Can Dogs Wear Braces to Straighten Teeth?

Can Dogs Wear Braces to Straighten Teeth?

We love dogs at Orthodontics of West Covina, and perhaps you do too! 

Sometimes we get the question, “Can dogs wear braces?” People are curious to find out whether dogs can get help with misaligned teeth with the same types of braces teenagers wear.

Can Dogs Get Braces?

If you weren’t aware, dogs can actually benefit from braces! Yes, that’s right, dogs can get their teeth straightened with braces just like human beings. 

So, if your dog has misaligned teeth or bite problems, braces might be able to help. The short answer to, "Can dogs get braces?" is yes.

How Long Have Braces for Dogs Existed?

Dog braces have been available for more than 30 years in a field called veterinary dentistry and orthodontics. Because dogs really don’t care what they look like, orthodontics for dogs are usually reserved for serious or life-threatening teeth misplacements. Braces for dogs can also be used to improve quality of life by making it easier for dogs to eat and chew without pain or discomfort. 

What Conditions Do Braces for Dogs Treat?

Braces for dogs are a tried and true treatment for many orthodontic conditions that dogs have in common with people. These dental conditions include:

Linguoversion is something found in certain dog breeds, such as the collie breed, where noses tend to be long and narrow. Unfortunately, this condition can be quite painful and lead to chronic problems where the mouth might not even be able to close fully. If linguoversion is extremely severe, the pointy canine teeth can literally poke through the roof of the mouth. 

Fortunately, braces for dogs can help fix these problems. 

How Can I Tell if My Dog Needs Braces in West Covina?

Dogs will often show signs if they need braces. A major sign is if they are having problems eating. You might notice them dropping food on the floor more than normal. If they don’t want you to touch their head or jaw, it might be painful, which can indicate an orthodontic problem. If you see a noticeable overbite or misaligned teeth, you should bring it to the attention of your veterinarian.

Don’t wait to get these problems checked out – your dog could be in chronic pain, and you don’t want your dog to go through that when it is not necessary!

When Is a Typical Age That a Dog Gets Braces?

Doggy braces are typically applied to younger dogs but of course any age might need the treatment. The common age range is between 4 and 6 months old, which is when adult teeth start to come in. If your veterinarian notices anything in your dog’s regular exam, they will typically recommend that your dog be evaluated by a veterinary dentist who specializes in canine orthodontics. 

What Other Factors Impact Dogs Getting Braces?

When a veterinary orthodontist considers fitting a dog for braces, many factors are considered.

First, is the dog healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia? Unlike human beings, dogs need to be put out to get braces. 

Other treatment options may also be considered for dogs, such as tooth extraction, shortening teeth via filing them down, and ball therapy. 

Ball therapy is a special process to correct linguoversion without dog braces.

How Long Do Dogs Wear Braces?

Due to dogs’ unique physiology, wearing braces is a lot faster for them than for humans. Typically, a treatment with dog braces simply requires a few months – in some cases, a few weeks is all that is needed! 

What Do Braces for Dogs Cost in West Covina?

The cost range for dog braces in West Covina is approximately $2,000 to $5,000. Different factors impact the total cost, including breed and size of dog, and the specific condition being treated. Fortunately, pet dental insurance is quite affordable and cost effective. 

How Do I Care for My Dog’s Braces?

You won’t need to do much maintenance for your dog’s braces other than regular brushing. You should also monitor your dog’s teeth to ensure no problems are occurring with the treatment. An oral antiseptic mouthwash might also be prescribed or recommended.

Special food – specifically soft food – should be given to the dog during this time. And by all means, keep chew toys, bones, and hooves away from your dog! These toys can break a dog’s braces. 

Once the doggy braces treatment is complete, no retainer is needed, and your dog can return to normal food and toys. 

When Should I Contact a Veterinary Dentist?

If you have any concerns over your dog’s teeth, don’t wait. As we said earlier, your dog might be undergoing chronic pain or discomfort that is hurting its quality of life. You can ask your veterinarian or consult a veterinary orthodontist to see if dog braces might be helpful. 

While your dog won’t be thrilled about wearing braces, it is only for a short time. Once the braces are off, your dog will feel much better...and likely reward you with a wagging tail!

Orthodontics of West Covina is a trusted provider of orthodontics in Southern California. Contact us today at (626) 507-6895 to schedule an appointment at our friendly, clean West Covina dental office.

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