Just like humans, good oral hygiene is extremely important in dogs in order to maintain good overall health. If a dog's teeth are neglected, he can develop serious oral issues that can be painful and lead to loss of teeth and expensive vet bills to treat the problems. If you are a dog owner, the best thing that you can do is be proactive about caring for your dog's teeth. Luckily, keeping your dog's teeth in good condition is not overly difficult or complicated. Whether you're planning to add a dog to your family or you already own a dog, use the following tips to keep his teeth healthy.

Buy Dental Treats

Almost all dogs love treats, and most dog owners purchase treats for their pups, whether for training purposes or to reward good behavior. If you're planning on buying some new treats for your dog, look for ones that are specifically labeled as dental treats. The shape and design of these treats help remove plaque buildup on the surface of your dog's teeth, and many brands of dental treats also add natural ingredients that help keep your dog's breath smelling fresh.

Brush Your Dog's Teeth

Many dog owners neglect to do so, but brushing your dog's teeth is one of the best ways to keep his mouth healthy and in good condition. Almost all pet stores carry toothbrushes that are designed for canine use, along with special toothpastes that are completely safe for dogs. If you have a puppy, it is in your best interest to begin getting him used to having his teeth brushed as soon as possible to prevent issues in the future. If your dog is older and has never had his teeth brushed, it might take a little bit longer to get him used to it, but it is worth doing so for his oral health. You may also want to consider canine tooth wipes if your dog does not cooperate with teeth brushing.

Schedule Professional Teeth Cleaning Appointments

Even if you are diligent about doing everything that you can to keep your dog's teeth healthy, he still needs to have his teeth professionally cleaned. Almost all veterinarians offer professional dog teeth cleaning services—talk to your dog's vet to find out how often you should have your dog's teeth cleaned. In some cases, depending on the breed and temperament of your dog, anesthesia will be necessary in order to completely clean all of his teeth.