a cat on the counter at a vet clinic in Toronto getting pets from two smiling ladies

The biggest differences between human and pet dentistry

When it comes to dental care, we have a surprising amount in common with our furry friends.

We both need to have regular checkups to maintain our oral health, we can both benefit from regular brushing and many of the tools used in pet dentistry are the same as the ones your Toronto dentist uses on you. But for all we have in common, there are several key differences between human and veterinary dentistry. 

Brushing schedule 

Most dentists recommend that you brush your teeth two to three times per day and floss at least once a day. Following this daily dental care routine is the best way for humans to keep cavities at bay but isn’t necessary in the case of our pets. While both dogs and cats can benefit from daily brushing, simply brushing two to three times per week can be enough to make a difference in their dental health. 


One of the main reasons daily dental hygiene requirements aren’t as rigorous for cats and dogs as they are for humans is that our pets don’t get cavities. Cavities are the result of a specific type of bacteria produced when we consume carbohydrates, better known as sugars (natural or otherwise). When these bacteria are allowed to build up, a cavity develops. Our carnivorous counterparts don’t have this carb-related problem, which is why cavities aren’t an issue for them. 

Checkup schedule 

You might stay on top of your dental health by scheduling a check-up and a thorough cleaning every six months, but for pets, an annual visit is enough. While cavities aren’t an issue, dental problems in cats and dogs can lead to a host of other problems. The same bacteria that cause issues with their teeth and gums can damage their internal organs if left unchecked.


Apart from a local anesthetic to numb the pain, most people choose not to use sedation methods that would render them fully unconscious. But for our furry counterparts, sedation is the norm. Pets typically need to be heavily sedated in order to stay still long enough for the veterinary dentist to complete their work. 

Pet dentists in Toronto

Is it time for your furry friend to take a trip to the veterinary dentist? For kind, compassionate and comprehensive pet dentistry in the Toronto area, visit Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital. We’ve proudly served pets across the Toronto area for more than 20 years. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide or to book an appointment.