Natural Balance Dentistry

Natural Balance Dentistry™ addresses biomechanics and neuromuscular function of the whole horse, through the detailed adjustment of enamel folds on the occlusal surfaces of the teeth. With the use of ergonomically designed instruments a natural balance dentist will help the horse find correct anatomical alignment and stability in the incisors, molars and temporomandibular joint. Through balance of the teeth and TMJ, the horse can better obtain full biomechanical range of motion of the jaw, head, neck and body, maximal neurological function and proprioception of the whole body, and better digestion too. Not to mention a wealth of possible secondary benefits regarding the horse’s performance, increased muscle mass and stride length, improved posture and comfort levels, resistance to injury, improved geriatric health, and many more.

In the study of Natural Balance Dentistry™, we have found correlations between improved balance in the horse’s mouth, and the following things:

  • Posture, and the ability to develop and maintain topline
  • Balance, movement, and the continual ability to stay sound
  • Balance in the feet, and overall hoof health
  • Sacral and hind end biomechanics; ability to tilt the pelvis and “come under” behind
  • Lateral range of motion in the whole body
  • Proprioception (understanding and awareness of the body and limbs in space, including foot placement)
  • More easily accessed and maintained relaxation and softness in the jaw, poll and whole body, leading to improved comfort and focus during life and work
  • Improved dorso-ventral and lateral flexion of the poll, neck, spine, and body
  • Better and more lasting results from osteopathy, chiropractic, massage, and bodywork sessions
  • Correct alignment of the head, poll and neck during eating, life, and work
  • Ability to chew, produce saliva and enzymes, and digest food correctly
  • Straightness and suppleness through the spine and body
  • Decreased behavioral issues involving acceptance of the bit and bridle
  • Improved hormonal balance
  • Improved geriatric body condition

…And many more. Students from around the world share their experience and research with Spencer LaFlure’s program on a regular basis, so our understanding of equine dentistry and the horse as a whole is in constant development and progression. These students of the horse and certified Natural Balance Neuromuscular Dentists include equine osteopaths, veterinarians, competitive performance riders, trimmers, farriers and bodyworkers.

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Natural Balance Dentistry™ is very different from current veterinary dentistry and power floating, which tend to focus on eliminating pathologies, removing points and edges or even large portions of tooth from the mouth. Natural balance dentists work to maximize surface to surface contact of the teeth, taking into account eruption and wear rates, and restoring anatomically correct inclination of the molar tables to the individual horse. This creates a positive cycle in which less work will need to be done over time to maintain the balance and health of the horse.

upper molars
Natural Inclination in Upper Molar Table

The eruption rate of teeth decreases as the horse ages, which is critical to acknowledge when working with older horses, in order to promote optimal natural function and prevent irreparable imbalances in the mouth and body, that can be caused by inappropriate floating in the geriatric horse. The horse will be standing in a relaxed natural stature during the work, allowing for continuous feedback, gradual acclimation, and less stress on the TMJ and body.

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To learn more about Natural Balance Dentistry™, visit: http://www.neuromuscularhorsedentistry.com

Or check out my resources page full of free and informative online resources!