Best Way to Remove Plaque from Your Dog’s Teeth

We all know that like humans, dog teeth also need to be brushed on a regular basis – if not daily, then at least every few days or at least weekly.

However, brushing your dog’s teeth is not easy; some dogs will run away and will refuse to let you brush their teeth. There are even other ways of dealing with plaque without brushing too.

Usually, plaque forms after they finish eating their foods. For this reason; the bacteria from the food that they eat mixes with their saliva, which often sticks to the surface of your dog’s teeth.  

Every time your dog barks, you can probably see a yellowish, sticky coat on the surface of their teeth that could be irritating their mouth. Not only that, but it isn’t the most pleasant sight either!

Luckily, there are many options available for removing that sticky plaque on your dog’s teeth. 

Keep on reading to find out the best way to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth!

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dog's Teeth

Plaque and Tartar in Dogs 

Plaque usually starts to form on your dog’s teeth after your dog has eaten food. The microscopic organisms from the food mix in with your dog’s saliva, which adhere to the outside of their teeth. This results in a grayish, clingy substance covering the outside of your pooch’s teeth, usually known as plaque.  

After about 3-5 days, if the plaque isn’t removed, it will solidify and become tartar. Tartar is formed on your dog’s teeth when the current plaque mixes with the contents of your dog’s saliva.  

Tartar is recognizable from its yellowish and unpleasant appearance, and can usually be easily spotted on your canine’s teeth. Awful breath and aggravation of the gums are just a few common symptoms with the development of tartar. In the event that the tartar on their teeth isn’t removed, it can cause numerous dental issues, including gum disease, periodontal disease, and more.

Plaque is formed via a mix of saliva, food particles, and various other microorganisms and bacteria. If not addressed on a regular basis, plaque will start to form in their mouth. Excessive plaque and tartar buildup can cause gum disease, gum irritation, bad breath, discolored teeth, tooth decay, and more. It truly can be a serious issue if not addressed. Tartar that has developed over time and has not been treated is very difficult to remove. At this point, a vet visit is mandatory. The damage might already have been done, depending on how long plaque and tartar have been accumulating. Luckily for you and your dog, there are various different tools and products that can be used to prevent and treat tartar buildup.

Plaque on dog's teeth

Is Dog Plaque or Tartar a Problem? Absolutely.

Tartar initially begins to form as a sticky, yellowy plaque as a result of food and saliva that is still in their mouth after they eat. Purina clarifies that bacteria from food and a dog’s mouth can create even more plaque if not addressed. Gums, tooth decay, awful breath, abscesses, and more issues are just a few of the potential problems that untreated plaque buildup can cause.

When plaque solidifies, it turns into tartar. Tartar causes gum disease, which eventually can transition into Canine Periodontitis in the event that it isn’t addressed. Even in minor Canine periodontitis, your precious dog could even lose their teeth. The American Veterinary Dental College says that periodontal disease can even affect your dog’s entire health; including their heart, liver, and kidneys.  

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dogs Teeth

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Daily  

Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth can be incredibly effective at preventing plaque from forming in their mouth. Always look for toothpaste formulated specifically for dogs and never use your own toothpaste to clean their teeth. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be harmful for your dog. Many dogs are reluctant to have their teeth brushed, but always try to be persistent. Maybe one day they won’t let you get close to their mouth, but over time they might open up to it.

An effective way to ease your dog into brushing their teeth is to start off by using your finger to rub the top and base of their teeth and gums. Once they start to become comfortable with that, you can gradually begin to introduce a toothbrush. This will help your dog become comfortable over a period of time, which makes them much more likely to open up to brushing. Start by brushing slowly. Even if you can get the whole mouth in one go immediately, as long as you continue making efforts, they should eventually warm up to it.  

Obviously, not everyone will have the time or energy to brush their dog’s teeth each and every day. Aim for at least a brushing once a week if you can’t manage to do it daily. Also, make sure you don’t miss brushing their gum line, as this is a common area where plaque and tartar will stick to. In a perfect world, you should brush your canine’s teeth day by day or week by week. Likewise, make certain to brush over your pooch’s gum line, as this is the place plaque and tartar stick. Another great method to prevent plaque is to regularly and consistently give your dog dental treats that can help reduce plaque and tartar.

Even something as simple as a diet change or a different food can play a huge role in the health of your dog’s teeth. Some foods are made with higher quality ingredients that may even offer dental protection in comparison to others. 

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dogs Teeth

Dog Teeth Cleaning  

Dog teeth cleaning, when done in a veterinarian’s office, is usually called dental scaling. The American Veterinary Dental College says that having a vet clean your dog’s teeth under anesthesia is better, for numerous reasons including: less pain, more effective cleaning, more precision, and many more benefits.

Once a veterinarian performs scaling, they are expelling tartar from both the outside of the teeth and any tartar that has developed underneath the gum line, which is much harder to clean at home. A more precise and extensive cleaning will ensure that your dog’s dental health is as good as possible.

The AVDC says that cleaning, followed by scaling in a complete veterinary dental cleaning leaves a perfect, white tooth with a smooth surface. If you’re interested in the veterinarian dental cleaning process and want to learn more about what it entails, visit this link.

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dogs Teeth

How to Soften Dog Plaque or Tartar  

If you had your dog since they were a puppy, chances are that they had magnificently bright and white teeth. However, with time and unaddressed plaque, their teeth can become stained and yellowed. Additionally, their breath might start to stink too. The best thing you can do for your dog’s health is trying to prevent tartar from forming in the first place, so that you can prevent any issues that might arise as a result of tartar buildup.  

There are many ways you can help take care of your dog’s dental health. Chew toys and dental treats are very effective and effortless way for you to help your dog maintain healthy teeth. Chew toys can help break up any stubborn plaque through the use of chewing and biting. Many dog treats have special formulated ingredients that can help fight off tartar. As long as you are making a regular effort to prevent plaque from initially forming, you and your dog will be much better off.  

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dogs Teeth

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dogs Teeth  

Removing plaque or tartar from your dog’s teeth regularly will assist with maintaining great oral hygiene. There are simple changes you can make to reduce plaque from your dog’s teeth including:  


A well-balanced diet that contains all the nutrients that your dog needs can not only help their dental health, but their well-being as well. Dry foods are typically always a better option for dental health, as they can help break up tartar while they are being chewed and eaten. Always consider using high quality ingredients in your dog’s food. Not all foods are made equally, and some are much more superior than others.

No More Table Scraps  

We get it; those little dog eyes are a terrible sight to behold. Sometimes, we almost feel powerless when we see those cute and adorable puppy eyes. However, some foods can be terrible for your dog’s health, let alone their dental health. While the occasional leftover treat is fine, make an effort not to make it a habit.


For effective and top of the line dog treats, always search for treats that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC).  


Toys are great way to not only keep your dog entertained, but to also benefit their dental health.

Ensure that any toys that you buy are not made with any material that could be harmful to your dog. Toys are great way to help get rid of plaque, all the while keeping your dog entertained. Not only are they effective, but they are also very affordable. 

There are tons and tons of toys available intended to help your dog chew and displace any tartar in their mouth. Dental toys are a practically effortless way to improve your dog’s dental hygiene!  

Raw Bones 

Even though dogs may love your leftover chicken bones, cooked bones can dislodge and break in their mouth, and could potentially cause a wide range of issues for your dog. Raw bones are an awesome way to help clean your canine’s teeth, while fulfilling their love to bite. Remember that you’ll need to pick size-proper bones based on the size and age of your dog.

With their gentle texture and ability to easily move in and around teeth, raw bones can be fantastic for your dog’s gums too. Make sure you provide proper supervision for your dog while they are eating bones!

Note: Don’t ever let your dog have any cooked bones, as they’re more weak than raw bones and break apart very easily! This can lead to injury and many other potential problems.

Coconut Oil  

Coconut oil has been called “nature’s toothpaste” for dogs. The properties of this very well-known oil can improve your dog’s dental well-being. The lauric acid inside of coconut oil can even help kill bacteria in your dog’s mouth, and can even freshen their breath!

Tooth Wipes  

In the event that your dog absolutely hates the sight of a toothbrush, dental tooth wipes can be a fantastic alternative. They allow you to clean your dogs teeth with ease, and many dogs don’t have an issue with them. All it takes is a gentle wipe along their teeth and their gums!  

Water Additives  

Water additives can be a great option for your dog. In the event that they don’t want you anywhere near their mouth, either with a toothbrush or dental wipe, you can easily sneak in some plaque fighting additives to their water. It’s as simple and effortless as putting in a few drops of water into their water bowl. However, some dogs can notice the smell immediately and may not drink it. If your dog doesn’t mind it, it’s perhaps the most effortless strategy in your arsenal to fight plaque and tartar for your dog.  

Best Way to Remove Plaque from Dogs Teeth

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth  

Daily brushing is absolutely the best way to help your dog’s teeth and gums.  

In order for brushing your dog’s teeth to be as easy as can be for everyone, you’ll need to ensure that you have plenty of patience, dedication, and the proper tools or supplies needed. 

Dental Sprays 

In the event that your dog will not let you brush their teeth despite you trying everything in the book, there are still other alternatives. Dental sprays are becoming a popular option for pet owners due to the simplicity of applying it. Dental sprays can help reduce and prevent plaque and tartar from forming. As an added bonus, many of these sprays help give your dog a fresh and even minty breath too. 

Things You Need:  

Always use toothpaste intended for dogs. The toothpaste that we use contains minerals and ingredients that could harm or cause discomfort to your dog.  

Recommended: Sentry Petrodex Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste: Loved and favorited by both dogs and pet owners, due to the irresistible poultry flavoring that your dog will absolutely love.  

What veterinarians prescribe: TropiClean Fresh Breath Oral Care Gel: You can use this product alone or in tandem with daily brushing. This is great at freshening your dog’s breath and preventing tartar and plaque. 

You should always have a pet toothbrush: The fibers are gentler and more dense than human toothbrushes. For younger or smaller dogs, a finger brush or dental wipes can be a very doable compromise.

Recommended: Duke’s Double-Ended Dog Toothbrushes: A simple, yet effective and low cost solution to help you brush your dog’s teeth.

Final Words: 

Most of the time when you need to brush your dog’s teeth, they just simply will not comply and hate the idea of you brushing their teeth. 

However, there are some easy and practically effortless ways that you can help prevent plaque and tartar problems. 

If you’re still having issues with your dog’s dental health or you aren’t sure if there’s a problem or not, schedule a vet visit as soon as you can.

Hopefully, our article helped you find the best way that you can remove plaque from your dog’s teeth.  

Check Out: Best Dental Chews for Puppies.