Curious.....dental work - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Curious.....dental work

I'm just curious here......how often do you get your horses teeth floated??

I've heard conflicting advice and I've seen contradictory schedules......

I'm of the mind that it is an annual thing........
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 10:48 PM
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Checked annually, or more often if the dentist recommends it, floated as needed.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 10:49 PM
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Once a year to once every 2 years, depending on the horses age and what's it doing. My barrel mare gets once a year. My coming 3 year old will get done again this year, he got done last spring as well. But my husbands trail horse will probably get skipped this year, unless the dentist finds something unusual.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 10:49 PM
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I've been told by a very reputable and experienced dentist that it should be every 6-8 months for younger horses (under 10) and once a year after that - although it wasn't relevant for me to ask at the time, so I didn't find out how often they should be done on an aged horse.

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 10:50 PM
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I always thought it was an annual thing too...but my vet has other ideas: my mare just got her teeth done 24 months post-last float. She actually did not have any hooks or any "issues" besides a small amount of uneven wear.

She is 28 and a very slightly loose tooth was discovered yesterday, during her float, so her next float is scheduled to be in 18 months but will be moved up if need be.

If I weren't a poor college student, I probably would just have it done every year, no matter what, but as it is, floats are expensive stuff!

Apparently my vet's thinking is that younger horses get yearly floats but older ones ideally get 24-month floats with the goal of preserving as much chewing surface as possible as the horse ages. I'm not sure how much I buy that idea, that it actually works, but I know she wouldn't refuse to float Lacey if Lacey needed a float in a year vs 2 so she can have whatever theory she wants. After all, she IS the vet! Haha

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post

Apparently my vet's thinking is that younger horses get yearly floats but older ones ideally get 24-month floats with the goal of preserving as much chewing surface as possible as the horse ages. I'm not sure how much I buy that idea, that it actually works, but I know she wouldn't refuse to float Lacey if Lacey needed a float in a year vs 2 so she can have whatever theory she wants. After all, she IS the vet! Haha
That's because the teeth on a young horse are very soft. They tend to have many sharp points and uneven grinding surfaces on their molars. Because their teeth are soft, you can not do a lot of work at any one time or you will take off too much tooth. A hand float on a mature horse might take upwards of an hour but you will only do about 15 minutes on a young one. Again because the tooth is soft, they develop points quicker which in turn leads to more biting and training issues. Young horses are also still getting in their permanent adult teeth into their 5th year so if they retain caps or have other problems with the adult teeth, you can catch any problems before they are a bigger problem.

You float teeth when they need it done not by the calendar. Some horses can go for years because they have good alignment of their jaws and molars so they have even contact with the grinding surfaces and wear their teeth down naturally while others can't and need some maintenance at 6 month intervals.

Last edited by Left Hand Percherons; 04-06-2013 at 11:24 PM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 11:29 PM
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I had teeth checked every 6mo or close to it (basically whenever the Vet was out) until my horse turned 6 and now he's checked yearly but I'm about to have his checked even though it's only been a few months since my friend has been riding him and thinks he's carrying his bit funny and it may be teeth related.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 11:39 PM
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Like most have mentioned, checked annually and usually floated then also.


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post #9 of 10 Old 04-06-2013, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Ok.....good....I'm sensing some consistency with the answers at least!!! It bothers me to no end when I hear several different things that all contradict one another, because then I start questioning my own methods!! Thanks!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-07-2013, 11:21 AM
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A big part of the frequency of teeth floating is the competency of the vet doing the work as well. Are they in and out in 10 minutes or do they take the time to address the top and bottom of both sides? Do they have extensions on their hand tools to reach the very back molars? (almost 2 feet from the front nippers). Sedation? Full mouth speculum? If he's doing it by hand and not having to stop and rest, he's not working at it. It is physical work.
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