Dental Tips for Every Age and Stage
Along with your entire body, teeth transition through various stages. In life, your oral care needs change as you develop, grow and mature. Each life stage comes with shifting mouth conditions that can influence your oral health. Learn about proper tooth development so you can stay one step ahead of budding issues. By addressing potential problems sooner, you can keep your teeth strong through every age and stage of development.
Dental Tips for the Whole Family
To help maintain a beautiful smile at every life stage, consider the following oral care tips:
Infants and Children Tooth Care
The most crucial stage of oral development is at the very beginning. This is an important life stage when the foundation is set for good long-term oral health. You can begin even before your baby cuts the first tooth. Infants and children tooth care starts with proper nutrition and establishing set routines early. There are many ways to get young children focused in the right direction:
- Brush babies’ gums with a soft-bristled brush and demonstrate proper technique.
- Stick with a regular dental care schedule in the morning, and at night.
- End the thumb sucking habit quickly; it can lead to dental issues down the line if not stopped early.
- Limit sugary foods and snacks.
- Make sure kids get enough fluoride; it can be found in tap water (in some communities), ADA-approved toothpaste and mouth rinses. This helps safeguard young children against tooth decay.
Teen and Young Adults Dental Hygiene
During the adolescent years, a young person’s mouth is still changing and maturing. This is often the time when orthodontic treatment comes into play to adjust malocclusions and align crooked teeth. This stage of oral development extends to early adulthood when the third molars make their grand entrance.
Nurture healthy teeth development in teens by following these tips:
- Adolescents are often stressed and may grind their teeth. Watch out for signs and discuss treatment options with your dentist.
- Limit or eliminate soda.
- Wear sports guards when participating in athletic activities.
- Skip oral piercings that may cause damage to teeth and soft mouth tissues.
- Eat a balanced diet.
Oral Health in Adults
By this stage of life, hopefully, good oral care habits have been instilled and are actively in practice. Adults have fully developed teeth that need just as much attention to prevent age-related issues. Dental tips for a mature mouth include:
- Twice daily tooth brushing with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste, soft-bristled brush and flossing at least once per day.
- Bi-annual dentist visits, or as recommended.
- Be careful with teeth whitening products. Know the possible side effects of use.
- Treat symptoms of dry mouth.
Older Adult Dental Care
Up until recently, many older people believed that tooth loss simply a part of growing older. But today, wearing dentures is not an inevitable part of life. With advanced dental technology and better information, you can maintain healthy teeth much longer. However, as we advance in age, problems will arise, and this is how to handle them:
- Older adults are at a higher risk for gum disease. A more powerful dose of fluoride can give your teeth the boost needed to keep them strong,
- Root decay because of gum disease, develops when gums recede. Watch out for symptoms and seek treatment.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to control oral bacteria and plaque buildup.
At any age, oral health is of the utmost importance; keep up with regular dental check-ups and routine professional cleanings.