Humans get braces for a variety of reasons. Some patients want a set of straight, beautiful teeth. Other patients choose to get braces for medical reasons, such as the alleviation of jaw pain or pain when eating. However, braces aren't just for human patients. A recent viral story brought attention to canine orthodontia when a young dog in Michigan showed his braces off to the world. Many of the comments on the related Facebook page revealed just how little the general public knows about braces for canine patients.
Braces for Canine Patients
While human orthodontia can either serve fashion or function, canine orthodontia is only used in the case of dogs that have trouble eating or closing their mouth due to the size, shape and composition of their teeth. Dogs with an overbite or underbite may look "cute" due to their quirkiness and uniqueness, but just like their human counterparts, these dogs may have issues eating or suffer from jaw pain. Braces can be applied to the dog's teeth to straighten the teeth and correct jaw problems, making it easier for the dog to eat and do the things a normal dog does.
Where Can a Dog Get Braces?
Obviously, a dog can't just wander into a typical orthodontist's office, hop in the chair and demand a set of braces. Canine braces are put on by a veterinarian that has been trained in canine orthodontia. Just like their human counterparts, dogs with braces must be closely monitored. Extra care should be taken with cleaning the dog's teeth. The dog should visit the veterinarian on a regular basis for checkups and adjustments to his braces.
How Do I Know If My Dog Needs Braces?
If your dog's teeth are causing him problems, he may be a good candidate for braces. If your pooch has an overbite or underbite or has otherwise misshapen teeth that cause issues, he may benefit from braces. This includes teeth that are crooked and prevent your dog from chewing or closing his jaws properly. Dogs that are elderly or have other health problems may not be a good fit for braces. You should consult a veterinarian that has been trained in the art of canine braces to get a professional opinion as to whether your dog is a good candidate for braces.
Getting braces is a huge decision for both human patients and canine patients, and this decision should not be entered into lightly. Talk to a professional like Animal House Veterinary Hospital for more information.