People have different dental needs at different stages of life. Here are some of the ins and outs of family dentistry and how to help kids, teens, adults and seniors keep healthy smiles.
How do dental services change as I age?
Regular dental care is critical for children to step a solid foundation for lifelong oral health.
Beginning with their first visit at 6 month to a year old and through their school years, dentists work to keep kids' smiles healthy. The key here is regular dental exams and reviewing proper dental hygiene at each appointment.
For children who are at higher risk for tooth decay, or for those who have special needs or circumstances, restorative dental services or custom treatment plans may be required.
As teens age and grow more independent, their dental care will grow too. They will see a dentist every 9 months or so to continue preventative dental care.
Since teenagers are often concerned about their appearance and having a healthy, white smile, their dentist will educate them about how oral hygiene can maintain or improve their smile's appearance.
If they need orthodontic care, teenagers will be referred to an orthodontist for assessment. They may require treatment with braces or clear aligners.
Many people develop early stages of gum disease as adults, possibly causing swollen gums and other oral health issues. For adults, preventative care remains most important, from at-home hygiene to regular dental appointments.
Many people will also require their wisdom teeth to be removed as young adults. Oral surgery, dental appliances or specialized care like wisdom teeth removal may be recommended by your dentist for any health issues.
If restorative services, like fillings, crowns or bridges, are required, your dentist is happy to offer them and answer your questions.
As your age, your smile will change naturally and will also develop new healthcare needs. Some medications can have effects which increase your risk of dental health issues, including:
- Dry mouth
- Need for tooth replacements
- Oral cancer
- Gum disease
The nerves in your teeth shrink as your age. So, you might notice that your teeth are becoming less sensitive to pain from cavities, or to hot or cold temperatures. If your gums recede, this will expose your root tissue and cause your teeth to become more sensitive.
As plaque builds up, it wears out your tooth enamel and can leave you vulnerable to other issues. Your dentist will be able to examine your smile and address these by recommending treatments like oral surgery, restorative services or gum grafts.
Which dental care services make sense for you and your family?
A dentist will be able to help you understand the dental healthcare needs of each member of your family and answer all of your questions.