Can’t we put off this dental cleaning for a while?

Cookieface Well, let’s ask Cookie here, shall we?  She’s a cute little Dachshund, about seven years old.  We look forward to another seven years with her if things go well.

Two years ago she had her teeth cleaned.  She had some deep periodontal pockets, which were filled with Doxirobe to help things re-attach.  There wasn’t much tooth-brushing going on after that, so it was no surprise that she had accumulated a fair amount of dental calculus (tartar) in a year’s time.  When she came back for her check-up one year ago, we noted that she needed to have her teeth cleaned again.   "Well, gee, we can’t do it right now.  We’ll have to wait just a bit before we can do that."  How long is "a bit"?  In this case, it’s one year. That turns out to be too long, in this case.

So, we didn’t clean the teeth last year when she needed it. This year, amazingly enough, they were really a mess.  Some of the teeth were so crudded up that we couldn’t really see them.  It turns out that while the tartar accumulates under the gum-line and loosens the teeth, it can also make a bridge to the next tooth that (temporarily) holds them in place.  Sure they’re dead, and ready to fall out, but they’re sort of glued to the next tooth.  When we cleaned Cookie’s teeth, we found that eight teeth were so loose that they could not be saved. 

Teeth So, if a year is too long to wait, how long a delay could you get away with?  Hard to say, really.  How many teeth do you want to lose?  At eight teeth per year, Cookie needs to do some tooth-brushing or she’ll spend the last third of her life gumming the Kibbles & Bits.

The tooth fairy tried to negotiate a long-term settlement with Cookie.  She didn’t want to make such a big lump-sum payment.  I hope Cookie uses her windfall to pay her owners to brush her teeth for her… every day.

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