Horses have very large teeth that you can easily see. Unlike humans, dogs, and cats, horses’ teeth do not have an enamel coating.
Instead, they have cementum, which is more porous and softer than enamel. This material absorbs pigments from the food you feed your horses and with time it gets yellow or brown.
This is normal, and you don’t need to brush your horse’s teeth to remove the yellow coloring. However, if your horse has tartar, it is good to consider brushing your horse’s teeth with recommended toothpaste for horses.
If you find brushing your horse’s teeth strange, keep reading to find out more!
How can toothpaste help horses keep their teeth clean?
Many horse owners are surprised that some people brush their horse’s teeth. This is true, and some equine dentists recommend brushing your horse’s teeth if they are covered with tartar.
What exactly is tartar and what risks does it pose to your horse?
Tartar is a yellow-gray substance that develops on lower canine teeth and it can also appear on the incisors. The substance is hard and thick, and it is commonly found in horses whose food contains high sugar content.
Tartar buildup leads to gum irritation, and this can cause discomfort or bleeding.
Additionally, it can also lead to gingivitis and in some cases tooth decay.
Removing tartar is recommended and your vet can show you how to do it.
Using toothpaste to brush your horse’s teeth can be a good way to get rid of tartar and keep the teeth clean.
Would you need to use toothpaste?
Brushing your horse teeth is not mandatory but doing that can be of benefit. This is because brushing your horse teeth prevents tartar and plaque buildup.
Moreover, it can prevent cavity formation especially if your horse takes molasses and other sweet treats.
Your vet can brush your horse’s teeth during routine checkups. Also, vet-recommended toothbrush removes tartar and plaque build-up, leaving their teeth clean.
Related: The 9 Surprising Home Remedies for Cracked Horse Hooves
What ingredients are in toothpaste?
If you choose to brush your horse’s teeth at home, getting the right toothbrush and toothpaste is recommended.
Get vet-approved toothpaste that contains a blend of natural ingredients to protect your horse.
Contains the following active ingredients:
- Baking soda.
- Natural flavors.
How to brush a horse’s teeth?
You can choose veterinary help to clean your horse’s teeth or do it yourself at home if your horse is not a biter. If you are brushing his teeth for the first time, you have to make him familiar with a toothbrush in his mouth. With time, and patience, your horse will get used and it will be easy to brush his teeth.
Once your horse is comfortable with items like a toothbrush in his mouth, he will not be shocked when you want to brush his teeth. It is great to get a damp and large toothbrush to brush your horse’s teeth gently without irritating his sensitive gum.
Start by brushing the front teeth because this is where most food build-up is found.
After that, you can brush the back teeth with caution because the horse can close his mouth anytime.
Equine dentists recommend using toothbrushes with large heads. Since horses do not have nerves on their teeth, they don’t feel when you are brushing them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Horses react differently, and not every horse will allow items in their mouth. Some horses can also bite you when you attempt to brush their teeth.
Therefore, always check the behavior of your horse when brushing their teeth and stop if you see they are unhappy.
Alternatively, if you are not comfortable, you can remove food bits with a damp towel when doing a normal grooming routine. You can also buy dental scalers made for cats and dogs to remove tartar buildup.
Remember, if you can’t clean your horse’s teeth on your own, always seek professional help.
Common problems with horse teeth and how toothpaste can help
Horses experience many dental problems and that is why routine checkups are important to ensure their teeth are in good condition.
One of the most common dental problems with horses is periodontal disease. This condition affects 40% of horses between 3-5 years and 60% of horses above 15 years.
You should do an annual dental examination which should be done by a trained vet to ensure the overall health of your horse’s teeth. Other common dental problems with horses include:
- Gum disease.
- Tooth decay.
- Plaque and tartar build-up.
- Abnormal tooth wear.
- Wolf’s teeth.
Several signs can help you know your horse has dental problems. Some of the signs include blood in the horse’s mouth, dull coat, behavioral changes, weight loss, head tilting, foul odor from the mouth, and head tossing among others.
An equine dentist should examine the condition and recommend the best treatment for each dental problem. Using horse toothpaste can help in some conditions like plaques, tartar buildup, and gingivitis. Other tips you can implement to maintain healthy teeth and gum for your horse include:
- Use a toothbrush to ensure food doesn’t get stuck between the incisors.
- Flush your horse’s mouth with clean water.
- Feed your horse from the ground for proper tooth alignment and to reduce abnormal tooth wear.
Brushing your horse teeth is not a must but there are situations when it is beneficial. Horses’ teeth are cleaned naturally when they drink water or eat grass.
However, horses that feed on molasses and other diets that contain sugar lead to painful dental cavities.
They also develop tartar buildup that causes other dental problems. Using toothpaste on horses removes tartar and plaque buildup and prevents the development of cavities.
It is easy to learn how to brush your horse’s teeth so you don’t always need a vet or equine dentist to do that. Check your horse’s teeth regularly and ensure they are healthy.
Zunnun AhmedWe are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.
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