When looking for an oral health care product to use for your pet, there are numerous products available. With so many products out there it can be hard to decide which one is right to use for your pet. But how do you know which products claim to improve your pets oral health are true?
To help you answer this question a council was formed called the veterinary oral health council (VOHC). The council consists of nine veterinary dentists and dental scientists whose role is to review research submitted by the companies that make dental products and assess whether their claims are valid. If the council deems the product to be efficacious in retarding plaque and tartar the product is awarded the VOHC Seal of Acceptance.
VOHC awards the Seal in two claim categories: Helps Control Plaque, and Helps Control Tartar. A product can meet the claim for one or both of these.
Plaque is the bacteria-rich soft layer that rapidly forms on the surface of teeth. This bacteria causes gingivitis and starts the periodontal disease process.
Tartar is made up of calcium salts from the saliva and is deposited on the surface of the teeth forming a hard substance. This is resistant to removal by chewing or brushing. This hard surface enhances the development of plaque and exacerbates the development of periodontal disease.
Daily use of products that have been awarded the VOHC Seal will help to keep your pet’s teeth clean and the gum tissues and bone around the roots healthy.
Below are links to tables of the VOHC accepted products for dogs and cats.
Keep in mind that these products do not replace the need for dental cleanings in patients who have significant periodontal disease.
Written by Dr. Cara Page, DVM