Open Wide: Readers Share Their Horse's Dental Schedule

More than 2,000 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "How often do you have your horse's teeth floated?"

results of poll on pain and anti inflammatory treatment

Results were as follows: 
  • Once a year: 51.18% (1,043)
  • Only when needed: 27.43% (559)
  • More than once a year: 10.89% (222)
  • Every couple of years: 8.59% (175)

Readers shared how often they have their horse's teeth checked in the comments below.

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  • check them twice a year, float if needed
  • Depends on the horse some never need them done some need it often
  • As needed and advised by the vet.
  • Because of regular exams & floats...teeth are in good condition and don't always need floating.
  • my vet checks the horse's teeth once a yr. and they are floated as needed
  • all checked by vet 6mos
  • i have 2 horses
  • Once a year by a specialist, but willing to have it done more often if necessary.
  • Sometimes twice a year...
  • my vet comes out twice a year, so I let him decide if/when it needs to be done.
  • depends on what the exam reveals, exam is every 6 months
  • I am advised by and follow my vets judgement on teeth floating.
  • my vet checks their teeth once a yr, and floats them if they need it.s
  • Every year when vaccs come up.
  • annually, but he gets fillings later this year after his recent floating
  • my horses are floated once a year with the exception of my 19 year old arabian mare,who's done twice
  • by vet once a yr.
  • Crank Appy is 17 and requires 9 mos - 12 mos. depending. Checked by vet twice year @ shot time.
  • depends on age
  • Whenever my vet tell me to
  • 2x year
  • eating almost a whole bucket of sand clear
  • Vet checks them twice yearly, but only need to be done once
  • Or more often as recommended by vet
  • An equine dentist comes once/yr, but if I had an indication of a problem, I'd call more often
  • Depends on how many teeth my old ones still have, how much monitoring they need.
  • once/year for non-working, twice for working horses
  • More if problems arrise
  • On a tight budget, only the horses in training and horses that can't eat well get theirs floated.
  • as part of his physical
  • it's ridiculously expensive
  • This is VERY important to have your horses teeth floated. Most dont know horse teeth GROW in length!
  • My gelding's teeth get checked once or twice a year, but fortunately he has good teeth
  • you should only do it when necessary, never mess with a horses mouth
  • right now vet says once a yr enough but will do more often when needed
  • always have them checked at least 2x a yr
  • Vet checks teeth twice a year and if needed, floats, but usually not needed.
  • I will only have an equine dentist work on her teeth!
  • Some of my horses required biannual float for a couple of years but then only required as needed.
  • spring and fall dental check up
  • my 30 plus miniatures have all been cared for by an equine dentist - a threatened profession now.
  • too expensive these days!!
  • more often if the dentist orders it.
  • But more than once a year if the dentist/veterinarian recommends it. This depends if the particular
  • Checked every year and floated as necessary
  • "Once a year" is generalizing--as needed, but this usually is how often it's really needed.
  • Their mouths get looked at w/ they get their shots. 7 horses all between 3-24yrs
  • I have them checked 2-3 times a year. Floated when needed. 29 year old mare still with good teeth.
  • Depends on which horse, the old pony twice a year the rest once a year.
  • every year ir whatever the vet recomends.
  • teeth are looked at spring & fall by vet & floated if needed
  • Looked at professionally once a year; floated as needed
  • Yearly in past, but vet kept saying nothing wrong, why did you bring him in?
  • every 6 months
  • Check teeth every 6 months, only float when needed
  • when he was young and now that he's a teen, once a year, will go back to twice a year when older.
  • I don't know of any person able to do this procedure in my area.
  • here in the uk it is recommended for every 6m but that to me seems over the top
  • Some need it in 6 months, others in 2-3 years
  • we use a certified horse dentist
  • Some of our horses only need it every 2 years some need it annually
  • I have them checked yearly, and float as required
  • every 6 months
  • Ours have regular dental evaluations once per year.
  • I have a wry nose gelding who needs his done about every 6 months. My others get checked then.
  • They get checked at least once a year, but only floated when necessary
  • some need it more often.
  • yearly, but dependent on the vet's assessment during each floating
  • Or more often than yearly if needed
  • At least once yearly, depending on her needs.
  • is it okay to leave a horse without access to water 6-8 hours
  • I have mine checked every 6 months and floated as necessary.
  • Regularly once a year for optimum health by equine dentist,not just floating on my older horse
  • only when needed, I WILL NOT float with a dremel tool!
  • Now that all teeth are corrected and only need to be floated 1x/yr. Before it was 1x/6 months.
  • I'd advise to get an equine dentist to eval & float teeth, it's more expensive BUT worth it!
  • Depends on the individual animal
  • I marked once a year, but do it when the horse needs it, even if its several times a year!
  • check once yearly, float as advised by vet
  • usually every 12-18 months as necessary
  • Teeth are examined by my vet 2x a year.
  • The vet checks their teeth when she does annual exams; floats teeth if necessary
  • My husband only goes to the dentist every 15 years...never figured a horse needed to til old age
  • For now thats all my vet reccommends
  • every 6 months
  • I have their teeth checked every spring, but many times they do not need any work.
  • They are checked in the spring and floated in the fall
  • Have them checked at least once a year
  • Depends on the age and tooth condition.
  • We have the vet check at least twice a year and do as needed
  • Only when needed,though checked spring and fall
  • Once a year, or as needed
  • We 'power float' and it lasts for 2 years...well worth it.
  • Not every horse needs a float every year, but they ALWAYS get checked each year
  • 2x a year, spring and fall
  • The vet checks our horses teeth twice a year and floats them as needed.
  • The QH and Saddlebred get theirs done once a year, the mini stud twice a year due to advanced age
  • best insurance there is
  • at least 1x yearly, more if needed. We do have the equine dentist out 2x yearly to check all horses
  • They have their teeth checked periodically, but usually maintainance requires once a year.
  • Whenever my vet recomjmends, he does evaluate them annually.
  • As needed after evaluation by equine dentist
  • 2 older horses every 6 months/2 horses in their teens every 9 months
  • need to get around to that
  • present float - if longears need it, they do it themselves.
  • More often if needed.
  • More often on senior horses
  • checked every year, 2x year on older horses
  • I have dental checks done twice yearly. Floating is not always necessary but the checking is
  • And by someone who has specialized in dentistry, not just any vet
  • checked twice a year/dona as needed
  • I check them every few months and if i suspect anything have the vet take a look
  • Once per year OR as needed.
  • Checked twice yearly and done as needed.
  • More than once a year if they do not take the bit easily.
  • My vet determines when each horse needs its teeth floated.
  • use an equine dentist
  • I am an Equine Dentist. Ages 1-4, every 6 months. Ages 5 & over, yearly.
  • Once a year as a rule, older horses more often if needed.
  • Vet checked every 6mo and floated when needed
  • it's so important to have your horses teeth attented to every six months. It will insure good dentae
  • I have them floated when my horses get shots every 6 months.
  • Usually in spring with shots
  • We have an equine dental specialist work on the horses' teeth. One is older and has dental issues
  • he is checked when the vet comes for routine shots
  • they have check-up twice a year.
  • They see the Equine Dentist every year or as he says they need it.
  • More often for my older gelding or as necessary
  • Older horses need it more
  • At least once a year; more often if needed after showing chewing problems.
  • have 23 horses and have never floated teeth
  • At least once/year and any other time needed
  • Or more often if my equine dentist says it's needed.
  • If vet determines it is needed
  • Twice a year - my horse is parrot mouthed!
  • They are checked twice a year and the teeth are floated, if necessary, as well as any other dental w
  • Examined at least once a year, floated per schedule that dentist recommends
  • more if problems are presented
  • Old horse (cribs as well) more often than younger guys
  • vet checks yearly @ vaccination time
  • at the time of spring vet check
  • for my older, 20+ horse
  • full dental check up, not just floating
  • His teeth are checked every six months, and floated when he needs it done.
  • twice a year
  • or more ofter--it needed.
  • Only when needed which is usually once a year, sometime twice.
  • I have his teeth examined yearly and floated as per the vets advice.
  • Once a year usually, but more if needed.
  • Have them all checked 1x year and do those that need it - a couple need checked & done more often
  • by a dvm DENTIST
  • more if needed
  • Check annually; float as needed
  • Checked at least once a year and floated as needed
  • Looked at every six months, floated when required
  • My 32-year old QH that past away was twice a year but the vet always checked them first.
  • But they are checked yearly by the vet!
  • more often if needed
  • twice a year for youngsters; twice a year for elders
  • Vet check & float yearly, more if necessary
  • On young horses or old horses we do more than once a year, others get once a year from a dentist.
  • they're checked twice a year; I have older horses
  • IF the dentist comes to our area.
  • Vet is the one who tells us when it is truly needed
  • Once per year or when needed
  • every 6 mos
  • We have a Master Equine Dentist come for our horses
  • I have them checked at least twice a year and floated both times if they need it.
  • Some (elderly, etc) are done twice a year. We use a Certified Equine Dentist (not a vet) from IL.
  • Usually about every 1 to 2 years, depending on horse
  • Once unless I see a problem
  • Only if my fat horses start getting thin...which is never.
  • inspected at least once a year and floated as needed.
  • Sometimes shorter on our daily riders. Makes a WORLD of difference.
  • every 6 months
  • my vet checks the teeth during spring vaccinations and does them if needed
  • My vet checks for points twice yearly, but floats only when necessary.
  • This is for my senior. The others get it as needed.
  • my vet tells me when they need it,that's when we float teeth
  • every six months
  • If I trhink he is chewing slowly or dropping his grain I will have the vet check them immediately!
  • I have him checked twice a year, usually only needs it done once, but it depends on his age
  • Examined 2x annually or if a problem presents itself; floating as needed following exam
  • I believe it is more important that there is a bi annual exam then float as necessary.
  • checked annually
  • I HAVE THEM CHECKED IN THE SPRING & FALL WHEN THE VET DOES VACCINES
  • Horses are checked yearly and if I notice any additional problems.
  • Typically once a year unless there appears to be a problem.
  • I have had my 5 yr old mare's teeth looked at each year and have yet to have them floated.
  • it is up to my dentist
  • 19 yr old 2 x year;9 yo l x yr
  • More often, every 6 - 8 months, if the horse is older or has issues
  • Teeth are checked 2 x /year but only floated if needed.
  • once a year they get checked and done if needed
  • More often if a particular horse requires the attention.
  • Ihave them checked at least once a year and have them floated when ever the Dr. says its time
  • I have them checked every 6 months. They are floated when needed, about every year.
  • I have all my horses teeth checked every 6-12 months, and floated as needed.
  • Twice a year if the horse is under 5.
  • By a pro once a year and do my own touchups
  • Checked winter and summer done a snecessary
  • more if needed
  • Yesterday, as a matter of fact.
  • I have the teeth looked at 2 times per year until they are 10 and once a year there after. I also h
  • Have them checked at least once a year, but float only when vet says they need it
  • I have my younger horses checked once a year. My older mare gets checked every 6 months.
  • Teeth check during annual physical and vaccinations
  • their teeth are checked every 6 months
  • Every 6 months if needed
  • Sometimes more, depending on the needs of each horse.
  • bi-annual exams and follow up treatment as needed
  • can i wait longer?
  • It also depends on how old the horse is and what shape his teeth is in
  • Some horses just don't need it as often as others
  • as needed seems to average once a year
  • Every six months or as needed
  • our local vets have dropped the ball on equine dental health. ne iowa
  • at a minimum 1x yearly, more if problems develop
  • I know I should do it annually. I am trying to do this now.
  • twice annually, by my equine DENTIST!
  • They are floated when the vet decides they need to be done!
  • The horse is checked twice a year when vaccinations are given.
  • Every 6 months for horses under 4yrs
  • my older guy gets his done twice a year
  • Every 6 months for older horses; my vet is certified in equine dentistry also
  • 1x/year everybody gets inspected with speculum, then floated as needed
  • teeth are checked 2x year
  • teeth are checked every 6 months
  • done by an equine dentist not my local vet
  • Once a year, although with my older horses, as recommended by my vet
  • checked every 6 mos.
  • Twice a year (every six months)
  • twice a year for my 3 year old; twice a year for my 20 year old; once a year for my 9 year old
  • They hate it!
  • Linda Corey of Vermont makes a yearly visit; the horses LOVE her!
  • Checked and Floated every Spring (during spring shot time)
  • Vet checks twice a year when they get their shots.
  • I have one horse that is sedated and check yearly becuase she seems to have more problems.
  • haven't yet, but will soon
  • My vet checks their teeth every 6 months and if needed, the horses are floated.
  • unless horse is having weight loss issues then twice per year
  • My horse needs his teeth done every 9 - 12 months
  • 1 of my horses has to be done 2-3 times per year.
  • One horse does fine with twice a year; the older one needs it more often now.
  • They are checked at least once a year and floated as recommended or needed. One is checked 2x a year
  • I have the vet check each time she comes by.
  • Only by equine dentist, not vet.
  • Every 6 mos. or as recommended by my equine dentist.
  • Sometimes more often if the dentist recommends it.
  • I have an equine dentist do it
  • Some horse's teeth grow quicker than others.
  • by an Equine Dentist
  • My vet does the floating so I follow his recommendation.
  • 3 adults get 1/year; the 2 young ones will get a 2nd time
  • Every 6 -12 months
  • Youngsters checkd 6 months, adults checked yearly
  • I have the teeth checked routinely and when needed, they are floated.
  • which might be once a year
  • 2x a year - missing teeth, parrot mouthed
  • Or when I first buy a horse, to make sure any issues are not teeth related.
  • I have them checked twice a year and floated as needed
  • 1x Dec/ 1x June
  • or when needed as per my Vet
  • When needed- but it seems to be needed about once a year
  • or whenever it's needed if less than a year
  • AS needed but have them checked twice a year or if signs are showing that it may be needed
  • I have them checked every year by a Vet, but only get them done as needed. Seems to be every 2yrs.
  • depending on need and extent of dental problem
  • every couple of years or when needed
  • Every 9 months.
  • Really, as needed based on age, development, changes.
  • Our horses are checked 3 times a year, receive full dentals as needed.
  • We have a couple of horses that need there teeth floated every 6 months
  • 1x but more if needed
  • Checked every six months, so whatever is necessary gets done.
  • As recommended by the vet
  • or as advised by dentist
  • I leave it to the DVM. Some require twice a year; some once; some every other. Depends on the animal
  • Annually or as needed
  • or more often if needed
  • every nine months
  • with annual vaccinations and coggins
  • Power float every other year
  • Have a 3-yr-old who needs caps popped off as they occur, and 25-yr-old who's checked twice/year.
  • Equine dentist, DVM performs dentistry on my horses; Cheaper 1x per yr than to wait for issues
  • I do my own floating so it's done as soon as needed
  • This is essential care for miniature horses.
  • When my horses go for their shots, I ask the vet to check their teeth and make appt. if needed
  • every 8 months now
  • but checked twice a year
  • The determination is made by the DVM.
  • I consider this necessary for the health and well-being of my older horse.
  • Dependent on the age. The older(10-12 yrs) the horse the less often it is needed.
  • unless older then 2 times a year
  • EVERY 3 YEARS or AS NEEDED
  • checked yearly
  • but they are checked twice a year.
  • also check bit seat
  • Every other year. but the vet checks them yearly
  • Teeth are examined every six months & floated or other care as needed for the specific horse.
  • 2x/yr. Missing incisors matter! If you think not, your horse will die a painful death: Bloat colic
  • check them twice a year and float as needed
  • Annually for broodmares, but any horse regularly wearing bits should be checked twice a year.
  • If needed, twice a year
  • Vet used electric tools in past, wont do that again, over did the filing

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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