Floating Horse Teeth: What, Why and How Often?
Floating horse teeth can make a huge difference in how your horse eats. Horses’ teeth are constantly growing, and if they grow too long or get sharp edges, it will affect their ability to eat correctly. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what floating horse teeth are, why you should do it for your horse, and when you should have the procedure done.
Horses teeth floating procedure
Floating a horse’s teeth is a procedure that can be done to horses to help prevent problems such as horse teeth floating and generally improve their dental health.
A horses’ teeth will grow in length constantly over his or her lifetime. The growth rate varies from horse to horse but can be an average of three inches per year. This means that a tooth is never fully grown until the horse reaches about 12 years old. A few days after they’re born, the baby’s first set of molars are already beginning to emerge from beneath the gums!
Maintaining your horse’s oral hygiene with regular brushing can help maintain good dental health throughout their life by preventing bacteria buildup on their teeth which may cause cavities, plaque accumulation, tartar formation, and eventually pain in their mouth if left unchecked.
Why should you care about your horse’s teeth?
Some horses may not tell us that they are in pain, but some signs of discomfort might be excessive drooling or even grinding their teeth at night. It is essential for a horse’s mouth to feel comfortable because it can affect how the horse eats and drinks. If there isn’t enough room in the mouth, then chewing becomes more complex, which could lead to malnutrition and eventually tooth loss.
Another reason why you should care about your horse’s oral health due to possible injury while working with them on trails or during competition events like jumping, barrel racing, rodeo, etc. The constant contact with dirt and sand will wear down their enamel over time if left unchecked, and it can start to irritate the horse’s mouth.
- Tongue and cheek teeth are narrow, often crowded, with sharp edges that meet in a shearing action (i.e., they cut but do not grind) when chewing food into smaller pieces before swallowing; upper incisor teeth have flattened surfaces for grinding plant material such as grasses and shrubs; lower incisor teeth also act like rasps on challenging items of vegetation – When horses’ molars wear down too far from lack of use or heavy biting pressure by other horses during competition events, their tongue may be able to touch their palate which could lead to bad breath due to bacteria build up.- A horse’s teeth may wear down by excessive chewing on complex substances such as wood or rocks.
- The vet will often float horses’ teeth every year to make sure they don’t have any problems and the horse can chew better. Still, it’s always best if the owner does this at home, too, because there might be an emergency where you need your horse to eat something right away that he would have trouble doing with his mouth in a specific condition. I usually do mine once every two years, and my horses seem much happier while eating their hay now than before when I was only floating them once per year – which is what most vets recommend doing.
- There are also products sold for daily use by owners who want to maintain their horses’ dental health; these include dental diets, teeth cleaners, and chew toys.
What is involved in the process of horse teeth floating?
The vet will wear thick gloves and use a water-based solution to numb the horses’ mouth before using an instrument, called a float or explorer, to scrape away any plaque on their teeth.
A horse’s dental health can be compromised by age, genetics (overbites), diet, and lack of regular floating sessions.
Floating horses teeth does not require anesthesia, but it may if necessary for the procedure at home in case there are some problems with my horse’s bite, like incisors touching together too much, which could lead to ulcers forming from food trapped between them without enough room to chew it properly – I always have this done before traveling because you never know when something might happen while out riding so best safe than sorry.
When should horses have their teeth floated?
For most, your veterinarian will recommend that you float your horse’s teeth when the need arises. This allows for plaque buildup to be removed before it can harden and cause long-term damage. A vet may also recommend floating a horse’s teeth periodically if they show signs of tooth wear or dental disease such as gum infection. Beyond this, horses might need to have their teeth floated more often in their older years due to age-related changes like overbites, making chewing difficult.
- What is the best way to prepare my horse for having his/her mouth numbed? The safest method is by using an injectable sedative called lidocaine. Your vet will give your horse a sedative to relax them and then inject the lidocaine for numbing.
What are the risks of having horse teeth floated?
The most common side effect is a sore mouth or gums because the nerves in this area have been temporarily numbed. It may also be possible that some areas of tooth tissue can become exposed if deep scaling isn’t performed, but these cases are rare with proper technique on behalf of your veterinarian.
How often should I get my horse’s teeth floated?
As recommended by your veterinarian based on their needs, diet, and habits (eating soft feeds vs. hay).
Where do you find an equine dentist that floats horse teeth?
A veterinarian can deal with the issue if they have the proper equipment and training. Otherwise, you’ll need a specialist – usually called an “equine dentist.”
The benefits of a horse with healthy teeth:
- they chew their food properly
- keep a healthy balance of gut bacteria for digestion and absorption
- remove plaque and tartar buildup. This keeps the teeth/gums healthier, which helps with eating soft food vs. hay or other hard to chew foods.
Note: Horses that have had deep scaling typically need less frequent floating appointments as it removes much tarter than regular maintenance floating’s would. However, you should still consult your veterinarian before giving this a try so they can examine your horse’s mouth first hand and make recommendations based on diet type (soft feed versus hay), etc. So what is the frequency of horses’ teeth floating?
- Daily brushing (or at least once a week) is best, but in reality, most people only brush their horses occasionally.
- Horses should have dental care performed every year by an equine dentist, and then the veterinarian can recommend if they need more frequent treatments.
Healthy teeth have a ton of benefits for your horse. It would be best if you took good care of your horse’s teeth since they won’t stop growing until around 12 years of age. The vet can examine their teeth, give recommendations on a diet, and control issues like overgrowth and grinding. You can also consult an equine dentist if your horse is in pain or has other teeth issues that need further investigating! When it comes to horse teeth floating procedures, it is recommended to have this done once a year for proper oral hygiene in your horse.