Dental Care for Every Age
Everybody knows that visiting the dentist is important, but dental needs change over the course of a person’s life. Dr. Robert M. Walley suggests paying attention to recommendations for dental health at every stage of life, including the following tips for everything from pregnancy to advanced age.
A pregnant woman’s oral health habits can affect the health of her baby, especially since so much bacteria enters the body through the mouth. Keeping clean teeth is essential for the proper development of the baby’s teeth, which start growing around the third month of pregnancy. In other words, women can start taking care of their babies’ teeth before they even leave the womb.
Infant Oral Care
Babies can begin teething at any time, but most start somewhere between three and nine months of age. As soon as those babies start sprouting teeth, it is important to start taking care of them, which means investing in a baby toothbrush even though you shouldn’t be using toothpaste until they are a little older. You don’t need to see the dentist yet (that comes a little later), but you will want to communicate with your pediatrician as more teeth sprout.
Children’s Oral Care
Dr. Robert M. Walley suggests that all children see the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. This may seem early, but there has been an uptick in cavities among preschool-age children the last several years, and children who get cavities are more likely to get them as adults.
Children should start brushing with toothpaste (a pea-sized amount) when they are around two years old, but make sure it’s fluoride-free since kids tend to swallow it at this young an age.
Also, getting to a dentist early is essential to help ensure your own children are taking proper care of their teeth. Throughout their childhood, they should visit twice a year for regular cleanings, just like an adult would.
Teen Oral Care
With adolescence comes braces, third molars, and hormonal changes that can affect teenagers’ dental health, so it’s as important as ever to encourage responsibility with brushing and flossing. Increased junk food and peer pressure to try smoking also create new potential problems for teens’ teeth, so keep them visiting the dentist and encourage them to continue brushing as they always have.
Adult Oral Care
By adulthood, people should have settled into healthy dental routines, including brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing twice a day to remove plaque from teeth. Also, adults should be able to avoid sugary and starchy foods, since those create more bacteria and acid that can be damaging to teeth. Of course, adults should visit their dentists regularly for professional cleanings and checkups, as well.
Senior Oral Care
According to the Washington Dental Service Foundation, around 75 percent of adults over the age of 60 no longer have all their adult teeth, while 23 percent of all seniors suffer from some sort of gum disease. Osteoporosis also is more common among seniors, especially women, which can mean loose teeth. Each of these issues means dental visits still are necessary, and proper dental care is more important than ever.
Dr. Walley would love to help you take care of your teeth, no matter your age. If it’s time for a dental checkup and cleaning, or you have any pressing dental needs, give us a call and set up an appointment at your friendly dental office in San Francisco, CA today!
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