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Most parts of the body are formed at birth. We get one set of bones, organs, eyes and hands that all develop and age with us as we grow older. However, the same cannot be said for our teeth. Our teeth go through an interesting and dramatically different lifecycle, from the first signs of teething, to permanent teeth developing, the pain of wisdom teeth and eventually tooth decay. Here’s a brief summary of what to expect at each stage.

A tooth is born

While newborns do not have any teeth, their front teeth are already fully formed. Teeth start forming just 6 weeks after conception, when they begin to grow down into the developing jaw. These teeth start to come through when a baby reaches around 2-3 months old, and most children have a full set of 20 milk teeth by the time they are 3. As teeth develop, they take on many shades. Tooth colour has a lot to do with genetics, so don’t worry if they appear discoloured initially.

Permanent teeth develop

When kids reach around 5 or 6, their jaws are strong enough to support permanent teeth, and so baby teeth start to fall out and visits from the Tooth Fairy begin. Developing permanent teeth eventually put enough pressure on the roots of the baby teeth, which causes them to break. By the time to tooth falls out, most of the root has already been reabsorbed into the gums. Their new adult tooth could appear in as soon as a week, or as long as six months.

The pain of wisdom teeth

Though our first incisors make an appearance at around age 6, our third set of molars often don’t come in until late teens. Believed to have been necessary for our ancestors’ diet, many people today are born with a jawbone that simply doesn’t have space for another set of molars. This overcrowding can cause wisdom teeth to be impacted – or stuck – between the jawbone and the other set of molars. Some can even get stuck and get infected while erupting, meaning they need to be taken out.

The aging tooth

Like all parts of the body, as people age, our teeth age with us. Cavities in the dentin become more common, and the risk of periodontal disease also increases. While many people do eventually need to have teeth removed, if you practice proper dental care from an early age and continue to do so at every stage of your tooth’s lifecycle, your teeth may well last a lifetime!

Whistler Dental would love to give you the reliable, affordable and exceptional dental care you need to maintain a beautiful and healthy smile for life. We offer a family-friendly environment and have plenty of experience with children of all ages, so please get in contact.

No matter what age you are, maintaining good oral care is essential for your overall health! This is why it’s important to get into a good routine of brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular dental checkups as soon as possible. Whether you’re a kid, a teen, an adult or a senior, there are certain specific dental practices you should be following – and oral health issues that you should look out for. Here are some dental tips for every stage of life, so you can maintain a beautiful, healthy smile!

Babies and Toddlers

Teething occurs between the ages of 3-9 months. According to the Canadian Dental Association, a child’s first trip to the dentist should be within six months of their first tooth appearing, and no later than their first birthday.

With young infants, it’s important to keep an eye out for potential oral health issues early on. Thumb sucking is completely natural and normal amongst young children, but make sure it doesn’t lead to problems with bite and tooth alignment. The same goes for baby bottle tooth decay, so avoid giving your child too much sugar and make sure they have adequate exposure to fluoride.

Kids and Teens

During this stage, it’s especially important that parents set a good example when it comes to oral health. Most kids start to lose baby teeth by age 6, so teach them a great dental hygiene routine to prevent cavities and tooth decay. You can easily encourage healthy smiles by having plenty of oral health-care supplies on hand, and by encouraging a healthy diet.

For image-conscious teens, teeth can be a source of deep insecurity. If your child wants straighter teeth or needs to correct their bite, schedule an appointment with your dentist to see whether Invisalign or traditional braces would be a better fit. It’s also worth noting that wisdom teeth usually come in during the late teens, and they may need to be removed due to crowding, pain or infection.

Adults

Oral care during your adult life is as just as important as it is throughout childhood. Neglected teeth and gums can lead to cavities, infection and tooth loss. If a cavity becomes too deep, root canals may be required. Daily brushing and flossing are the most effective way to prevent these issues and keep teeth and gums healthy – it may sound repetitive, but it’s true!

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant should schedule checkups between 4-6 months of pregnancy. If you have a sweet tooth while pregnant, or if you suffer from morning sickness, make sure to be extra diligent with oral hygiene.

Seniors

Oral health is a lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy mouth when you are older can prevent a multitude of health problems. During this stage of your life it’s essential to schedule regular dental checkups (even if you have dentures) so your dentist can look out for any problems that need to be addressed. It’s also especially important to watch for early signs of oral cancer. If you notice any open sores or changes in the tongue and cheek lining, we offer oral cancer screenings.

Provided you stick to a good oral hygiene routine throughout your lifetime, most of the dental problems we have outlined can be easily prevented. At Whistler Dental, we offer general dentistry services for the entire family. To find out more about what you can be doing for you oral health at any age, book an appointment with us.