A lot of dogs these days need dental care, and the main culprit behind it is kibble. There are two big reasons why kibble creates a slew of dental problems in dogs: The starch found in the food causing buildup and the pH of your dog's mouth being thrown off balance.
Let's start with all the starch that you find in kibble...
Even the highest protein kibbles are made of almost 60% starch. Starch is essentially a filler: things like low quality corn and wheat that bind kibble together but provide little to no nutritional value. This means your dog is eating more starch than protein in their diet when your dog is actually supposed to be eating almost 80% protein in their meals.
Starch sticks to your dog's teeth and causes a massive amount of buildup. Commercial dog food companies perpetuate the myth that kibble is good for your dog's teeth because it naturally cleans his teeth with its crunch. The truth is the starches and sugars in kibble cling to your dog's teeth and create a velcro-like surface for plaque and tartar to hold onto and thrive.
On top of this, kibble messes with the pH balance in your dog's mouth
Your dog's mouth is in balance when it is acidic (low pH.) That acidity helps kill bacteria and pathogens. The starch found in kibble, however, increases the pH of your dog's mouth, which reduces the acidity. Bad bacteria flourishes in this environment. Not only does starch cling to your dog's teeth, creating the ideal environment for bacteria to feed off of, but high pH levels mean the bacteria can't be killed off.
But here's how you can repair or prevent dental problems...
Switch to a raw food diet: A raw food contains the naturally occurring enzymes that help protect your dog’s teeth and gums from bad bacteria. A raw food diet has almost no starch, which means it will not stick to your dog’s teeth and cause buildup. Minimizing carbohydrates and processed foods are a first step in keeping your dog's teeth clean.
Integrate raw meaty bones: Chewing on raw meaty bones helps keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy. Chewing on raw bones two to three times a week can leverage the abrasive power to keep your dog's teeth clean. Always be sure to use raw bones, never cooked bones, which can splinter and become a choking hazard. We recommend goat and lamb bone because they are slightly softer and gentler on gums, but cow bones work great as well.
Brush your dog's teeth: If you stick to feeding kibble, it's important to brush your dog's teeth and pay attention to tartar buildup. It can get very painful and costly if it gets out of hand.