So washing teeth, a very important daily task for people and something most of us do at least twice a day. Until recently I never knew how easy or important it was to give our horses the same consideration. My horse Dan is twelve now and gets two visits a year from the equine dentist. His teeth grow pretty quickly and he crib bites which adds to his issues, but I’ll talk about that another day. At twelve years of age Dan is much more susceptible to periodontal disease or any of the signs; gingivitis, gum inflammation, tarter build up, plaque, impaction and decay. Outside his biannual dentist visits, I didn’t really know how else I could I care for his teeth, until recently that is.
As most of you know, the reason we need regular dental care for our horses is because their teeth are really long, with about four inches hidden in the bones of the jaw. As the horse grinds its food for digestion they wear away their teeth. In response, the gum erupts more tooth into the mouth to take its place. Most horses are asymmetrical in their body and /or have an asymmetrical rider! This means that their teeth seldom wear evenly and the horse is often left with sharp, painful edges. Unbalanced teeth and subsequent sharp edges can cause our horses a lot of pain, discomfort and create or exasperate other imbalances already in the body.
So outside of regular dental care, how can we, the owner, help keep our horse’s teeth healthier for longer. I was at a CPD clinic earlier this year that focused on saddle, bridal and teeth. An equine dentist was on site to give us a lecture and she informed us that regular hosing of our horse’s mouth is similar to us brushing our teeth! How simple and fantastic I thought! So now I hose Dan’s mouth every couple of days. It’s really interesting to observe the colour of the water and the bits of food that pour out. Dan is only out on grass at night time, yet whenever I hose his mouth, loads of grass type debris pours out!
I found this tip of great interest and I thought you guys would find it interesting and beneficial too. Oh check out my little clip of Dan getting his mouth hosed. Please excuse the horse riding helmet hair!
Happy horse riding and mouth hosing..Niamh