Today is National Tooth Fairy Day!

toothfairy

 

Did you know that horse’s lose their baby teeth just like we do?? Horse’s teeth begin to erupt in the days after birth. By 1 year of age, a horse has all of its deciduous (temporary) teeth. Between the ages of 2.5 and 5 years, these 24 deciduous teeth will fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth!!

20140814_174736

2.5 year old has permanent central incisors and the rest are still ‘baby’ teeth.

With all of this rapid change happening in your horse’s mouth, it is important to have frequent dental exams to check for imbalances. Steps or waves can be created if opposing teeth fall out at different rates. If these asymmetries are left untreated, they will prevent proper mastication (chewing) and can cause your horse pain. This is the time when most dental imbalances begin. The new teeth are many times extremely sharp and can cause sores in the cheeks and much agony in young horses. Sometimes they will suffer in silence as they are very stoic creatures.

120px-Fragment_of_deciduous_second_premolar

Premolar Retained Cap

Other problems to be aware of when horses are losing their deciduous teeth include ‘caps’ and retained incisors. ‘Caps’ occur when a deciduous tooth remains while the permanent tooth erupts underneath it. This is painful and causes other problems. Be aware if your horse’s jaw or face begins swelling as this may signal a ‘capped’ tooth. If a deciduous incisor is not lost before a permanent incisor erupts to replace it, the new tooth my break through the gum in front of or behind the deciduous tooth. This then requires extraction of the temporary tooth that isn’t falling out on its own.

Retained Incisor Cap - QuinnRetained Incisor2 - Quinn

As you can see, it is definitely very important to stay on top of things in your young horse’s dental care. We want to be sure that the Tooth Fairy collects all of those ‘baby’ teeth so your horse can have a healthy, balanced mouth. CONTACT US today to schedule an exam!