Just as in human medicine, routine dental care is of extreme importance in the overall health of our horses. Horses are grazing animals, and their teeth have developed specifically for that purpose. Their front teeth (incisors) are designed to cut off forage, while their cheek teeth (molars and premolars) are made for chewing and grinding their food. Our domesticated horses are often limited in their grazing time and area, and we supplement their diet with grains and other commercial feed products.
Horses are often born with their first set of incisors already erupted, and the rest of their “baby teeth” are usually in place by 8-9 months of age. Permanent (adult) teeth begin to erupt in horses at approximately 2 ½ years of age, and are usually all in place by age 5. Juvenile horses have 24 teeth, and typical adult horses have 36-40 teeth (mares often lack canine teeth). Below is a list of approximate ages at which teeth should erupt:
|Deciduous (Baby Teeth)|
|1st incisors (centrals)||Birth – 1 week|
|2nd incisors (intermediate)||4 – 6 weeks|
|3rd incisors (corners)||6 – 9 months|
|1st, 2nd, 3rd premolars (cheek teeth)||Birth – 2 weeks for all|