Every patient has their own set of needs in regards to dental care, and in many instances, this depends on their age.
Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen with the arrival of that first tooth, or within six months (no later than their first birthday). Your dentist will use this time to obtain a dental history for your child, inspect for oral injuries, cavities or other problems, and let you know of any risks regarding dental health. They will also clean your child’s teeth and guide you on proper brushing habits and cavity prevention.
As children get older and all of their teeth start coming in, including the replacement of the baby teeth by permanent teeth, it is important to guard against the development of cavities. Make sure your whole family is using fluoridated toothpaste and drinks fluoridated water. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps build strong enamel and thus helps prevent cavities. Additionally, brushing and flossing habits should be well-established as children are growing up. Supervise your children as they brush and floss until you’re confident they can safely do it on their own.
Kids at this age have a unique set of dental health issues. Just as the rest of their body grows and develops, the structure of their face also changes, possibly necessitating orthodontic treatment. By around the age of 13, all of the permanent teeth (except wisdom teeth) will have come in. It will continue to be important to keep up good brushing and flossing habits.
A good oral hygiene routine combined with a healthy lifestyle will help produce a healthy smile. As adults get older, new dental concerns may present themselves, due to such things as the erosion of tooth enamel or dry mouth (which can be attributed to taking certain medications). Your dentist will closely monitor your dental health as you age to alert you of any developing problems or recommend additional annual visits.
It’s recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and check-up. In between visits, keep up a good oral healthcare routine that includes brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. It’s also important for your family to maintain a healthy diet that is low in sugary snacks and drinks but high in fruits and vegetables as well as calcium-rich foods such as cheese.