazards.
  3. Chew toys: Certain chew toys, specifically those designed to promote dental health, can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup while providing your dog with a fun and engaging chewing experience.
  4. Dental diets: Some dog foods are designed to support dental health, promoting chewing and providing a texture that helps reduce plaque and tartar.

When selecting alternatives to Greenies, consider your dog’s individual needs, preferences, and any specific dental concerns they may have. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations tailored to your dog’s unique dental requirements and overall health. They can suggest the most suitable options to help maintain your dog’s oral health and hygiene.

12. Do Vets Approve Of Greenies?

You might have heard about Greenies for your dog’s dental health from your vet. These chewy treats are a vet-approved option that can be an easy and fun way to keep plaque and tartar at bay while giving your dog fresh breath. Just remember, every pup is unique and so is their dietary needs. Some dogs have trouble digesting Greenies and may give them tummy troubles or allergies.

13. How Often Should I Brush My Dog’s Teeth?

Ideally, you should brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent tartar buildup and promote optimal oral health. However, if daily brushing isn’t feasible, aiming for several times a week is beneficial and can still make a significant difference in your dog’s dental health. On days without brushing, you can use other dental products like chews or water additives.

14. What are Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs?

Signs of dental problems in dogs include persistent bad breath, yellow or brown tartar buildup on the teeth, bleeding or inflamed gums, difficulty eating, excessive drooling, and tooth loss. If you observe any of these symptoms, talk to your vet right away. Regular dental check-ups can help detect and prevent these problems.

15. Can I Use Human Toothpaste for Dogs?

No, you should not use human toothpaste for dogs. Many human toothpastes contain ingredients, like xylitol or fluoride, that are toxic to dogs. Always use a toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs to ensure their safety and well-being.

16. Are Dog Dental Chews Effective For Cleaning Teeth?

Yes, dog dental chews are designed to help reduce plaque and tartar by mechanically scraping the teeth as the dog chews. Many dental chews also contain ingredients that can help freshen breath or break down plaque. However, while they can be a beneficial part of an oral hygiene routine, they should be used in addition to teeth brushing, not in place of.

17. How Often Should Dogs Get a Professional Teeth Cleaning?

The frequency of professional teeth cleanings for dogs varies based on their breed, age, and dental health. Typically, veterinarians recommend an annual dental check-up, with cleanings as advised based on the dog’s individual needs. Consulting with your veterinarian will provide the best guidance for your dog’s dental care schedule.

18. Is Bad Breath in Dogs Normal?

While dogs don’t naturally have minty-fresh breath, extremely foul-smelling breath is not typical and can indicate health problems. Persistent bad breath in dogs can be a sign of periodontal disease, gastrointestinal issues, or other underlying conditions. It’s important to consult a veterinarian if your dog has consistently bad breath to rule out potential health concerns.

19. Do Small Dogs Have More Dental Issues Than Large Dogs?

Yes, small dog breeds often have more dental issues than larger breeds, primarily because their teeth can be crowded together, leading to increased plaque and tartar buildup. This crowding can make it harder to keep teeth clean and can result in a higher risk of periodontal disease. Regular dental care is especially crucial for smaller breeds to prevent these issues.

Handing dog a dental chew

Final Thoughts

There are lots of dog teeth cleaning products out there, including the many effective options mentioned in this article. Some options include toothbrushes, toothpaste gel, dental chews, water additives, and dental toys. Using more than one of these products can improve your dog’s dental health even more.

Dental disease can lead to lots of uncomfortable symptoms in dogs, so consider using one of these excellent dental products to stay on top of your furry friend’s health.

iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Best Dog Teeth Cleaning Products

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