The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine provides dentistry services to equine patients in our hospital and on the farm through our equine field service. If you have questions about our services, please contact us.
Floating is the term used for filing or grinding down a horse’s teeth to remove sharp points or to take the teeth down to the proper level. Because of the way horse’s mouths are configured, they can develop sharp points on the outside of their upper cheek teeth and on the inside of their lower cheek teeth. These can cause irritation and ulceration on their cheeks and on their tongue, especially if they horse is ridden a lot. In addition, horse’s teeth grow constantly, so if they are not being ground down by the opposing tooth, they may develop teeth that are taller than they should be.
Signs your horse’s teeth may need attention include:
Typically horses’ teeth should be checked once every year. If you have a horse that has been diagnosed with dental problems in the past, you should have his/her teeth checked more frequently (i.e., every 6 months). The time between floating varies greatly from horse to horse. Some need their teeth floated every year (or even more frequently), but some horses may go for years without needing a float.