Most dentists recommend a child be brought into the dental office between one and two years of age. By the age of five kids know how to brush their teeth. Dental care in the early years of youth are simple. The teeth are still growing in and they don’t have years of wear and tear on them yet. The teeth and gums are healthy. As one gets older, however, the dental habits become more complex as the risks of dental issues increase.
Proper dental hygiene is taught at an early age. Though small a baby’s teeth should be cleaned regularly with a washcloth. Children are encouraged to learn how to brush and floss early. As kids get older, the proper use of mouthwash may be also added onto the brushing and flossing. Most kids quickly learn how to take care of their teeth without supervision.
During this phase, it is important that children brush their teeth for the full 2-minutes recommended by dentists.
After permanent teeth have grown in, some children will need braces and retainers to correct misaligned jaws and crowded teeth. Kids and teens with braces must see an orthodontist monthly, avoid certain foods and be more diligent with brushing their teeth.
By the time adulthood comes around, the permanent teeth have grown in and have experienced some wear and tear. It is likely that regular consumption of coffee, soda, tea and energy drinks are becoming a habit, as is smoking and alcohol consumption.
Some adults become lax in their dental hygiene, occasionally neglecting to floss or brush and visit the dentist every six months. Crowns, fillings and sealants that were previously put on will need to be replaced multiple times during the adult phase.
During the adult years, it is important to watch one eats, to exercise regularly and to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. A bi-yearly dental exam and teeth cleaning is highly recommended.
Late Adult Years
As you age, your teeth and jaws may become weaker and more brittle due to an increased need for calcium. A lifetime of chewing and using the teeth has likely began to wear down both the teeth and the tooth enamel. The years of smoking and/or drinking soda, coffee, tea and wine likely to have taken a toll on the teeth, leaving them very discolored.
Older adults also take numerous medications which can have negative side-effects on dental health. The most common medicine side-effect is dry mouth which causes a more hospitable environment for plaque, germs and bacteria.
Older adults are at a greater risk of gum disease and cavities due to the increasing difficulty of performing adequate dental hygiene.
It is not uncommon for older adults to have missing teeth. This can be caused from tooth decay, gum disease or deteriorating jaw bone tissue.
Besides the regular teeth brushing and flossing, and the twice-a-year dental exam and cleaning, there is the added care of dentures and bridges.
During the professional dental cleaning and exam, the dentist may be on heightened look-out for the evidence of cancer. Mouth and throat cancer occur most frequently in older adults.
As your teeth experience more wear and tear, they become weak and more prone to infection and disease. No matter what stage of life one is in, twice yearly visits to the dentist office is recommended. Strong dental hygiene is important to having a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. These at-home, dental habits will only achieve maximum help when complimented with the care and inspection of a dental professional.