Brushing your pet's teeth requires time, patience, and discipline. You have to spend the time with your pet getting them use to the concept of brushing. This acclimation period may be more difficult for some than others. Then you have to spend the time every day to actually brush your pet's teeth if you want to see the best results possible.

So with all that hard work you may be wondering why you are not seeing much of an improvement in your pet's overall dental health. You might want to take a good look at the toothpaste you are using to brush your pet's teeth with. Pay close attention to the ingredient list and look for thinks like sorbitol or dextrose. Did you know these are actually sweeteners that can cause tooth decay?

Sorbitol is classified as a sugar alcohol. If you pick up a sugar-free product and read the ingredient list you will likely notice that sorbitol is included. This is a sugar substitute, but it can still cause tooth decay. It is also worth mentioning that sorbitol can also act as a laxative. If you notice that your pet has a lose stool after having their teeth brushed there may be a connection between the two events.

Another type of sugar that you may notice in the toothpaste's ingredient list is dextrose. This is a type of glucose that is a monosaccharide. Like sorbitol, dextrose can cause tooth decay.

Here is the tricky part. Many pet toothpastes are advertised as being natural and sugar free. This is when you really want to pay attention to the ingredient list. There is a good chance that sorbitol is one of the first ingredients in the list. Because it is a sugar substitute the toothpaste is considered to be sugar free.

While it is a sweetener, sorbitol is not actually added to pet toothpaste in an effort to make it more palatable to our furry friends. That's why flavors like chicken, beef, seafood, and mint are included in the ingredient list. Adding sorbitol to toothpaste serves another purpose. This particular ingredient works as a humectant to keep the toothpaste from getting hard and essentially unusable. Believe it or not you will even find sorbitol as a leading ingredient in several human toothpastes!

While sorbitol and dextrose in small doses is unlikely to adversely affect your pet, it is always a good idea to consult your vet about your toothpaste selection. They can answer all of your questions so that you know you're doing the best thing you can for your pet!