Adult horses may have between 36 and 44 permanent teeth. The front ones rip and tear through grass and hay, while the back, cheek teeth grind the food in a sideways motion. When a problem arises, the horse may experience weight loss and eating issues, trouble wearing a bit, face swelling, and mouth odors.

So, where does floating come in you might ask. Because you horse’s teeth keep growing and are grinded from chewing, they are prone to sharp edges. A float or rasp-type instrument is used to smooth these rough points.

An equine dentist should examine your horse’s mouth at least once a year to determine if he needs a float. The process is pain-free; however, some horses will need sedation as the work can required various tools and hands in their mouth.

You should observe your horse and looks for signs of discomfort. They can include:

  • Trouble chewing
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Head tossing
  • Unwilling to accept a bit
  • Swelling of the face
  • Blood in the mouth
  • Unusual odors

Some horses may exhibit no symptoms at all. That is why it’s important to schedule regular examinations of their teeth regardless.


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