From Toddlers To Seniors
For every family, oral health is directly related to each family member’s well-being. A family dentist in the neighborhood is just the easiest person to go to for concerns of health of teeth and gums.
If you have a baby in the family, the first teeth will be erupting by 6 months (sometimes as early as 3) and the baby’s gums will be tender and irritable. Rubbing gently with a clean finger can be soothing. Infant sucking is normal but doing so on extended periods may lead to some jaw development problems and altered teeth positioning. It is best to start the child early on toothbrushing with a pea-size toothpaste with fluoride.
Children’s teeth will start out porous and not so mineralized, so by this time a healthy diet is very important. Amount and frequency of sugar consumption in meals, snacks and drinks must be controlled. Teeth brushing must be supervised at first to ensure that the proper techniques are used and the twice a day frequency is followed. It is also around this time that the proper alignment and spacing between teeth are monitored.
Tweens between 10 and 12 years are still losing their primary teeth. By age 12, the second permanent molars appear. New permanent teeth are more prone to decay. Proper oral hygiene must be stressed here. Teenagers between 16 and 20 will be growing their third molars which will generally be recommended for extraction to avoid future issues. Around this time, kids can be pressured to adopt harmful oral habits, such as smoking and piercing, develop eating disorders or opt for bad choices in food and drinks. Parents must also be able to decide if their children need braces for misaligned, crooked teeth or abnormal bites.
Adult Oral Health
Adults are more likely to neglect their oral health for a variety of reasons. With an increased risk for gum disease, care for the gums can be neglected. Gingivitis can be overlooked; most might just wake up to periodontitis. Bad breath or halitosis can be a manifestation. Oral hygiene is most important here, as well as regular dental appointments. Diabetes, heart diseases, and other inflammatory conditions can affect oral health severely.
Majority of seniors may no longer have most of their natural teeth. They could be wearing dental bridges, dental fillings, having teeth more prone to oral health issues, such as gum diseases that can result in overall health complications related to digestion, heart and other vital organs.