How To Take Care Of Your Dental Health At Every Stage Of Life : Whether you’re 9 or 90, practicing good oral hygiene habits is essential. A good oral care routine not only prevents gum disease but has also been proven to lower the risks of heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
With so much on the line, it is vital that we take care of our dental health at every stage of life. In today’s article, we dive into caring for your mouth at any stage of life, so read on to find out more!
Babies and Toddlers
Good oral hygiene and habits start at a young age which is why parents should always prioritise oral hygiene in babies and toddlers. Creating good habits early on sets the ideal foundations for a healthy life in the future, which is why instilling healthy habits at this stage of life is crucial. When it comes to babies, teething can occur anywhere between 3-9months of age. A child’s first trip to the dentist should be within 6 months of their first tooth appearing for a full examination of the teeth, jaw, bite and gums. At this point, your baby would have moved on to solid or semi-solid foods that can get caught between teeth, so brushing twice a day is always recommended.
One thing to keep an eye on in babies and toddlers is thumb sucking. Thumb sucking is completely natural and normal in most young children, but can in some instances lead to problems with bite and tooth alignment. If you are concerned about this, speak to your local dentist who may be able to provide you with an orthodontic device and offer suggestions on how you can reduce your toddler’s urges to engage in thumb sucking.
Kids and Teenagers
Come adolescence, most teenagers would have lost all if not the majority of their baby teeth. At this point, healthy oral habits become even more important in order to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other oral diseases that can wreak havoc on adult teeth. When it comes to self conscious teenagers, if you find that your child wants straighter teeth or needs to correct their bite, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your local dentist to discuss the possibility of braces. When it comes to teeth alignment, there are a variety of options available to patients in 2021, ranging from clear braces to invisible aligners which you can find out more about online.
Encouraging healthy eating habits at this stage of life is also incredibly beneficial. Educating kids on the harmful effects of excessive consumption of soda, sugary drinks, candy and other sugar-laden foods is key in helping them understand the importance of a healthy and balanced diet for both their oral and overall health.
Oral care in adulthood is just as important as it is in the early stages of life, and all the same rules apply. Brushing twice a day, flossing and scheduling regular appointments with your dentist will help ensure that your teeth and gums remain in healthy condition for years to come. Avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking will reduce your chances of oral cancer, gum problems, tooth loss and tooth decay.
During pregnancy, high levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen in the bloodstream can cause the temporary loosening of gum tissue and bones that keep your teeth in place. It is at this point that women are vulnerable to tooth loss which is why brushing with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, flossing and regular dental checkups are always recommended.
Vomiting that often occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy may result in stomach acids damaging tooth enamel, so remember to avoid brushing your teeth straight after vomiting. While your teeth are covered in stomach acids, the friction caused by brushing may scratch the tooth enamel. Instead, thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water and high fluoride mouthwash, wait an hour or so and then brush your teeth.
Seniors / Elderly
As your golden years approach, the last thing you want is to suffer from gum disease or other oral afflictions that get in the way of you enjoying your retirement. In order to maintain your dental health throughout your later years, all the regular advice applies — brushing twice a day, flossing, and regular dental checkups. At this stage however, you should be vigilant in watching for early signs/stages of oral cancer. Should you notice any open sores or changes in your tongue and cheek lining, it is paramount that you book yourself in for an oral cancer screening.
Supplementing with Calcium and Vitamin B tables can also be beneficial for your oral health, especially for women who have hit menopause. If you are having trouble brushing your teeth effectively due to mobility issues, we highly recommend investing in an electric toothbrush that will be able to reach and clean all your teeth thoroughly.
Provided you stick to a healthy oral hygiene routine throughout your lifetime, most dental issues and problems can be easily prevented. We hope that this article has given you some valuable insight into how you can take care of your dental health at every stage of life. Happy brushing!
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