Effect of Frequency of Brushing Teeth on Plaque and Calculus Accumulation, and Gingivitis in Dogs

J Vet Dent. 2015 Spring;32(1):16-21. doi: 10.1177/089875641503200102.


The efficacy of brushing the teeth of beagle dogs in a randomized, controlled, blinded study design using a clearly-defined brushing technique was evaluated for 4 brushing frequencies: brushing daily, brushing every other day, brushing weekly and brushing every other week, compared with no brushing in a control group of dogs. All dogs were fed a standard dry kibble diet during the study. Standard plaque, calculus, and gingivitis indices were used to score the teeth. A 'clean tooth' model was used. No gingival or non-gingival lacerations or other signs of injury to oral tissues were found at the end of the 28 day trial period. Brushing more frequently had greater effectiveness in retarding accumulation of plaque and calculus, and reducing the severity of pre-existing gingivitis. Brushing daily or every other day produced statistically significant improved results compared with brushing weekly or every other week. Based on the results of this study, daily brushing is recommended.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dental Calculus / prevention & control
  • Dental Calculus / veterinary*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control
  • Dental Plaque / veterinary*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control
  • Gingivitis / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Periodontal Index
  • Time Factors
  • Toothbrushing / standards
  • Toothbrushing / veterinary*