Dental disease affects 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over age 3. Periodontal trouble in animals causes the same problems that it does in humans: from mild tartar and gingivitis to receding gums; significant inflammation and tooth loss.
Keep Your Crest In The Cabinet:
When you are ready to start brushing your pet's teeth do not use your toothpaste, this has to much fluoride in it, also this is toxic to animals. You can go to your local pet store and find tooth past that is right for your pet.
While holding your pet, put a little bit of the toothpaste on your finger, and let them taste it. Next gently put your finger in their mouth and rub the gum line. Once you and your pet have this down (may take a few weeks) try using a children's soft toothbrush.
It's All In The Wrist:
The most comfortable way to brush your pets teeth is have them on your lap (if they are small enough) and have their head face away from your body. Use your left hand to brush the right side of her mouth and vice versa. For large pets, have them face you while they sit and start brushing!
When All Else Fails:
Try tarter-control treats!