The use of orthodontic (dental) procedures for pets isn’t terribly new. Orthodontics have been used since the 80s for animals of different types. These treatments help to ensure that pets don’t have to struggle through painful dental problems. Plus, puppy braces look… kind of cute!
Why Would My Dog Need Puppy Braces?
Just as with humans, there are many different reasons that dogs might require braces. These are a few of the most common conditions that could lead to the need for dog braces.
- Linguoversion. This is one of the most frequent issues that veterinarians prescribe braces for. Linguoversion is the scientific name describing teeth that are pushed back toward the tongue which can cause unpleasant rubbing and chafing. In serious cases, this can lead to punctures in the mouth which can cause potentially fatal infections.
- Overbites. Overbites are, more often than not, an aesthetic problem. However, they can cause physical health problems if they’re serious.
- Lance teeth is the term used to describe when a dog’s upper canines face outwards.
- Braces can also be used if a dog’s baby teeth don’t come out properly.
- Braces can also be used to help restore damage and function after surgery that affects your dog’s jaw.
It’s generally a good idea to determine your dog’s need for braces early on in their life. This is the same reason that people tend to get braces when they’re children or early teenagers: it’s easier to fix dental problems before they get too serious.
In most cases, dental problems can be diagnosed when your dog is between 4-6 months. This is long enough for your dog’s baby teeth to fall out and early enough to catch most conditions before they become serious.
It’s also encouraged not to get puppy braces simply for aesthetic purposes. Getting braces can be an uncomfortable and potentially traumatizing experience for your puppy, so avoid it unless it’s medically necessary!
Pros, Cons & Precautions of Puppy Braces
These are some things to be aware of.
- You can prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort
- Your dog will look cute
- You can save money on chew toys and bones, both of which are bad news for dogs with braces
- Unlike people, dogs don’t require retainers
- Puppy braces can be expensive – sets of dog braces generally cost anywhere from $1500 to $4000.
- You will need to learn how to properly care for your dog by adopting new brushing techniques and using antiseptics
- You may need to switch to soft foods
Once your dog has braces you’ll need to take them in for regular checkups, either once a week or once every two weeks. This will help to ensure that no complications arise and that the treatment is working effectively.
All in All
All in all, puppy braces are an important treatment for dogs who may develop serious dental complications. Much like deworming, it’s a good idea to get your dog checked for dental conditions while it’s still young.
If you’re concerned about finances, it’s a good idea to decide on a good puppy insurance plan to help you manage costs.