The impawtance of pearly whites

brushing teeth

It appears I might need a visit to the dogtist. Reports are that my teeth are rather yellow and apparently yellow is not this season’s colour.

This is very surprising to me. I look after myself as I exercise regularly and I eat a healthy balance diet. But Dad is complaining that my breath is a bit smelly and my teeth are yellow. To add insult to injury, Luca’s (my step brother) teeth are fine and he eats what he wants, when he wants and the most exercise he will muster is a slow jog around the block. His teeth are like a toothpaste commercial. Cue Luca, a stupid smile and the teeth so bright it hurts your eyes.  

I had a chat with mum about it because I was worried. I work very hard for living, modelling for Mums and Dads dog accessory company and photos of me are all over the Internet. I need to look my best, what is a girl to do with yellow teeth?  

Mum was her reassuring self. “The mouth is home to thousands of bacteria. As the bacteria multiples on the tooth’s surface they form an invisible layer called plaque or biofilm. It is important to look after your teeth because it can lead to inflammation of the gums and further down the line, perhaps a periodontal disease.

“But sometimes plaque can be removed naturally by the dogs tongue and chewing habits. Luca’s lifestyle is really no different to yours, Cocoa except he chews.”

“I know he chews, you can’t trust him with my toys. He would destroy them if I let him,”  I confirmed.

“Yes, he would,” said Mum. “But chewing does help to remove the plaque.  You just need to chew the right things.”

Well, what sort of things?,  I mused. “Luca, what should I chew to help my teeth?”

Luca looked up, as usual he was his busy self – watching Loose Women and snoozing. He seemed very unconcerned. Obviously he didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.

“Luca, my teeth are yellow, that will effect me being my usual photogenic self. Which means you may have to step up and help Dad out with photos. Which means more hours working and less time on Loose women.”

That certainly got his attention. I have never seen him move so quickly, he headed off to his toy basket and returned with a selection of toys, some of them being the ones we even designed and make ourselves. He selected a couple and returned.

“OK Cocoa, get your pearly yellows round some of these, we will have a strict chewing diet of half an hour a day – let’s see if we can get that plaque removed.”  Luca was almost masterful as he said that – almost, but not quite.

“So what do I exactly do, Luca?” I have never chewed my toys, I don’t like to destroy things, I take care of my balls and my frisbee’s because they are playing, for retrieving, to show my dad how clever I am.

“Well, it’s like this.” Luca demonstrated by picking up one of the fleece tug toys with his paw and mouth. He then got it to one one side of his mouth and proceeded to nod away at it. Up and down his mouth it went and I could see it was grazing the side of his teeth. He then moved it to the other side of his jaw and continued.  

“Just like that Cocoa, did you see?” He asked. “Our fleece tug toys are really good for this, they are soft so they don’t hurt my mouth but still strong enough with the right texture to rub the scum and plaque off.” 

He pawed the toy over to me and I started to give it go. Surprising, it didn’t hurt my mouth and was almost therapeutic. I could feel it exercising my gums and my mouth and I was positive it was helping already.

“Another good way to help prevent tartar build up is through brushing your teeth daily,” Dad then chipped in. “A while ago I ordered you a toothbrush and toothpaste. I had forgotten about them, why don’t we try those?”

I put the toy down as things seemed to be getting a bit more involved, at this rate my daily beauty routine would take all day. I asked Dad what exactly I would need to do.

“Well it’s just like putting a very small brush inside your mouth and moving it around. Up and down, brushing each tooth, removing tiny bits of food particles off your teeth. It’s very simple, doesn’t take long and it is important. Mum and I do ours once or twice a day too.”

“Is the toothpaste mint flavoured?  I don’t like mint,” I nervously asked. 

“No, it’s not like our toothpaste and you must not use the hooman version because there are chemicals in those that are harmful to dogs. You must use the specially designed ones for canines. The one I ordered for you is poultry flavoured.”

“Did you just say poultry?”  At that point Luca popped his head up again, oh gosh that boy is always thinking of his stomach. 

“It’s not for you Luca, it’s for me. You don’t need it. Your teeth are perfect – apparently,” I snapped at him. I am sorry, I just couldn’t help it, I am normally the perfect one and this turn of events didn’t sit easy with me.

But I decided to give a go. I wasn’t sure of the brush thing to start off with, it tickled inside my mouth and made me giggle, although the toothpaste did taste nice. We are going to continue with my beauty regime every day to see if it makes a difference so watch this space. I will replace Luca in that toothpaste commercial before you know it!

This is a guest post by Elaine Daykin from Tuffdogs Stuff. Want to write for us? Visit or email


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