“It’s not how sharp the teeth are; it’s the threshold of pain that determines the need and frequency of floating.” – Doc T.
The day your horse’s teeth are floated is the day all sharp enamel edges are removed, and all oral pain is eliminated.
According to research, horses chew between 10,000 and 40,000 times a day. Therefore, the hardness of the enamel varies between horses. In addition, the movement of the jaw and the tongue also varies between horses. These two factors will affect how rapidly the sharp enamel edges reform. I have seen sharp edges last for a year, and I have also seen them last one month. The average is six months.
However, their perception of pain is a more important determinant of when to re-float the horse. In other words, there are some tough horses and some wimps.
For most horses, somewhere between 6 and 12 months, the need to float the teeth moves from a preventive procedure to a corrective one. The horse is the only one who can determine when it is time to float the teeth. It is up to the rider to feel when the horse is due and to schedule floating before that point is reached. Prevention is preferred because when your horse starts to have a bit or chewing problem, it may be a while before you can get your vet or dentist to respond.