The BBC commissioned a study under our guidance for the "Trust me I'm a vet" programme. The aim of the study was to compare three common methods of plaque control. The programme was shown in March 2017 and is still partially available on iPlayer and Youtube.

The brushing clip can be seen here:

The study was run by Ross Allan MRCVS. Ross is based in the Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital in Glasgow. Three groups of ten client owned dogs were randomly selected following a routine scale and polish. Each group were allocated a method of plaque control. One group were tasked with daily toothbrushing with Virbac Enzymatic Paste. One group were given a Dentastix (Mars Petcare) once daily and the last group fed the dogs exclusively  Hills Prescription Diet T/D (Hills Pet Nutrition).

After eight weeks all the dogs remaining in the study had the dental plaque on their teeth measured and subjected to independent  statistical analysis. Ross was fully blinded to group allocation throughout and the study had RCVS Ethics Committee approval.

The full results were very interesting and the whole study has been submitted to the Journal of Small Animal Practice to be published.

In summary, the collective plaque levels on the teeth of the toothbrushing group were very low. This was to be expected as daily brushing has been the gold standard in doggy dental hygiene for decades. The plaque levels for the other two teeth were broadly similar to each other but substantially higher than the toothbrushing group.

The conclusion of the study was to prove the efficacy of daily toothbrushing compared with a daily dental chew or presciption dental diet. Had the study continued there is little doubt that the gap between the toothbrushing scores and the other two groups would hve widened substantially.