By now you know that regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and providing them with a healthy diet are the two best things you can do for their dental hygiene (not to mention their overall health!)

But there’s another crucial step that many pet parents overlook, and that’s “lifting the lip!”


“Lift the lip” is one of our favorite catch phrases at Green Dog Dental, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Once a month or so (or even more frequently!) you should lift your dog or cats lips to get a good look at their teeth and gums. And don’t forget the ones in the back! Molars are often the teeth most affected by gingivitis, as they’re the hardest to reach with a tooth brush and the hardest to see.


When you lift your dog or cat’s lips to take a look at their mouth, you should pay particular attention to their teeth and gums. What color are your pets teeth? Are they white and clean, or dirtied with plaque and tartar? If you notice that some teeth look a little dingier than others, pay special attention to those teeth during your next brushing.

And don’t forget to check out your pets gums as well! Dog and cat gums should be a healthy pink color, not pale white or red. Reddened gums are indicative of inflammation, which is a precursor to more serious dental issues, and pale gums can mean that your pet isn’t feeling well. You should also not anything that seems out of the ordinary, like sores or loose teeth. If you see anything that doesn’t look quite right, don’t hesitate to bring your pet to the vet to get checked out.


Peering into your pet’s mouth like this is a great way to spot problems before they become serious. It can also give you valuable insight into your pet’s health and will help get them used to having their mouths being handled (which is helpful if your pet still isn’t jazzed about having their teeth brushed!)