Sunday, 7 June 2015
Tooth Care from Childhood to Senior Years
Caring for your teeth is imperative to ensure that you enjoy your own natural teeth in your later years. This means that good oral hygiene routines must be implemented from an early age, ensuring that you care for your teeth throughout your life, reducing the risk of wearing dentures or dental implants at a later stage.
Tooth care starts early, in fact oral hygiene should start before a baby’s first tooth appears, according to Dr Tariq Drabu, a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon. A child should see a dentist by the age of one, in fact their first dental appointment should be the minute their first tooth pushes through the gum.
What many parents don’t realise is that teeth are actually already forming during the second trimester of pregnancy and a baby is born with twenty teeth already formed in the jaw, just waiting to push through the gum. For this reason, it’s important to wipe the mouth of the baby once a day with a damp facecloth, removing any unwelcome bacteria.
Once the first tooth pushes through, a soft toothbrush should be used, brushing a minimum of once a day. When the teeth are touching, you should floss between the baby’s tooth once daily to remove hard to reach plaque and debris.
Adolescent years is when adult teeth start working their way through. You will notice that the milk teeth start falling out, making room for the permanent teeth. By this stage good oral hygiene practice should be in place.
Children are less likely to tell you if they are experiencing tooth sensitivity, often to avoid time in the dentist chair and spend more time with their friends. It is imperative that brushing and flossing takes place daily to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease, which are increased in risk with permanent teeth.
Children should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. They should be supervised up to the age of eight, ensuring that they concentrate on each tooth and brush for a minimum of two minutes. Routine dental appointments must be kept, enabling the dentist to identify any potential problems early on and put a treatment plan in place, according to Dr Tariq Drabu.
In the teenage years, it is possible that the child will start experiencing pain and problems from their wisdom teeth, which start pushing through from around seventeen years of age through to twenty five. There can be complications associated with wisdom teeth, which can cause significant pain, discomfort and problems to other teeth.
As a young adult your risk are increased. If you fall pregnant during this time, your oral health is imperative to the health of your baby. People don’t realise that having gum disease can actually result in a low weight baby. Attend regular dental appointments and follow a strict oral health routine at home. Eliminate sugared and acidic foods from your diet and maintain a healthy diet to promote oral health.
When it comes to midlife years, your teeth will start showing signs of wear, which is a natural part of the aging process. You will find that your fillings start to break down and that root canal treatments are more common than in previous years. You will also find that you are at a higher risk of gum disease, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
In your senor years, medications can have a negative impact on your oral health. Certain medications can result in dry mouth syndrome and it is at this age you will want to visit your dentist twice a year. Brush and floss as normal and attend professional cleaning appointments to remove tartar build-up, which can lead to gum disease.