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How to Clean Horses' Teeth

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • Toothbrush

How to Clean Horses' Teeth. Horse teeth grow throughout their lives. A horse, just like a human, needs to have his teeth checked by a professional, either a veterinarian or an equine dentist, once a year, even every 6 months when the horse is younger because it will be losing baby teeth. Cleaning horse teeth is something that can be done, but is not necessary.

Prepare the horse for having its mouth examined. Unless it is a biter, touch its mouth and gums so that it doesn't get alarmed when being examined. This can become part of the horse's grooming routine.

Take the horse to a veterinarian, or better yet, have the veterinarian come to the horse. Many horse professionals make house calls. They can float, or rasp, teeth that are too long and sharp. This is routine maintenance for horses, as much so as annual vaccinations. The professional can perform both tasks on the same visit.

Check the animal's teeth between annual dental visits. Teeth that are too sharp can lead to problems grinding food and then the horse will not be receiving all of its necessary nutrients from its food. This can lead to colic or even choking. Some horses can also get cavities, so keep a look out for those as well.

Look for signs of tooth problems. A horse that gets aggravated with a bit or eats sloppily probably needs to see the vet. Bad breath in a horse is a definite sign of needing dental care, as are reddened gums and undigested food in the manure.

Let nature do the work. Clean water and fresh grass can do more for a horse's teeth than any toothpaste. If absolutely compelled to do so, try using a toothbrush with plain water to scrub the teeth.


  • Horses do bite, so be careful when attempting to brush their teeth.