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I've been told by a few different people that you should brush your horses teeth to prevent cavities, rotting, and such. But I also heard horses don't have enamal on their teeth like we do so they don't get cavities...is this true?
Also, why do horses teeth rot and how is it prevented? Does sweet feed have any affect on the teeth?
 

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These people are obviously having a laugh at your expense, because I've never heard of anyone brushing a horse's teeth.

Horses' teeth grow constantly until they're about 25-27 y/o. After that, there just isn't any more left to grow out. Because of this constant growth, a domestic horse's teeth need to be floated at least once a year.

If your horse's teeth are rotting out of its head, there's something seriously wrong with the animal and you need to call a vet.
 

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You do not need to brush their teeth. When the vet checks their teeth, they can knock off any extra plaque that builds up.

There are equine dentists out there that specialize in fillings and braces but as Speed Racer said - the teeth grow throughout their whole life. I would think a filling would be a waste of hay money.
 

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You have to remember that one of the main reasons we need to brush our teeth is because we are eating foods we were not meant to eat. Humans are not designed to eat potato chips, soda, and cookies, so we get cavities pretty easily. Horses, however, are eating foods that are healthy for them in most stables (hay or grass) and therefore don't have the teeth issues we have. I suppose if you fed a horse enough sugary feed you could get issues, but you shouldn't feed a lot of sugary feed in the first place. Horses need their teeth checked once a year for floating, so you can ask the horse dentist how the horse's teeth are holding up. I don't think horses need their teeth brushed in normal circumstances, if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
These people are obviously having a laugh at your expense, because I've never heard of anyone brushing a horse's teeth.

Horses' teeth grow constantly until they're about 25-27 y/o. After that, there just isn't any more left to grow out. Because of this constant growth, a domestic horse's teeth need to be floated at least once a year.

If your horse's teeth are rotting out of its head, there's something seriously wrong with the animal and you need to call a vet.
Oh, no, they were serious. I swear they were - I wasn't just falling for it. But, they're not really horse people, they were just saying that all pets should have their teeth brushed by their owners, including horses. I've never heard of that and I was very confused because, well, when an adult tells you something it's hard to think they're wrong...you know?
As for the rotting, I was just asking because I saw pictures online...my horses teeth are fine. I also know about the growing and floating.
 

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Just remember this if they ever give you any other advice about your horse. I have some pretty gentle horses but I don't think I'm man enough to brush their teeth on a regular basis. It's pretty difficult brushing my two year olds teeth and I'm way bigger than he is.
 

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But, they're not really horse people
This says everything.

I admire that you have enough respect for adults that you listen to what they have to say, but when you want to know something about horses, ask an experienced horse person. Non horse people literally have no clue.

I got a giggle out of my mental picture of someone trying to chase down their horse with a giant toothbrush! :lol:
 

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These people are obviously having a laugh at your expense, because I've never heard of anyone brushing a horse's teeth.

Horses' teeth grow constantly until they're about 25-27 y/o. After that, there just isn't any more left to grow out. Because of this constant growth, a domestic horse's teeth need to be floated at least once a year.

If your horse's teeth are rotting out of its head, there's something seriously wrong with the animal and you need to call a vet.
Yup, what I was going to say.

The reason human's teeth get cavaties is because we eat "unnatural" foods, like sweets, sugary drinks, and acidic foods. Horses is grass, hay, and small quantities of grains or feed. They don't eat anything that would cause tooth decay.

The only reason a horse's tooth may rot is if it is cracked and bacteria can get in to the root. If that happens, the vet has to extract the tooth.
 

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I got a giggle out of my mental picture of someone trying to chase down their horse with a giant toothbrush! :lol:
I could see my 6yr old doing that! She convinced our 130lb Bullmastiff who is easily twice her size to sit with his mouth open while she brushed his teeth with HER toothbrush and toothpaste! :shock: She was convinced he enjoyed it because after all she had a Tooth Tunes brush and turned the music on for him! :lol: I found a coughing dog with white foam all over his face, I thought he was sick at first, poor guy!
 

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These people are obviously having a laugh at your expense, because I've never heard of anyone brushing a horse's teeth.

Horses' teeth grow constantly until they're about 25-27 y/o. After that, there just isn't any more left to grow out. Because of this constant growth, a domestic horse's teeth need to be floated at least once a year.

If your horse's teeth are rotting out of its head, there's something seriously wrong with the animal and you need to call a vet.
Agreed. Also do NOT feed sweet feed if you can - a high fat pellet is better for them (think of feeding children - kids that eat a lot of candy get more cavaities and are more prone to get diabetes - so a steady diet of sugar in their food is not good for them OR your horse).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed. Also do NOT feed sweet feed if you can - a high fat pellet is better for them (think of feeding children - kids that eat a lot of candy get more cavaities and are more prone to get diabetes - so a steady diet of sugar in their food is not good for them OR your horse).
What about 10% sweet feed? That's what I give my horse...
 

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Brianna, it's not that the sweet feed will rot their teeth per se, it's just that a high sugar content can make them hyper, like little kids on a candy high.

It's also not nutritionally sound to give them only sweet feed.

10% is the protein percentage not the sugar content, BTW.

My horses get a 12% pelleted feed. Sure, it's not as tasty as sweet feed, but it's better for them and doesn't make them zing off the stall walls! :wink:

I also supplement with alfalfa pellets when the hay I have isn't the greatest.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Brianna, it's not that the sweet feed will rot their teeth per se, it's just that a high sugar content can make them hyper, like little kids on a candy high.

It's also not nutritionally sound to give them only sweet feed.

10% is the protein percentage not the sugar content, BTW.

My horses get a 12% pelleted feed. Sure, it's not as tasty as sweet feed, but it's better for them and doesn't make them zing off the stall walls! :wink:

I also supplement with alfalfa pellets when the hay I have isn't the greatest.
Ahhh, okay. I was considering switching feed anyway, and you just convinced me. :wink:
Okay, so, new question! How do I go about gradually changing horse feed? From sweet to a new brand? Do I start off by mixing the two and slowly increasing the sweet and adding more of the new? What do I do?
Also, which nutritional brand might you recommend?
 

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I've been told by a few different people that you should brush your horses teeth to prevent cavities, rotting, and such. But I also heard horses don't have enamal on their teeth like we do so they don't get cavities...is this true?
Also, why do horses teeth rot and how is it prevented? Does sweet feed have any affect on the teeth?
Hi,
Haven't read other replies so sorry if I repeat...

Never had any personal experience with rotting horse teeth, or with brushing them - that'd be a fun job!! But according to Equine dentists & nutritionists I've quizzed....

Yes, if horses are fed sweet or overly processed starchy feeds, their teeth can decay and regular brushing(I forget the method the dentist suggested) is a good idea to minimise damage. Lack of enamel doesn't make decay impossible, but actually more likely. Unprocessed hard grainy feed, and horses ingesting sand or such causes uneven wear on teeth and floating is generally needed more often. If horses are only fed healthy, high fibre, low sugar/starch feed, tooth decay is not generally a problem that needs to be dealt with.

As I'm a hoof care practitioner familiar with other problems of bad diets, I've never fed my horses 'junk food' anyway. I've only ever heard of the prob in one horse around here, & his owner would put molasses on everything, fed lots of grain & 'treats' and even put molasses in his water. Not surprisingly, this horse was also obese with terrible feet, and ended up diagnosed IR.
 

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but when you want to know something about horses, ask an experienced horse person. Non horse people literally have no clue.
Hmm, just read the other replies & I think this one is unfair. There's no guarantees that anyone you ask - no matter how many years' experience they've had - will have a clue what they're on about. There are many very experienced but misguided or ignorant horsepeople around. ...& while 'common sense' ain't so common, just because someone has no experience specific to horses doesn't mean they don't have 'common sense' or knowledge that relates to horses. How do you know that these 'non-horsey' people aren't dentists or nutritionists or some such?

IMHO If you want to know something about horses, by all means ask the horsey people, other 'experts' in the field of your interest and do your own research/study to come to an *informed* and considered conclusion. Whether they're adults, kids, aliens... don't blindly trust anyone just because they say something, regardless of the type of 'expert' they are, but consider all sides & make up your own mind based on the info you find.
 

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i am a dental hygienist, so I always look closely after my critters teeth. I know that horses teeth are designed much differently then humans in that the pulp chambers are almost down near the gumline, and that the teeth grow continiously until later in the horses life. i don't brush my horse's teeth, but I do look at them quite often, more to examine the wear and look for any irritations of the soft tissue. alot of the foods that a horse eats, hay, grass and all that grinding mechanically self-cleanses nd keeps the teeth clean.
 
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