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Good Dental Care Practices

Routine dental examinations can help to identify problems (or the potential for problems) in your horse’s mouth, which can help keep your horse healthy. For the average adult horse, it's good practice to have a dental examination every year. However, older horses may require more frequent examinations (e.g. every 6 months).

What's involved in a dental examination?

A dental examination will usually require your horse to be sedated so that its mouth can be kept open and your vet can make a full inspection. Your vet will examine all surfaces of the teeth and gums, the tongue and the rest of the horse's mouth to identify any problems.

What is floating?

Unlike humans, a horse's teeth continue to grow and can develop rough or sharp edges that can make it difficult to chew or cause discomfort. So your vet will smooth back any uneven surfaces or sharp points using a file or rasp called a "float” (which is why the process is sometimes called “floating” a horse's teeth). Floating can be carried out with a manual file or power-operated file. The aim is to balance and realign the surfaces of the teeth, in order to keep your horse's mouth in good condition.