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Zoology science fair project:
Determine the best way to keep your dog's teeth clean and to have a "fresh" breath




Science Fair Project Information
Title: Determine the best way to keep your dog's teeth clean and to have a "fresh" breath
Subject: Zoology
Subcategory: Dogs
Grade level: Elementary School - Grades 4-6
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: 1st place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair ($50)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (VSF)
Year: 2008
Equipment, Materials and Techniques: My dog, leash, Greenies, a product that cleans teeth and "freshens" breath of dogs, bones, toothbrush and toothpaste, tartar remover liquid in water, Rawhide Bones
Concepts: Dog's Mouth Hygiene
Description: The goal of this experiment was to find out which product will keep a dog's teeth cleanest and shiniest, its breath smelling the "freshest", and remove the most tartar. The hypothesis predicted that a product called "Greenies" would do the best job. Besides "Greenies", were also used bones, a tooth brush and tooth paste, rawhide bones, and a tartar remover liquid to keep the dog's teeth clean and its breath smelling "fresh". It was tabulated, graphed and compared how clean, how shiny, how "fresh" the odour of the breath, and how much tartar was removed before and after using each product.
Link: http://www.odec.ca/projects/2008/mutl8v2/
Short Background

Dog's Mouth Hygiene

Dental disease is one of the most common diseases in dogs. Accumulation of plaque and subsequently tartar leads to gingivitis and then periodontitis (gum disease). Periodontitis leads to loss of the bony attachment of the teeth and tooth loss. Preventive measures include tooth brushing, providing an appropriate diet (avoiding tinned and other soft foods and providing dental chew treats) and dental scaling and polishing. Cavities are uncommon in dogs.

Dog treats are often given to pets as a reward for something they did or just to let them chew on a bone, which works their jaw muscles and helps keep their teeth clean.[47] Although dog treats carry high benefits for dogs' teeth, they can also be a source of problems when given excessively. The human food treats are usually the ones that cause the most trouble for dogs.

Dental care may be most important while grooming, just like humans a clean mouth can impact the pets health greatly as it ages. This is however quite a difficult mission, given that dogs hardly allow their teeth to be brushed. The dental kits available on the market include everything from special tooth paste to toothbrushes. Many models of toothbrushes include a three flexible head design which maintains the proper pressure on all surfaces of the tooth with every stroke. These brushes have side bristles set the 45-degree angles to reduce the arm twisting and soft outer bristles for massaging the gums. Toothpaste designed to be used on dogs is usually natural sugar free toothpaste with different flavoring. Foaming or rinsing is not necessary.

A dog biscuit is a hard biscuit-based dietary supplement for dogs or other canines, similar to human snack food. Dog biscuits tend to be hard and dry. Dog biscuits may be sold in a flat bone-shape. Some manufacturers claim the dry and hard biscuit texture helps clean the dog's teeth, promoting oral health.

In dogs, the teeth are less likely than humans to form dental cavities because of the very high pH of dog saliva, which prevents enamel from demineralizing.[

Dog grooming refers to both the hygienic care and cleaning of a dog, as well as a process by which a dog's physical appearance is enhanced for showing or other types of competition. A dog groomer (or simply "groomer") is a person who earns their living grooming dogs.

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_health
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_grooming

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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