Polar hates getting his teeth brushed. He struggles incessantly, grits his teeth and eats the toothpaste throughout the short 5 minute sessions. Although he hates it, I still try to brush his teeth at least twice a week. Despite our efforts, his fishy breath and plaque buildup were constant problems which brushing alone couldn’t solve. I love hugging and kissing Polar, so salmon breath is a huge turnoff!
After researching a fair bit on this problem, we started adding a pinch of Plaqueoff to his breakfast. Plaqueoff is a dietary supplement that supposedly aids your dog’s dental hygiene. It’s a powdery substance to mix in daily with your dog’s meals. Polar didn’t seem to mind the taste. Over 4-6 weeks, his breath improved tremendously, which was a godsend! Hugs and kisses for everyone!
However, the unsightly plaque remained.
A couple our friends recommended that we try this herb called 木贼 (mu 4th sound, zei 2nd sound) that is available from most traditional Chinese medical shops. It’s reputed to be able to remove the most stubborn chunks of dental plaque from our dogs’ teeth.
I set out to find this “magical” herb. It wasn’t easy though! As my Mandarin isn’t strong, I had a hard time describing the herb to a couple of shop owners even with the han yu pin ying aid. Moreover, it’s not a commonly sought after herb, and the first two shops that I went to either didn’t have it or didn’t know where they had placed it. I went to the 3rd shop armed with an image of the herb, and that’s when I finally found it.
According to the lady at the shop, this herb is mostly used for removing plaque off human teeth, and it was the first time hearing that someone wanted it for a dog!
We got quite a big bag for a dollar. Recommended directions for use was 2 – 3 pieces each time, so the bag is definitely going to last us a long time.
Take a few pieces and soak them in water for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Fold a piece into half, grip it with your thumb and forefinger and use the folded end to gently scrape away at the plaque buildup. Careful not to harm your furkid’s gums!
I took a picture of Polar’s teeth before I started, for comparison:
I have to say, it was pretty amazing because within the first few scrapes, I could see some of the plaque coming off.
And then as I carefully manoeuvred around scraping, a huge chunk came off!
It was such satisfaction as I saw progress like never before!
A comparison of before and after:
My verdict – It definitely works. I was unable to photograph the process of me scraping it as I needed both hands; one to hold Polar, another to scrape. In my opinion, it’s a safer solution than using a metal scraper, as it’s natural, softer and less likely to cut your furkid’s gums. If your dog is alright with you touching his/her mouth like the above, I would recommend you to try this herb for yourself. It’s such joy to see huge pieces of longstanding dental plaque coming off.
Hurray to Polar’s clean teeth!
Until next time, stay curious!