I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
Dental care is incredibly important, but it is also easy to overlook. Unless a tooth is hurting, you may not notice what's happening inside your mouth. However, regardless of your age, your oral health is incredibly important. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
Your child should start seeing the dentist by the time they are one year old. During this time, the dentist will ensure your child's teeth are coming in healthy. They will also look for early signs of major issues, like a misaligned bite. Just like with adult patients, if the dentist spots a cavity, they will remove it and replace it with a filling, even on primary teeth.
The dentist may recommend sealants for your child. Sealants are applied to back molars to help fight against decay. In addition, if you live in an area without fluoridated water, the dentist may suggest fluoride foams and rinses. As your child gets older, the dentist may start some orthodontic treatment, such as palatal expansion, if necessary.
As your child gets older, all their primary teeth are soon replaced with permanent teeth, so it's important for your teen to care for their oral health. Not only does this include brushing and flossing, but you should encourage a healthy diet with little sugar and simple carbohydrates.
If necessary, orthodontic treatment will likely begin, but the dentist will continue to monitor your teen's teeth and mouth for signs of complications. As your teen reaches adulthood, their wisdom teeth may begin to erupt, and these usually need extraction.
As an adult, you should focus on keeping your entire mouth healthy. Continue to avoid sugar, acids, and simple carbohydrates to prevent enamel erosion. Coffee and tobacco can also stain teeth, making them look dingy and yellow/brown.
It's imperative that you continue good at-home care and see the dentist regularly. As you get older, the dentist may measure the pockets between your teeth and gums. Big pockets increase the risk of gingivitis. If you do develop gingivitis, you'll need to work with your dentist to fight the infection.
Once you're a senior, your teeth and gums have been through a lot. Naturally, this increases your risk of issues, especially if you haven't cared for your teeth and gums well. Many older Americans struggle with advanced gum disease, which is called periodontitis. Just like with gingivitis, periodontitis is treated with antibiotics, but the effects of periodontitis won't disappear.
Periodontitis can cause the gums to recede and thin. This can make your gums hurt, and it also increases the risk of tooth loss and tooth decay. If left untreated, it can also affect the jawbone. Unfortunately for many seniors with periodontitis or the symptoms of periodontitis, dentures are the main tooth-replacement option, as their jawbone/teeth may not be able to support an implant or bridge.
Oral care is important at every stage of life. The better you care for your teeth and gums when you're younger, the fewer problems you will have and a senior. If you would like to know more, contact a dentist in your area today.