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A Tour Of Your Teeth – From Childhood To Adulthood

Your body goes through many changes throughout your infancy and into adulthood. Your oral cavity is among the parts that will transform the most as you grow. Your mouth gets bigger, you might lose or gain some teeth, and there may be adjustments to their alignment. 

The amount of care you give your oral health changes throughout the years as well as the technique you must use to avoid gum disease and tooth decay. Here’s a tour on your mouth, from having baby teeth to adult teeth. We will also discuss how you and your children can enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth.

Tiny Teeth

Unlike your brain or heart, your trusty biters weren’t ready to work from the day you were born. Teeth don’t appear until babies are about six to 12 months old. Rarely, some infants have the beginnings of their first teeth while they are still inside the womb. 

More teeth start to become visible after that first tooth breaks through. Most toddlers have their first set of choppers by the age of three. These are called the milk, baby, or primary teeth and there are usually 20 in all. These are sometimes referred to as the “deciduous” teeth, named after the tree that loses all its leaves. 

The process of getting these tiny biters is called “teething” and it can be a difficult time for little ones. Each tooth can literally break through the gums as it comes into the mouth. From the first tooth, the process of teething can take months. 

Most infants develop their teeth between three and nine months, but some won’t have them until well over a year. When a kid reaches five or six years, these teeth start falling out, one by one. A rare occurrence is not having teeth by age three. If this happens, a dentist needs to see the child for an evaluation. 

Infant Oral Care

Starting dental care early is crucial for your little one’s overall health. Healthy milk teeth help kids eat and speak clearly. They guide permanent teeth into the proper position. Some of these tiny, temporary chippers are not replaced by adult teeth until the age of 12 or 13. Oral health care for infants includes cleaning the gums even before the teeth come into the mouth. 

Making sure that their gums are clean is an easy and surefire way of removing bacteria that may impede the growth of teeth. Wipe their gums with a wet cloth after every feeding once they have a tooth. That delicate little tooth is susceptible to decay as soon as it pops through the gums. Brush their tooth or teeth twice a day. Kids will only need a rice-sized amount of toothpaste to brush their teeth. Choose only products approved by the American Dental Association

Watch out for the most common causes of tooth decay in early childhood. These include:

  • constant use of a sippy cup or baby bottle that is filled with sugary beverages, such as juice, milk, or formula
  • frequent snacking, especially sticky or sweet treats
  • not brushing your child’s teeth

Bathing the teeth in sugar for a long time is the number one cause of tooth decay in toddlers. Do not let sweets to coat your child’s teeth throughout the day. Offer water to wash away some of these sugars or encourage them to brush their teeth.

Adult Teeth

Around the ages five or six, your child will start to lose their primary teeth in the order they came in. The front two both teeth will fall out first, followed by the top two teeth and so on through the back. Twenty-eight permanent teeth replace them in the same order, with four wisdom teeth that will likely have to be removed. 

The main difference these have from baby teeth is that there are six molars and four premolars in each arch. They aid in speech, digestion, and general appearance. These adult choppers begin erupting when you’re six years old and end when you reach 21. 

As an adult, your new biters will be larger than the previous ones you had. Each tooth will look different and will fall into categories of canine, incisors, premolars, and molars. Unlike the milk teeth, your adult teeth are permanent and ill stick around until the end of your life, if you take care of them. That means you need to be more diligent at having dental checkups and brushing your teeth.  

Caring For Permanent Teeth

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is your best bet when it comes to keeping your pearly whites in tip-top shape. Do this after eating or at least twice a day. Don’t forget to brush before bedtime. Brush your teeth in small circles – go around until you have covered every surface of every tooth. Do an up and down motion rather than side to side. 

Flossing at least once a day is essential to get rid of food particles stuck between your teeth. Remember that the sticky stuff that clings to your teeth is what causes cavities and gum disease, and the job of dental floss is to remove every bit of them.  You can also brush your tongue gently to help keep your breath fresh. Your dentist may suggest an alcohol-free mouthwash for best results.

A Lifetime Of Healthy Teeth

Parents have a huge role to play in their children’s dental care. Incorporate good oral care habits at an early age so they continue them into adulthood. It’s also never too late to start caring for your teeth. Visit your trusted tooth experts in Arizona – your dental hygienist and dentist. During your appointment, they’ll lookout for any issues and polish your teeth. Sometimes the dentist asks for an X-ray of your mouth to get a better picture of your tooth alignment or to look for less obvious tooth problems. 

Get a comprehensive oral exam and dental cleanings at Kyrene Family Dentistry to check for early signs of cavities or disease. Doing so – no matter your age – will ensure that you keep your baby or adult teeth intact and healthy.