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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.

Pregnancy is a joyous time but also one full of to-do lists. You have your doctor appointments, hospital visits, and not to mention setting up the nursery. Throughout it all, it can be hard to justify the importance of prioritizing a dental appointment. However, getting an oral checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your overall health as well as the babies. You see, carrying a child can cause hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby. Below are some tips to help you maintain your oral health while pregnant.

  • A common myth is that dental care cannot be conducted during pregnancy. This is untrue. Routine dental care and urgent procedures can be done anytime during the gestational period. However, all elective dental procedures should wait until after the delivery. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your doctor to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
  • Make sure to let your dentist know that you are pregnant. If medications for pain or infection are needed, your dentist can prescribe ones that are safe for you and your baby.
  • Continue brushing and flossing to maintain your oral health.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the chance of irritating your gums.
  • Don’t skip an x-ray. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer and able to be carried out while carrying a baby. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard both of you, such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid.
  • Hormonal changes can put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that easily bleed – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. This is all the more reason to schedule a dental examination. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time, make an appointment a priority.
  • If you have morning sickness, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging softened enamel surface.
  • Make sure to rinse your mouth out after having morning sickness. The acid from your stomach can be strong enough to contribute to tooth erosion.
  • Some women also develop what are called “pregnancy tumors” due to hormonal changes that are associated with pregnancy. Don’t let the name scare you; pregnancy tumors are not malignant. The growths most often appear during the second trimester and look like little raspberries that form between the teeth. They usually disappear after pregnancy but can be removed if they are irritating.
  • Avoid sugary snacks. Cravings are common during pregnancy but try to opt for healthier options with less sugar.

Maintaining your oral health is key to your overall health. Consequently, it is very important to continue taking care of your teeth while going through pregnancy. This means scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist and not delaying treatment if it is a requirement. If you have any further questions about your oral health and pregnancy, speak to a professional at Whistler Dental.