Yes. Braces are not only for humans. Dog braces are definitely a fur-fect solution for dogs that have dental problems!
Dogs have ten more teeth than humans, 42 compared to 32. However, sometimes the teeth grow out of line or even out of place that affects dogs mouth and their appetite. If no measures are taken, the teeth could grow until they end up nudging into cheek tissue. Thereafter there could be a risk of infection! A pug dog with severe misaligned teeth.
Dog Braces vs Human Braces
The procedure is similar to human’s braces working principle! Firstly the dog has to get anaesthetic, then the braces are affixed to his teeth, and VOILA! It is done! The cost is pretty much comparable to human braces – around $1000 to $2000 USD. However, according to PetChiDog.com, dogs will have smaller sets of braces, such as a bridge type layout crossing one or two teeth.
Otherwise, orthodontic buttons with elastic chains or invisible braces may also be an option. A dog’s mouth matures faster than a human’s. This is why dogs only need to wear braces for around 6 months, or even for just a couple of weeks!
Dr Kressin, a veterinarian orthodontist, said that it is more difficult to fit braces on dogs than for humans. It is because there are numerous dog breeds with different mouths and faces. Some of them have shorter noses, while the others have long jaws.
While wearing braces..
It is not recommended for the dogs to eat hard or dry dog food, or play with hard chew toys. Daily cleaning is a must to clear food trapped between the teeth and the braces. Weekly or bi-weekly visits to the orthodontist are required as well to make sure that there are no complications on braces application.
Wesley has experienced the true usefulness of dental braces. Molly, his owner, noticed that Wesley had difficulty closing his mouth fully and he was losing weight. According to American Veterinary Dental College, Wesley might have malocclusion, improper closing of mouth because of misaligned teeth. That’s why she brought this golden retriever puppy to her father, who is specialized in veterinary dentistry. Dr Moore, Molly’s father, said that installing dental braces for Wesley might be the solution. The best thing was that Wesley just needed to wear the train track-style braces for a few weeks. Luckily, it didn’t seem to be bothering him. As what his owner said, “He is a happy little guy”. However, dog braces will be applied for certain situations only. As mentioned by Dr Moore, he will only put dog braces to relieve pain, not solely for aesthetic purposes. Dr Dale Kressin also agreed that the braces need to have functional benefits for the animal and the owner.
So now for all pet pawrents whose dogs are facing the same problem, will you consider this as an option?