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Yes, dogs can get braces. Veterinarians have used orthodontic appliances on dogs’ teeth since the late 20th century.1 Though humans may use orthodontic procedures for cosmetic reasons, braces for dogs are purely functional.
Braces can correct severe or even dangerous dental issues in dogs. While putting braces on your dog may feel extreme, it can help them eat and chew comfortably.
Dogs can face many of the same dental issues as humans do. However, a veterinarian will only recommend braces for your dog under certain circumstances.
The most common reasons your dog may get braces include:
Braces are the most effective when applied to the teeth during the developmental stage.3 They can be an excellent solution before more radical treatments, such as grinding permanent teeth or tooth extractions.
You should monitor your dog’s oral health throughout its life. However, they are most likely to need orthodontic treatment at an early age.
Dogs lose their baby teeth young and develop adult teeth between 4 and 6 months. This window is the time when they might need braces.
Symptoms that can indicate your dog needs braces include:
If you’re unsure whether your dog needs braces, consult your veterinarian.
Similar to human braces, dog braces work by applying force to the teeth. This pressure moves the teeth into the desired position. The veterinarian can then remove the braces.
Dogs typically wear traditional metal braces with metal brackets glued to each tooth. An archwire covers all your dog’s teeth and connects to the brackets by elastic bands.
Dogs wear braces for a much shorter period than humans do. While we might wear braces from 6 months to several years, dogs typically only wear braces for 2 to 3 months.
The length of time depends on the dental issue and treatment progress. Your vet will see your dog regularly for check-ups to evaluate its progress.
Once your vet is satisfied with the outcome, your dog can have the braces removed. Additionally, dogs don’t need retainers after braces.
Dog braces for teeth typically range between $1,000 and $5,000, with an average cost of $2,750.
Cost can vary based on several factors, including:
Your dog’s veterinarian will provide a more precise price estimate for dog braces.
Some pet dental insurance plans cover dog braces for teeth, but you’ll need to read the fine print. Some plans only cover dental accidents.
There may also be restrictions for your dog based on its age. Always carefully read what your provider covers before purchasing a plan.
When you get braces for your dog, you might have to pay for a few additional costs. These include:
Dental issues are widespread in dogs, with 80% of dogs 3 years or older experiencing some form of gum disease.4 Many dog owners do not provide regular, at-home dental care.5
It can be easy to overlook issues in your dog’s mouth, but diligent oral health care is vital to maintaining your dog’s overall health. Ignoring your dog’s dental health can lead to serious consequences, such as:
These issues can be severe and can have a ripple effect on other parts of your pet’s health. Many vets recommend frequent tooth brushing and regular check-ups.
A few oral hygiene practices to follow when caring for your dog with braces are:
Speak with your vet for more detailed instructions on how to care for your dog with braces.
In some cases, your dog might not need braces but still require oral treatment. Fortunately, there are other options that can help improve your dog’s oral health.
Consult a vet or a veterinary dentist to explore other options for your dog.
Dog braces treat certain dental problems, including linguoversion, overbites, and crowded teeth. Braces can be an effective part of your pet’s oral health care, which is vital to its overall health.
Most dogs who need braces get them when their adult teeth come in, around 4 to 6 months. If your dog gets braces, it will wear them for about 2 to 3 months. The cost of dog braces averages around $2,750.
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