How many teeth do adult horses have?
Incisors (front teeth): horses have 6 incisors on the maxilla (upper jaw) and 6 incisors on the mandible (lower jaw). Incisors are used to grasp and tug at grass and hay.
Canines (tushes): Generally only found in stallions and geldings however can sometimes be seen in mares. Located about half-way between the incisors and the cheek teeth. If present, horses can have up to 4 canines, 2 on the maxilla and 2 on the mandible.
Wolf teeth: small teeth found immediately in front of the first cheek teeth, most commonly in the maxilla but can also be present in the mandible. Not all horses have wolf teeth but if present they can vary considerably in size and position.
Premolars & Molars (cheek teeth): horses have a total of 24 cheek teeth divided into 12 on the maxilla (6 on the left and 6 on the right) and 12 on the mandible (6 on the left and 6 on the right). The cheek teeth are used to grind all types of forage and prepare it for digestion.
A normal horse should have between 36 and 44 teeth
What about deciduous (baby) teeth?
Before getting their permanent adult teeth, foals and youngsters have a set of deciduous teeth, also known as ‘caps’. These caps should fall out by around 5 years of age.
Incisors: youngsters have a total of 12 deciduous incisors, 6 on the maxilla and 6 on the mandible. The first deciduous incisor erupts when the foal is around 6 days old.
Cheek teeth: youngsters have a total of 12 deciduous cheek teeth, 6 on the maxilla (3 on the left and 3 on the right) and 6 on the mandible (3 on the left and 3 on the right).
Between 2 and 5 years of age they lose 24 deciduous teeth and grow 36 – 44 permanent teeth!