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Recommended Dental Care for Horses

Birth to 1 Year

Horses in this age group should have an oral examination performed during the neonatal period to ensure the mouth is free of any congenital abnormailites. Frequent rechecks are extremely important for parrot mouth and miniature foals as many problems can be corrected before they become a permanent problem.

1-2 years
Basic floating to remove sharp points and any hooks or ramps should be performed. In addition, wolf teeth will need to be extracted before any bit training is started.

2-5 years
Since the dentition (teeth) of a horse is in its most dynamic state between these ages, it is imperative to have them checked every 6 - 12 months. Horses are in a constant state of shedding their baby teeth (called caps) during these years and it is important to make sure the teeth are shedding at the appropriate times to alleviate the start of any dental abnormalities. The reduction of any sharp enamel points, hooks, ramps and extraction of retained baby teeth should be addressed.

Mature horses
Are considered to be between the ages of 5-19 years. Horses in this age group should have dental valuations every 12 months to address any dental abnormalities. The most common abnormalities seen in the mature horse are hooks, ramps, wave complexes, periodontal disease, fractured teeth, soft tissue trauma, apical infections, step mouth, ATR (accentuated transverse ridging), shear mouth, incisor and molar malocclusions, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and TM (temperormandibular) dysfunction. Any of these abnormalities will prevent the horse from having normal forwards, backwards and side to side movement of the lower jaw which is essential for the horse to be able to eat and chew it's food properly. These abnormalities will also cause problems with training, performance, the horse's health, attitude and willingness to take the bit.

Geriatric horses
Are horses over the age of 20 years. Horses in this age group should have dental evaluations every 6-12 months because of the special dental problems related to the constant attrition or wearing away of reserve crown and severe pathology in the form of abnormal tooth structure and periodontal disease. The most common seen abnormalities are molar and incisor malocclusions, periodontal disease, loose, fractured, missing or cupped cheek teeth, hooks, ramps, wave complexes, shear mouth, step mouth, arthritis in the TMJ and TMD. Because of the loosening of the teeth and the problem of geriatric horses having little tooth left, it is important for geriatric horses to be on a diet that meets their special needs.

Routine Float: $209
Performance Float: $229
Wolf Teeth Extraction: $34