The Timeline of Teeth
Throughout your life your teeth have gone through many changes, and will go through many more as you age. Learn the timeline of teeth, and how they change over time. These changes are especially important for toddlers and young kids, but you may be surprised to learn about what will happen to your teeth as you begin to age in adulthood.
The beginning years
Within your child’s first year of life, their first tooth will erupt. This can cause pain, and may need some extra attention. Your child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should happen before their first birthday to ensure everything is developing as it should. Once your child’s first tooth does appear, begin brushing it. Before this point, you should be using a wet washcloth to clean the gums. Your child will continue to develop baby teeth during their toddler years.
Gearing up for teenage years
Before reaching the teenage years, the baby teeth will begin to fall out as the first molars begin to erupt. Children that continue sucking their thumbs past four years old run the risk of causing problems with the alignment of the teeth. As the permanent teeth begin coming through, it is more important than ever to prevent cavities from settling in these teeth.
During the teenage years, it is not uncommon for orthodontic work to be necessary. This can be anything from retainers to headgear to braces. Make sure to ask your dentist if an orthodontist needs to be a part of your child’s oral care. It is important during this time to avoid sugary foods as much as possible, and not to get oral piercings. The metal has the potential to damage the gums and teeth. Once you reach your twenties, signs of oral cancer may appear. At this point it is critical to meet with an adult dentist every six months to watch for these signs and other problems.
Adults need to continue taking care of their teeth to prevent bigger problems from occurring later down the line. It is during this time that cavities around fillings and teeth become more likely, and thus need to be addressed. You may begin to feel increased sensitivity to your teeth. This is completely normal. Crowns are normal at this time, as they will strengthen teeth that may be damaged in some way. Continue semiannual visits to the dentist to ensure your teeth are in the best health possible.
Teeth go through many changes over time, but good dental health starts from a young age. Make sure that your child visits the pediatric dentist before their first birthday, and continues going on a regular basis. This more than anything will prevent oral problems from occurring later down the road.