There is a misnomer that you will lose all your teeth as you age. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, if you care for your teeth through stages of your life, your smile can last you a lifetime!
As you age, your mouth ages too. Here are the pivotal points in life, which you need to be aware of, in order to maintain a healthy smile.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see the dentist by their first birthday, or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age.
“Primary, or baby, teeth are important because they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt,” says Dr. Espinosa.
To ensure your baby teeth are well taken care of from the start, you can begin cleaning your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth. As soon as children start teething, you can brush baby teeth twice daily. Dr. Espinosa says, “The earlier you start creating healthy oral habits, the better. Kids will take your lead and brushing regularly will become a natural daily activity.”
Teens are the most at risk for tooth decay and/or cavities. This is when you start taking control of your own hygiene and parents typically take a back seat in checking how often or how well you’re doing with oral care.
This is also about the time most get braces, and there are additional responsibilities that come along with oral health and having braces. The great news, now with the latest in technology braces are no longer the hindrance they once were. You no longer have to worry about hiding your smile or waiting years for straighter teeth. With six month braces, you not only have a shorter treatment schedule but the brackets are clear and the wires are natural, tooth-colored. Hopefully, this is enough incentive for teens to continue taking good care of their teeth while they get a straighter smile.
Next up, wisdom teeth. Despite what you may have heard, getting your wisdom teeth extracted doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. It should be a painless and easy process.
Your wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, which were needed in prehistoric times when we didn’t have dental care. Now that we are keeping healthier teeth and gums than our ancestors, there is little to no room for these additional teeth.
Most often, because there isn’t space in your mouth, when your wisdom teeth try to break through they become “impacted.” This simply means they need to be extracted in order to prevent tissue, bone or gum damage.
As an adult, you realize your smile is even more important. Especially when you’re interviewing for a job, or looking for that perfect partner. You’ve been brushing daily since you were a baby, you’ve had braces, your wisdom teeth have been extracted, but over the years your teeth aren’t as bright as they used to be. This is the stage when wear and tear on your teeth becomes more prevalent.
“Most people aren’t born with perfect teeth, but it is possible to achieve a stunning, natural looking smile regardless of the current state of your teeth and gums. Whether your teeth have minor stains from drinking coffee, or you need major reconstructive work due to a serious accident, we can help. Our approach is to work with patients so they have the best possible overall oral health, in addition to improving the appearance of their teeth and their smile.” – Dr. Espinosa
As we age, we find it can be more challenging to brush our teeth, because of arthritis in our hands, or that we need more medication, which in turn results in dry mouth and breeding ground for bacteria.
During this stage of life, you may find yourself in need of tooth replacement. This may be in the form of a crown or dental implant.
With the latest in technology, we offer same day crowns. “CEREC software allows us to create a restoration quickly and accurately while you wait. The dental crown is customized to the size and shape of your tooth and provides a natural-looking comfortable replacement.” Dr. Espinosa
Another tooth restorative option is dental implants. Dental Implants replace the root of the missing tooth root, providing a strong and sturdy foundation for one or more replacement teeth or crowns. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
In short, regardless of the stage of life your teeth are in, you have options to keeping that beautiful smile. Your teeth tell your story. Be good to them and they will stick around for a while!
Dr. Espinosa and the Bonita Del Rey team are here to assist you with any questions you may have about your oral health care. Our goal is to make you smile – and we know you smile more when you’re healthy! Contact our office with questions, dental check-up appointments, free dental consultations and/or second opinions. We are here for you!
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