Pogo the Bearded Dragons dental procedure
Most people are aware that cats and dogs require dental procedures when plaque and tartar build up on their teeth. However, many people might not know that dental health is also very important for some of our reptilian friends such as bearded dragons!
Plaque is a film of bacteria made up of food particles and saliva, and it collects on your teeth every day. Plaque hurts your teeth and gums because it can cause periodontal disease, gingivitis, and it can harden into tartar if it isn’t removed each day.
A build-up of tartar will lead to an unhealthy mouth with all sorts of unpleasant bacteria, receding and inflamed gums, odours and pain. If this stage is reached then a dental procedure is in order as there is no way to remove tartar build-up at home.
However, there are methods that can be utilised at home to reduce the chance of dental disease developing or reoccurring. Feeding crunchy insects such as roaches are much more beneficial than soft insect such as mealworms. Crunchy insects require more chewing and can naturally help to clean teeth. The same can be said for crunchy vegetables. Soft fruits should be minimised as the added sugar content encourages plaque build-up.
Dental hygiene in the form of a makeshift toothbrush should also be part of a regular husbandry routine. A cotton bud can be used to remove plaque from the teeth every second day to prevent it from hardening into tartar. The cotton bud can be soaked in a diluted chlorhexidine solution before running it over the teeth to help prevent bacterial overgrowth.
Pogo the bearded dragon is lucky enough to have a very dedicated owner and was booked in yesterday for a dental scale and clean. He returned home the same afternoon with a sparkling white smile!