Frequently asked questions:

Q: At what age should I have my horse’s teeth looked at?
A: Foals should have their mouths examined fairly soon after birth. This will allow for any problems, possibly congenital, to be dealt with and noted for future dental care. Proper handling and examination of the mouth will also prepare the young horse for regular dental maintenance.

Q: How often should my horse be looked at?
A: After the initial visit, as a foal, the next should be at 1 year, to check the balance of the mouth, take off any sharp edges, and remove wolf teeth if they have erupted.  Then every 6 months is recommended, until 5 years old, as by then all permanent teeth have erupted.  After that will depend on what you are doing with the horse. One visit a year may well be sufficient.

Q: How will I know if my horse needs dental attention?
A: The most obvious sign is a change in chewing habits. Dropping feed, packing food in its mouth, wetting feed to soften it, or chewing on one side of its mouth resulting in quidding (balls of hay or grass rolled like sausages lying on the floor).  The horse may not be masticating its food correctly and may be swallowing feed before adequate chewing, resulting in choking, indigestion, possibly even colic.  In one horse’s mouth, who was salivating excessively, I found a piece of wire stuck in its mouth.

Q: I am interested in a career in equine dentistry, how can I find out more information?
A: The best place to start is the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians.  Visit their web site at where there is a section on 'training'.