You’ve probably thought, “Can dogs get braces?” if your dog has crooked teeth or bite alignment concerns. Perhaps you’re curious about dog braces after reading about Wesley, a golden retriever puppy who needed braces to repair his bite, according to Patch.
Dog braces exist, and they’ve been used in veterinary dentistry and orthodontia for well over 30 years to aid dogs with severe or life-threatening dental disorders. The purpose of doggie orthodontia is to assist a dog in chewing and eating normally, similar to how humans wear braces for cosmetic reasons.
Why do dogs need braces?
Braces can help dogs with a variety of issues, including crowded teeth and cancer.
Linguoversion, a disease in which the teeth are forced back towards the tongue, is one of the most prevalent difficulties they’re utilized to treat. Linguoversion on the bottom teeth is referred to as “base narrow” by breeders.
The teeth may rub against the roof of the dog’s mouth in this position. This can be extremely inconvenient at best. In the worst-case scenario, the teeth could pierce the roof of the mouth, causing recurrent and dangerous sinus infections. An overbite, which occurs when the lower jaw is shorter than the upper, and lance teeth, which occur when the upper canines point out rather than down, are two more disorders that might cause trouble.
When a dog’s baby teeth do not fall out properly, braces may be utilized. The mouth becomes increasingly crowded as the adult teeth emerge, increasing the risk of infection. Braces may also be used when a portion of the jaw has been removed for cancer treatment in more extreme circumstances. This helps to keep tooth drift to a minimum.
The veterinarian’s task is to figure out whether the dog’s teeth are simply crooked or misaligned and causing issues. For aesthetic considerations, they will not use braces.
How to know your dog needs braces?
The majority of dog braces diagnoses happen when the animal is young. Any issues can usually be detected when the dog’s permanent teeth appear around the age of four to six months. Some puppies show no evidence of discomfort in their mouths. Others may appear to be a little self-conscious.
There are numerous options for shifting teeth into a less uncomfortable position, depending on the state of the mouth. In minor circumstances, “rubber ball therapy,” as Carmichael refers to it, may be used. Dog owners are taught how to place a lacrosse ball in their dog’s mouth to help shift the teeth into a more desirable position. It’s the cheapest and safest alternative, but it necessitates a cooperative dog and a patient owner.
Extracting or filing down the problematic teeth are two further therapy possibilities. These quick treatments are frequently less expensive than braces, but they come with hazards. Teeth shortening necessitates annual exams and possible future changes. Extraction is a difficult and occasionally painful dental operation.
Doctors will check the dog and make sure he’s healthy enough to undergo anesthesia to determine if he’s a good candidate for orthodontia. Depending on how far the teeth have progressed, the procedure may require many rounds. Doctors normally do any necessary x-rays and cleanings while the dog is sedated. The braces might take anything from 30 to 90 minutes to put on.