Dental hygiene is essential to the health and wellbeing of all pets. Most pets over 3 years of age have some form of dental disease. Plaque and tartar can cause significant health problems such as kidney, liver and heart issues and obviously mouth infections and mouth pain.
Dr Mander (Sydney Animal Hospitals, Kellyville) recommends the following for the best dental hygiene:

• Teeth brushing. The best long term treatment, however this can be very challenging in some pets.
• Dental diets. A fantastic way of managing dental disease in pets. These dry foods are formulated such that they don't crumble when the tooth bites into it and has the effect of abrasion up and down the tooth. This is very similar to us biting into an apple and is of huge long term oral health benefit.
• Water additives can also promote mouth and dental hygiene. Aquadent is fantastic and can help dogs and cats with bad breath issues. Healthy mouth is a new water additive that has been shown to slow plaque accumulation by over 70% when used all the time.
• Dental chews such as Greenies®  benefit by promoting chewing and tooth abrasion and cleaning.

Unfortunately as in with humans, most dogs and cats need professional dental scaling at some stage throughout their lives
and some need annual dental cleaning.