Although most of our bodies change beyond recognition throughout our lives, our smile stays the same. Whereas our cells generally regenerate every 7 years, we only have two sets of teeth that last us our whole lifetimes. However, as our bodies grow and change throughout our lives, so should the care that we give our teeth. It is important to realize the differences in the care that we need to give to our teeth throughout our lives. Our teeth can meet challenges throughout our lives, from overcrowding as children to stains as we get older, and knowing how we can give our teeth the best care from the start is vital to keeping a healthy smile for life.
As a baby, your first teeth are your molars, the wider teeth at the back of your mouth. Emerging teeth can be painful for your child and knowing how to comfort can be difficult. Teething can cause red and swollen gums and drooling and is the first of the challenges that face your teeth. To soothe a teething baby, a cold flannel or washcloth can help dampen the irritation for your child. Giving them a hard object to chew can also be helpful. However, constant chewing causes saliva and drooling that can cause skin irritation around the mouth. Try to dry this as soon as possible, and if this starts to cause irritation, apply a soft moisturizer around the affected area.
As they continue to teeth, and even before this, you should rub a damp washcloth or soft toothbrush along their gums. This will keep them clean and stop any harmful bacteria building up. It may not seem important to care for your baby’s teeth in the first few days. However, oral health should start early and you should brush each individual teeth as soon as they emerge. Use a small toothbrush and only a smudge of toothpaste until they learn to spit.
Additionally, you can prevent any later problems by only giving your baby sweet foods with meals. Baby teeth recover from sugary foods, but this can take hours. Therefore, if you give your child treats throughout the day, this will give their teeth less time to restore the mineral layer that sugar attacks. Additionally, you should only allow your baby to drink breast or bottle milk or boiled water as this has a low sugar content and will prevent damage to your baby’s teeth.
Your child’s teeth will all grow by the time that they are 2 years old. This means that the toddler age group is one of the most important developmental stages in your child’s tooth care. If you ignore their oral health at this age, then it is likely that they may have problems with health issues such as decay for most of their lives.
Nearly 28% of toddlers have one cavity or more. Now that your children have graduated from breast milk and are drinking independently, one of the major causes of tooth decay in children is bottle mouth. Bottle mouth happens when children suck on bottles for prolonged periods of time. This causes sugar to be in contact with your child’s teeth longer than it should, leaving your child’s mouth vulnerable to the bacteria that can cause teeth decay. Instead, children should be given water before bed and they should drink quickly rather than throughout the day. This gives your child’s teeth time to recover and reduces the contact period between your child’s mouth and sugar.
Another habit which could prevent tooth decay in your toddler is by not sharing cups between you and your child. Sharing cups can lead to harmful bacteria in your saliva being passed between you. This harmful bacteria could get into the gaps between your child’s teeth and eventually cause plaque and cavities.
To care for your child’s teeth, they should begin to use a fluoride toothpaste with a soft bristled brush. You should still be brushing your child’s teeth at this age. It is easier to do this if you sit them on your lap and lean their head back as this gives you access to their whole mouth. You should ensure particularly that you are reaching the inside surfaces of their teeth. If your child refuses to have their teeth brushed, you should make the event into a fun game as part of a morning and bedtime routine. Even simple devices like a toothbrushing song can ensure that your child allows you to brush their teeth. This way they will not see brushing their teeth as a chore, which is also important as they grow up.
Children’s milk teeth normally fall out around the age of 6 or 7 and adult teeth will develop behind these. These are the teeth that your children will have for life and so it is of utmost importance that these are cared for as soon as they come through. However, 1 in 4 children has tooth decay when they start school. Children should start to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste during their twice-daily brush and establish a good oral care routine. However, although they are becoming more independent, you should watch your children brush their teeth until the age of 7. Children are less manually adept than adults and this will ensure that they are reaching all areas of their teeth. At this age, children should also be able to spit out toothpaste rather than swallow.
As your child gets older, they could develop a number of issues which could affect their teeth, such as thumb sucking and teeth grinding. Although 90% of newborns show signs of thumb sucking, if children continue to suck their thumb past the age of 4, this could negatively impact the alignment of their teeth and their jaw growth. There are a few ways in which you can stop thumb sucking by limiting the amount of time your child is allowed to suck their thumb for and teach them to be aware of when they are sucking their thumb. In terms of teeth grinding, teeth grinding usually happens at night. Continued teeth grinding can cause problems such as their teeth wearing down and causing jaw pain. This can be cared for by using a night guard to prevent damaging their teeth when they grind their teeth.
If your child does develop any problems, your Dentist in Ballwin may recommend dental sealant. This is a plastic coating that bonds to your child’s tooth and protects it from the harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. These do not have to stay on your child’s teeth for a long time and are not painful when they are applied.
By the age of 9-12, your child will have all of their teeth except their wisdom teeth. Pre-teens should clean their teeth independently with a medium bristled brush, using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. To clean their teeth properly, they should aim their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to their gums. Then, they should use small, circular movements to clean the inside and outside surfaces of their teeth. The chewing surfaces should be brushed with a gentle forward and backward motion. They should spit the toothpaste out afterward but they should not rinse their mouth out with water as this can lessen the effect of the fluoride on their teeth. Additionally, you may want to invest in an electric toothbrush for your child if they have poor hand control as this will enable them to reach every surface of their tooth.
Additionally, this is the age in which most children get braces if they need them. Children can get braces for a variety of reasons such as severely crooked teeth, a crowded mouth or cosmetic reasons. On average, 4.5 million Americans have braces, the majority of those being pre-teens and teenagers. Your dentist can recommend if this is necessary and help you decide what the best option is for your child.
Teenagers’ increased independence can make it increasingly difficult to look after your teenager’s oral health. However, teenager’s teeth are still in their formative stages and should still be looked after so that they can have a healthy smile, especially since our teenage years are rigged with concerns over appearance and self-esteem. This increased independence could come in the form of bad habits such as smoking and alcohol. These products can stain and damage teeth. Smoking half a packet of cigarettes a day can seriously increase your chance of developing gum disease. Therefore, it is important to notice changes in your teenager’s lifestyle and advise them on how this can affect their dental health.
This increased independence could also lead to a lack of oral care and a change in diet- if teenagers are generally eating a largely processed and sugary diet, this can have a negative impact on their teeth and cause cavities over time. This shows how important it is to check your child’s habits even as they grow older.
This should also be the time in which teenagers start to floss, as flossing will help to prevent decay by extricating bacteria after eating. Flossing removes 40% of the bacteria in your mouth. Although flossing can be too difficult for younger children, this is the perfect time to introduce it as a daily concept to your teenager.
As an adult, your dental care routine should be instilled in you: brush twice a day for two minutes with a medium bristled toothbrush. Your daily routine should also include flossing and mouthwash if necessary. You should still avoid sugary drinks and snacks and avoid brushing straight after eating acidic food, as this can erode your teeth.
However, as you get older, more issues may arise with your teeth such as staining and gum erosion. While staining does not harm your teeth, you may want to visit a hygienist to remove plaque and unsightly stains. Hygienists can show you the best way to floss and look after your teeth in more depth than in your routine dental check-up. This will help you to look after your teeth to the best of your ability.
You can rest assured you are providing your patients with the best dental care by relying on trusted mail order dental suppliers, who can provide the best equipment for your needs. These suppliers provide a service with excellent customer engagement by account managers- these managers are in constant collaboration with your dental practices to provide you with the best care possible, including hygienist equipment.
Adult life can be more demanding on your health than previously, through means such as alcohol and smoking. To help to lessen the damage of these, you might also consider using interdental brushes rather than floss, which have a more rigorous effect on unhealthy plaque build-ups. Unlike floss, these prevent splitting the gum and are able to reach many of the key areas that floss cannot reach, such as your curved back teeth.
As you get older, you may be less able to look after your teeth than previously and yet your teeth may need more care than ever. Teeth can darken due to changes in your dentin and you are more likely to get dry mouth, which is caused by a reduced saliva flow. Additionally, if you have had gum disease for more than 10 years, you may have tooth loss as your teeth weaken with age. If you see any changes to your teeth, you should see your dentist on top of your annual check-up.
Although age does not have to be a factor in your teeth’s health, age can reduce your mobility and make it harder to clean your teeth, allowing plaque to build up. If you care for an elderly person, the best way to brush their teeth is to get them to sit down and lean their head back as this will allow you to reach the inside of their mouth. Additional to your normal oral health routine, you should begin to brush your teeth more gently to reduce wear and tear. Those who have to wear dentures should be aware of how important it is to keep these clean. You should leave them to soak overnight or for up to four hours in a glass of water- cleaning daily will prevent infection that could lead to periodontal disease.
Therefore, it is vital to give your teeth the right oral care to ensure that your teeth remain healthy through each stage of your life. While some aspects of this may differ as you grow, many of the basics remain the same: brush twice a day for two minutes, use fluoride toothpaste and visit your dentist regularly.