Horses need regular preventive dental maintenance every six months to one year. Malocclusions, or improper position of the teeth, can lead to many health issues and behavioral problems. Identifying dental problems as early as possible is important. There are several factors that come into play at a young age that might increase treatment needed, or make a remedy even possible: loss of food while eating; eats hay before his grain; grain in water bucket; difficulty chewing or excess salivation; loss of body condition; large undigested food particles in manure larger than one quarter inch; head tilting or tossing; bit chewing; tongue lolling; tries to rear while bridling; fighting the bit or resisting the bridal; bucking or failing to stop or turn; foul odor from the mouth or nostrils; traces of blood in the mouth; or nasal discharge or swelling of the face. Other horses may not show noticeable signs, because they just simply adapt to their discomfort.
If you are concerned that your horse may have a dental malocclusion, ask your veterinarian to check the teeth. Most teeth floating procedures do involve some mild sedation, so do not feed your horse before the appointment.