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Stages of Smiles

Dr. Adam Lang Family Dentistry
 
 

Stages of Smiles

Baby Smiles (age: 6 months to 2 years)

Visiting us at this age is to expose the child to our office and to answer any question you might have. We suggest bringing in your child during your cleaning appointment and let them observe as a bystander. With repeated exposure it is hoped that the child will not be frightened when it is their turn to be examined. We can also discuss home care and determine if there will be any issues with teeth development.

Teething can cause pain and discomfort for many babies but it can also cause fever. Cold soothers and gum massagers can help ease the discomfort. If persistant pain and fever continue, contact your family physician to discuss pain and fever relief. 

"Baby Bottle Syndrome" is characterized by multiple cavities on the baby teeth, especially the front teeth, at a very young age. Treatment invariably involves multiple fillings and extractions under general anesthesia. This condition is absolutely preventable. Never allow a child to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice in his mouth.

Toddlers & the Early Years (age: 2 years to 12 years)

We would suggest bringing your child in every six months for a regular check-up and cleaning beginning at the age of 3. This allows us to monitor the progress of your child's dental development and address any upcoming issues. Instructions to maintain a clean mouth are given and reinforced. Despite all the preventative measures, sometimes cavities are detected.

Parents often question the necessity to put fillings in baby teeth when they will "fall out." Some baby teeth are meant to stay in your child's mouth for 12 years. These baby teeth function both as chewing instruments and also as spacer to reserve room for the developing adult teeth. Leaving cavities untreated can cause pain and infections, leading to the premature loss of baby teeth and subsequent need for more complicated and expensive treatments.

The developing child is also prone to accidents. Make sure your house is child-proof for the toddler. For older children involved in sports, an athletic mouth guard is essential to protect against serious dental and jaw injuries.

Teenage Smiles (age: 12 to 18 years)

Permanent teeth are now developed and have erupted into position. Good nutrition and properly cleaned mouths will help in avoiding future cavities. We will continue to reinforce good oral hygiene habits, particularly for those in active orthodontic treatment where the brackets and wires can, at times, present a cleaning challenge.

If you have an athletic teen, a properly fitted mouth guard will lessen the injuries caused by traumatic impacts. Since the mouth is fully developed and will remain stable, consider a custom-fitted mouth guard.  Think of this as the best dental insurance you can buy for your child.

Young Adults (age: 18 to 40 years)

Wisdom teeth will be coming in during the late teenage years. There might not be enough room in the jaw to accommodate the entire wisdom tooth and they can sometimes grow in at an angle and impact against adjacent teeth. Using a panoramic x-ray we can scan your jaws and assess if wisdom teeth removal will be necessary.   

Keeping a brushing and flossing routine will help you to maintain healthy teeth and gum. During your regular cleaning visits we will monitor and reinforce good habits. These are also opportunities to answer any questions you might have regarding your dental health, and to update us with your general health history.

Mature Professionals (age: 40 to 65 years)

While there are definitive treatments to combat cavities, gum disease can only be controlled and maintained. Many adults are afflicted with gum disease in some way. Home care is one essential way to control gum disease.

It is estimated that 75% of adults 35 years and older have gum disease. Keeping a healthy smile includes having healthy gums. With proper brushing and daily flossing, you should see an improvement in your gum health. Regular visits will allow us to keep a close eye on your gums and teeth so you can keep your smile looking great for life. 

Fillings do not last forever. Old, worn out fillings need to be replaced. Teeth with large fillings need to be reinforced with crowns. In fact, some older crowns may also need replacement.

At this stage, your teeth may have stains and show signs of wear. It may be beneficial to look into restorative or cosmetic procedures, such as teeth whitening, to restore your smile back to brilliance. 

Retirement & Above (age: 65+ years)

Maintaining a healthy smile includes regular brushing and flossing. If you are finding these tasks difficult due to reduced mobility or arthritis, using an enlarged handled toothbrush and floss picks can make your daily routine easier. 

Gum disease and wear and tear are taking their toll on your teeth over the years. If you loose a tooth or a few teeth you will require replacement. Denture, bridge, or implants are the solutions. While the dentures are removable, the bridges and the implants are the permanently fixed.  If you require complete dentures, we can refer you to a denture clinic where they specialize in creating a perfect smile for you. 

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