OBJECTIVE: Floating is only one dentition procedure to maintain the symmetry of the arcade in an animal’s mouth and to allow for an unimpeded elliptical chewing motion, as well as assist in bit pressure performance and a guide to better animal health. If the arcade is left unattended, the animal can experience vast pain intraorally which can lead to nutritional problems, negative disposition, dental dilemnas and poor performance in the athletic or working animal.
APPLICATION: To augment professional results in floating, it is important to maintain a concise routine to reduce animal stress and resistance. After the animal has been well restrained, approach the animal with a steady, slow movement to allow familiarity and observation of the operator and float. Slowly insert the float into the mouth of the animal to allow a gradual sensation of the foreign object. Start by floating the upper arcade premolars with the angle float head. Initially begin with short, low pressure strokes until the animal accepts the procedure and continue with firm strokes until the floating is accomplished. Hand position adjustment is critical because it influences float head positioning, adjust accordingly to feel and sound. Tooth particles should be visible the full length down the middle of the float blade if the procedure is being done properly. Remove the float occasionally for examination and make corrective adjustments. Equine animals should have a thorough biannual examination of the mouth arcade to denote any abnormalities. During the floating procedure it will be necessary to use different angle heads and possibly different grades of blades (user’s discretion). For proper floating procedures and dentition problems consult a veterinarian acquainted with equine health.