So what does it mean to float a horse's teeth? I'm sure
you've heard this a time or two (if you haven't, sooner or
later you will from another horse owner or from your vet),
and if you're like me, you imagined for the longest time what
this could possibly mean and wondered what it involved.
To float a horse's teeth certainly sounds funny, too.
Floating means to smooth or contour your horse's teeth with
a file (called a "float"). Unlike your own teeth, your horse's
teeth keep growing. At times, your horse's teeth may develop
sharp edges, making it difficult for her to chew food, hold
a bit, or simply have pain and discomfort inside her mouth.
An adult horse may have between 36-44 permanent teeth. And
just like humans, your horse gets two sets of teeth in her
lifetime. Your horse starts out with temporary baby teeth
and by age five, will most likely have her full set of permanent
The horse's front teeth cut hay and grass, while the top
and bottom cheek teeth grind the forage between the flat surfaces
in a sideways motion. This grinding action breaks down the
food into a pulp before swallowing which helps it to be digested
better. If your horse is unable to grind down food all the
way due to uneven teeth surfaces, the unchewed food will not
be digested as well.
Most often, points develop on the upper cheek teeth toward
the outside of the mouth next to your horse's cheek. And on
the bottom cheek teeth toward the inside of the mouth next
to your horse's tongue. These points can then cut into the
cheek and tongue making your horse uncomfortable.
Though it may seem tedious and like a burden, you know having
routine dentist check-ups contribute to the overall good health
of your own teeth. Well, your horse is no different and deserves
some of the same attention to her teeth as you give to yours.
Confined horses or those that do not have the ability to graze
all day are more prone to teeth overgrowth, as they are not
naturally grinding their teeth all day to keep them smooth.
Also, just like you, your horse can have other dental problems.
A horse can have excessively worn teeth, loose or broken teeth,
or infected gums.
One sign that your horse's teeth may need to be floated
is if she is consistently dropping food from her mouth and
you start seeing signs of weight loss. Your horse may also
exhibit behavior like head-tossing or opening her mouth frequently.
Possible horse dental problem indicators:
* Drops food from her mouth * Exhibits difficulty in chewing
* Excessive salivation * Loss of weight * Undigested food
particles in manure * Head-tossing * Excessive bit chewing
* Resisting having the bridle put on * Difficult handling
while riding * Mouth odor * Blood in the mouth * Face swelling
* Nasal discharge
Because horses are adaptable creatures, even if they are
having discomfort, some do not show any signs of dental problems.
So don't assume that if there are no symptoms, there are no
Sharp teeth edges can hurt the inside of your horse's mouth
causing pain and creating sores on her tongue or cheeks. Your
horse may show resistance when riding due to added pain from
the bit pressing against the sores.
The vet or equine dentist will carefully file all your horse's
teeth that need smoothing to achieve a flat grinding surface
between the upper and lower teeth. Having your horse's teeth
floated is well worth it so she digests her food better, is
in better spirits, and makes riding more enjoyable for you
How often floating is necessary varies quite a bit from
one horse to another. Some horses seem to have slower-growing
teeth and may require floating only once every several years
while others may require floating every few months. Even if
your horse does not require her teeth to be floated often,
it is still a good idea to have her teeth and gums examined
once a year.
The procedure the vet typically uses to float your horse's
teeth is to first sedate your horse to make her relaxed. A
special halter is put on with a rope thrown over a ceiling
rafter or the equivalent in order to hold your horse's head
up. A mouth speculum is used to keep your horse's mouth open.
The vet will then either manually file your horse's teeth
using a rasp in a back and forth motion to flatten the high
points, or may use a power tool. The whole procedure is quick
and painless - taking about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
If you're like me, you cringe at the thought of someone
filing away on your teeth with a rasp. You can imagine the
shooting pain from the nerves in your teeth. Personally, the
dentist can't give me enough Novocain to make me feel comfortable
before poking around or drilling in my mouth.
Unlike us, a horse's nerves end close to the gumline, so
there is no nerve where the tooth is being worked on, and
therefore does not feel any nerve pain. We humans should be
so lucky. Did you find this article useful? For more useful
tips and hints, points to ponder and keep in mind, techniques,
and insights pertaining to Internet Business, do please browse
for more information at our websites. http://www.adsence-dollar-factory.com