In this post, our Sydney dentists explain the ins and outs of family dentistry and how we help all your family as they go through the different stages of life as kids, teens, adults, and seniors.
How do dental services change as we age?
Regular dental care for children is essential, to help them set a good oral health routine.
Starting with their first visit (ideally at six months of age) all through their school-aged years, we work with them to keep their smile healthy. We provide regular cleanings and exams, and review proper preventive hygiene techniques at each appointment to ensure their teeth receive appropriate care at home.
For children at a higher risk than average of tooth decay, or for those that have special circumstances or needs, restorative dental services or customized treatment plans may be recommended.
As teens develop and grow more independent, their dental care will need to grow with them. Preventive dental care will continue as they see the dentist every 9 months or so.
Many teens are self-conscious about their appearance at this age and having a healthy, white smile, is a concern to them. We will educate them about the connection between dental hygiene practices and the appearance of their smiles.
If orthodontic care is needed, teens will be referred to an orthodontist for assessment and perhaps require treatment with braces, clear aligners, a retainer or other appliance.
Many people develop early-stage gum disease in adulthood, potentially resulting in painfully swollen gums and other oral health issues. Preventive care should continue to be a top priority for adults, including at-home care and regular visits to the dentists for hygiene cleanings.
Many people will need their wisdom teeth removed in early adulthood. Sometimes, oral surgery, specialized care, appliances or other treatments will be recommended for specific issues such as TMJ Disorder or sleep apnea.
As you age, your mouth and teeth will naturally change, and you may also have new needs in terms of medications. This can increase your risk for developing dental health problems, including:
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Dry mouth (caused by medications)
- Need for tooth replacements or dentures
- Gum disease or periodontitis
- Oral cancer
You may notice your teeth are getting less sensitive to things like pain from cavities or hot or cold temperatures. This is because the nerves in your teeth can shrink as you get older. Conversely, if gum tissue recedes this could cause your teeth to become more sensitive as root tissue is left exposed.
Buildup of plaque and wear on your tooth enamel can also leave you susceptible to other problems. A dentist can examine your smile and help address these by recommending appropriate treatments such as dental implants, restorative services, a gum graft, gum therapy or oral surgery.