Everyone knows (or should know) that oral health is an important part of our overall well-being, but have you ever wondered if age or gender has anything to do with dental health? You would think that gender wouldn’t play a role in this situation, but it actually does.

Women:

Studies have shown that women are more diligent when it comes to their dental hygiene routine, and have a better understanding of what oral health entails, including (and especially) the importance of regular dental visits.

Men:

Men tend to lean more towards the “if there is no pain, there is no problem” side of oral health, but that is a dangerous way to think. For example, you may have a cavity that can be simply filled with a routine checkup, however when pain is involved this means that the cavity is most likely “too far gone” and will need more extensive treatment, such as a root canal. Professional dental checkups should be at least every six months, no matter how awesome you are at brushing and flossing your teeth.

Now let’s take a look at how age affects the longevity of your oral health, from your first baby tooth to dental health in the “golden” years:

First Tooth:

By the time an infant gets their first tooth parents should be paying close attention to their child’s oral health. Brushing an infant’s teeth can be a challenge, so the easy and effective option is to use a soft cloth to gently wipe the teeth and gums. By the time a child reaches the age of 3 they should be seeing a dental professional regularly.

Teenagers

This is typically the age when kids are spending time playing video games with their friends, watching movies, and stuffing their faces with snacks, such as candy and delicious-cheesy pizza, and they will most likely wash it all down with a sugary drink. This is also the time where they will be too busy thinking about surviving those awkward years of school to make dental hygiene a priority. The teenage years are a challenge for anyone, but the icing on the cake for this time of life is the fact that it is usually when one would need braces in order to create that lifelong-beautiful-straight smile, which means more places for bacteria to set up shop within the mouth.

Keeping your mouth free from lingering food particles, especially around the brackets and wires of braces, is essential in order to rid your mouth from harmful bacteria, which can lead to gingivitis, gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and oral cancer.

Young Adults

Early 20s is the average age when someone would want to consider having their wisdom teeth removed. Why?…

Most people choose to remove their wisdom teeth because evolution has made them unnecessary. Our ancestors had a strong need for third molars (wisdom teeth) in order to chew foods, such as meat, nuts, and roots. Today we have tools, such knives and other cooking utensils, that allow us the ability to cook and cut our food into easily chewable pieces.

Wisdom teeth can be impacted or erupt horizontally, which will cause other teeth to shift and become misaligned. This is especially problematic for those who spent those uncomfortable years being called “brace face” to make sure that they have straight-beautiful teeth.

Adult

Just as our bodies start to feel the wear and tear of those “I’m invincible” years of being young, moving into the “adult” stage of life has a significant impact on our oral health. Your body will start telling you that it has its limits and your teeth will do the same. Having good oral hygiene is incredibly important during this time in order to keep years of bacteria from causing decay and possible tooth loss.

Senior (Golden Years)

Each step of life, experiences, and choices will make a difference on our oral health. By the time you reach the age of retirement and start spending your days playing with grandkids your oral health has been on quite a ride, which means there are going to be potential dental problems. For those who are in the golden years routine visits become increasingly more important and necessary.

Years of chewing, talking, and general use will have an effect on the tooth’s enamel, this means a higher risk for cavities, gingivitis, tooth decay, and gum disease. Routine-dental visits are important for all ages, but those in their senior year’s should understand the importance of dental visits.

Being aware of how age and gender may be affecting your oral health will help you create good-oral hygiene habits, which is key in order to keep pearly-whites healthy throughout your lifetime. From infant to later years, your teeth will be a part of your journey. Understanding the importance of taking care of them will give you a lifetime of smiles. For more information on how age, gender, and diligence affects your oral health, contact our office today and our highly trained staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.