Maintain your dog’s smile

By Tracie Korol
The good news is that dogs don’t get cavities. The bad news is that they get just about every other dental problem that plagues humans. As with people, dental disease is the leading cause of chronic inflammation and infection in dogs.
Just like us, dogs develop plaque and tartar. Plaque is a colorless biofilm, mainly Streptococcus mutans, that builds up on a dog’s teeth over time. If the plaque isn’t removed from the surface of a dog’s teeth, it mineralizes into tartar. Tartar is caused by the continual accumulation of minerals from saliva on the plaque. It’s that orange/tan/brown crusty looking stuff that cakes at the top of the tooth. Eventually, tartar deposits will destroy the dog’s gum line. Once the gum line has been destroyed it’s a short hop to extreme dog dental care —extractions and/or root canal treatment.
While some dogs will have sparkling white teeth throughout their lifetimes with absolutely no thought or effort required from their owners, more than 80% of our pets develop gum disease by the age of three years, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. With that statistic in mind, most of us should be attending to our dogs’ teeth regularly to prevent accumulation of tartar that precipitates gum disease.
As a proponent of clean feeding for my dogs, I believe that the mechanical action of chewing real food and raw bones linked with the superior nutrition helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. Luckily, for dogs fed commercially prepared diets, there are kibbles specifically designed toward reducing plaque build-up. The mechanism of action for these dental foods is based on either enhanced kibble texture (bigger, fiber-y, harder bits) that scrape the teeth, or chemically coating the food with polyphosphate, or both. The polyphosphate coating binds minerals in the saliva to make them unavailable for tartar development. Polyphosphates can, according to the Veterinary Oral Health Council, reduce accumulation above the gum line by as much as 58%. The trick in dog dental care, much as it is with humans, is avoiding plaque and tartar below the gum line.
Daily brushing of your dog’s teeth is the recommended practice. Granted, brushing is no fun, for you or your dog. To confess, I never did get the hang of manipulating a doggie toothbrush plus, my dogs hated it and me after each session. I was somewhat forced to return to the gauze ‘n’ finger as my guys would mysteriously vaporize when I even approached the dental equipment cupboard. To keep the peace, I found it easier and more efficient to buff their teeth with a bit of gauze over the end of a finger. Because they regularly enjoyed raw meaty bones their teeth didn’t need as much intrusive attention and in time, they began to appreciate the special attention.
Be patient when starting oral home care, especially in older animals. Starting with pups as soon as they begin to get teeth is the best scenario. Begin with a gauze wrapped finger, or a finger toothbrush (which is exactly that) and graduate to a soft child’s toothbrush or spring for a specially designed, long-handled “pet” toothbrush, if sticking your finger in the back of your dog’s mouth grosses you out. For the introduction to dental care it is perfectly all right to cheat a little. A little garlic powder on a wet toothbrush is a great motivator. It also helps, at the beginning, to be less goal oriented. Allowing a pup to chew at a garlic-y brush is a great way to set up a situation where having a scrubby thing in the mouth is a good experience. Avoid forceful restraint — pinning your dog in a headlock — rather, make it a bonding experience and always praise and reward your pet for its cooperation. Toothpaste is simply a flavoring to enhance the acceptance of having a brush in the mouth at all; it’s the mechanical action of rubbing that removes the plaque. We don’t use people toothpaste because of the fluoride. People can spit it out, dogs can’t.
Recently, on the market, are a variety of spray or gels that stimulate enzymes in the saliva preventing plaque build-up. They can be used with a toothbrush, applied with a finger, sprayed onto the tooth surface and some are added to a dog’s drinking water. When these first appeared, I thought they were too good to be true. But they do work.
Toothaches hurt dogs just as they hurt us. You wouldn’t want to spend day after day with a toothache or other dental problem and neither does your dog. Dog dental care can be simple and inexpensive if you take the time to monitor your dog’s teeth and ensure you address dental problems before they can become serious. Taking care of your dog’s dental needs will help ensure your dog will be around to spend many happy years with you.

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What To Do

‘Returning Catholics’ Series begins Feb. 23
If you are a Baptized Catholic but have been away from the church for any reason, please consider attending our six week series at St. Peter Catholic Church, beginning on Feb. 23 and continuing through the remaining Thursdays of Lent. Each session begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends at noon, and is led by lay persons and deacons of the parish. Meetings will be helped in the Adult Ed Room of the education wing. There is no pressure to make any commitment; the series is intended to offer a bridge for anyone thinking about returning to the practice of their faith. For more info or questions e-mail deborahm@catholic.org.

Upcoming classes offered at ArtLofts
Here are upcoming art classes offered at ArtLofts, located at 208-B Carteret St,:
• Oil Painting Workshop with Mary Grayson Segars will be held Feb 27, 28, 29 from 9 a.m. -1 p.m. Cost is $150. Call 812-9509 or go by ArtLofts to register.

Creative classes held at Carolina Stamper
Carolina Stamper is located at 203 Carteret St., where the bubbles blow.
• Precious Metal Clay Class with artist Barbara McGuire: Friday, February 24, from 3-8 p.m. $75+materials, Create a beautiful silver clay bird to be worn as a pendant.
• Earrings by Design Class with artist Barbara McGuire on Saturday, February 25th-10:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m. $85+materials. Join polymer clay artist, Barbara McGuire and learn to make two unique pairs of earrings.
• Silver Soldering Class with artist Barbara McGuire on Sunday, February 26 from 12-4 p.m. Create a beautiful silver soldered piece to wear and enjoy.
• Gold Filled Beaded Bracelet & Earring Class on Feb. 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. $32+materials. Learn to make a bracelet and earrings using gold filled (or sterling silver) beads and crystals. Call for details: 843-522-9966.

TCL to hold series of photography courses
The Technical College of the Lowcountry Division of Continuing Education will offer a series of photography classes taught by professional photographers. Classes will be appropriate for beginners through advanced, as noted, and will be held in February and March.

Women’s challenge quilts will be on display
The Sea Island Quilters will exhibit The 2012 “Women’s Words of Wisdom” challenge quilts at USC-Beaufort Performing Arts Center Gallery, with an opening reception on Friday, February 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Winners of the challenge will be announced at this time. Quilts will remain on display through Sunday, March 4. For details, call Ellen Roberts at (843) 838-9857 or email ellensteve@embarqmail.com.

American Association of University Women meet
The Beaufort Branch of American Association of University Women will meet on Tuesday, February 28, 6 p.m. at TCL Beaufort campus building 23. The guest speaker will be Chris Taggart the director of the Born to Read Program. For details contact Diana Steele, president at 522-2796 or steele.diana@comcast.net.

Beaufort Writers meet
Beaufort Writers meets every second and fourth Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Lady’s Island Airport Conference Room. The next meeting will be February 28.

Beaufort Dog to hold advanced training class
Beaufort Dog is enrolling for an Advanced Training class. This class will focus on dealing with distractions while in “real world” situations like walking on a leash. This is a precursor for therapy dog training as well. Please call 812-5394 to pre-register.
French wine tasting offered at Habersham
Please join Debbi Covington on Sunday, February 26 for a French Wine Tasting at The Green Room at Habersham. John Paul from Total Wines in Charleston will offer the libations and caterer Covington will be preparing a scrumptious menu! They will be pairing two white wines, two red wines and one champagne with five small plates. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. Cost is $45 per person. Make your reservation by contacting Jamie at 843-815-7464 or greenroomsc@gmail.com.

Applications available for Zonta scholarships
The Zonta Club of Beaufort is once again giving one $1,000 Working Women’s Scholarship and one $1,000 Scholarship for graduating high school seniors. All applicants must reside in Beaufort County north of the Broad River. All applications must be received in the mail by the deadline of April 13. Please send to P.O. Box 2234, Beaufort, SC 29901. Email zontabeaufort@yahoo.com to request a specific application.

Local All Pro Dad Day Chapter to meet
Fathers and students will gather for breakfast, family fun, and a little encouragement at next month’s All Pro Dad’s Day on Friday, March 2, at 7 a.m. in the Coosa Elementary School Gym. This month’s meeting topic is “Being Detailed Oriented” where you’ll learn practical methods for being a better dad and enjoy some quality time with your kids. There is no charge for this event, but you must RSVP to www.allprodad.com/dd/2508 as space is limited and a headcount in needed for breakfast, complements of Chick-fil-A. For more information, please contact Mike Mashke, Team Captain at 843.525.5154.

Black Chamber to hold networking event
The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce will have its First Friday Networking Event on March 2 at Whale Branch Elementary School located at 15 Stuart Point Road, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. James J Davis Early Learning Center and Whale Branch Elementary Young Artist Showcase for 2012 will feature artwork from students in grades K-4. This showcase is presented in recognition of Youth Art Month. Housing counselors will be in attendance to discuss the South Carolina Mortgage Help program that is designed to help homeowners who may be facing foreclosure. Drawings, prizes and refreshments. Details call 986-1102.

CAPA to host 18th annual golf challenge
Area golfers of all skill levels are gearing up for the 18th Annual CAPA Golf Challenge, hosted by Waste Management, set for an 11 a.m. shotgun start on Friday, March 16 at Hampton Hall Club Golf Course. Register as a team of four or individually for this Texas Shamble tournament. Teams register for $520 and individuals for $140. All players receive a round of golf at Hampton Hall, practice range and balls, tee gift, box lunch, course beverages and entry into the Players’ Awards Party (immediately following play) with two drink tickets. All golfers have a chance to win $10,000 hole-in-one prize! Men and women of any golf skill level are invited to play. All proceeds benefit the Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) of Beaufort County. To register, visit www.capabeaufort.org or call 843.524.4350. Deadline to register is Friday, March 2.

A call for artists for Artist Showcase 2012
The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce announces the Artist Showcase 2012 scheduled for May 25-26 in historic downtown Beaufort. Artists must submit their application by April 1 to secure exhibit space which is limited to 20.
The 10th annual event is open to local and visiting exhibitors presenting original and print work in a range of media to include paintings, folk art, basket weaving and mixed media.
The Artist Showcase will be open at Sea Island Best Western, 1015 Bay Street, Beaufort, on May 25 from Noon until 8 p.m. A free reception from 5 until 7 p.m. will feature popular recording artist Mahoganee. The show will be open May 26 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Artists may obtain an application at the chamber office or via emailed request to BeaufortBlack@gmail.com. More online at http://bcbcc.org.

Trusting your authentic voice: yoga and writing
Connect with memories that beg to be told. Tap into and trust your inner voice. Only you can tell your own story from your truth within. Yoga’s tradition of wisdom will open your heart and mind to allow you to clearly hear that authentic voice, and through a method of writing that releases the niggling self-critic, you will breathe life into your wisdom on the written page. Join Kathy Folsom and Katherine Tandy Brown on Saturday, February 25 from 1 until 5 p.m. for an inspiring combination of yoga and writing in Yoga Chandra’s lovely waterfront studio at Lady’s Island Marina. During the afternoon, participants will relax and energize through breathwork, guided meditation and asanas or poses, and will write slices of memoir. The fee is $45 per person. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the workshop begins. Bring a journal and several pens. Contact Katherine at (843) 379-5886, ktandybrown@gmail.com or Kathy at (843) 812-6099, kathydfolsom@gmail.com.

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