Bright Bites

Bright Bites awarded VOHC Seal of Acceptance!

Bright Bites recently obtained the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval. Bright Bites underwent a rigorous testing protocol with results clinically proving the treats are effective in controlling plaque and tartar on the teeth. The specific requirements that must be met in order for the board of the (VOHC) to approve the use of their seal are listed on the VOHC website.

Many pet owners are confused by the numbers for plaque and tartar reduction stated on products that have achieved the VOHC seal of approval. For Bright Bites, these numbers are a 21% reduction in plaque and a 65% reduction in tartar. First, we should consider the difference between these two things:

1. Plaque is a soft substance that rapidly forms on the surface of the teeth and can be brushed or scraped off.
2. Tartar is a hard substance that forms when minerals in the saliva bind with the plaque on the tooth surface.

Tartar cannot be brushed or scraped off and must be removed with a dental scaler. Tartar on the tooth surfaces is responsible for gingivitis. Gingivitis not only leads to a painful mouth and loose teeth, but also allows bacteria in the mouth easy entry into the bloodstream, potentially leading to heart or kidney disease.

So, why is the plaque only reduced by 21% when the tartar is reduced by 65%? The reason is that plaque begins forming on the teeth nearly immediately after brushing or chewing a treat while the tartar takes time to form. So, when the teeth are tested for plaque the day after the treat was fed, we would expect some plaque to have formed on the surface. The 21% reduction in plaque helped produce a 65% reduction in tartar, which is the real story. Since tartar must be scaled off, a veterinary procedure including general anesthesia is required. The best choice in helping prevent dental disease is daily brushing with special toothpaste designed for animals. However, many of us are unwilling or unable to brush our dogs’™ teeth everyday. By feeding a daily treat that is VOHC approved, you can keep the majority of the tartar off the surface of your dog’™s teeth, keeping them clean and healthy for much longer than if you were feeding a treat that was not VOHC approved. Bright Bites are the fun way to help control plaque and tartar.

Remember, if your dog has unusually bad breath, a trip to the veterinarian is a must. Mild “doggy breath” is typical in dogs with minimal or no dental disease. Really bad breath can be a sign of serious dental disease or even a medical problem like diabetes or kidney disease. Don’™t delay, get your dog a checkup right away.

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