Whether you’re taking your child to the dentist for the first time or need to book an appointment for your routine six-month cleaning, going to the dentist still seems to invoke uneasiness and trepidation in a lot of people. Unfortunately, dental phobia can be just as predominant in adulthood as it is during childhood and prevents hundreds of people from properly taking care of their teeth as a result. Alleviating those irrational fears as early on in your child’s life as possible will teach them there’s nothing to be afraid of when it’s time to visit the dentist.
What You Should Know about Dental Visits for Kids
As a first-time parent, you may find yourself wondering when it’s appropriate to schedule your child’s first dental appointment. The answer to that query is twofold, yet simple, you can either schedule your child’s first dental appointment after their first tooth breaks through the gum or around the time of their first birthday (whichever event happens first). Following that initial dental visit at the age of one, there are some reasons your child may require a dental examination.
- You detect early signs of dental disease such as gingivitis or decay
- Problems with their baby teeth
- You’re unsure what to expect regarding their baby teeth
- It’s time for their standard two-year old dental checkup
Children require strict boundaries and guidance. Teaching them how to properly care for their teeth and gums is an essential part of early childhood development. Scheduling regular dental visits at age two, three, four, five, and onward will encourage them to take greater responsibility for their oral health. The frequency of appointments will be determined based on each individual situation.
Dental Visits for Teenagers
Even during their adolescent years (and sometimes well into adulthood), your children will continue to rely on you for a lot of things before they finally learn to be self-sufficient and this includes making their medical and dental appointments for them. Teenagers tend to have certain orthodontic problems that are unique to their age range. Among these problems are the irregular position of their teeth, which causes them to be crooked; the removal of wisdom teeth and the third molar; and dental cavities due to lack of care. These are just some of the reasons that you might see more teenagers wearing braces or oral corrective devices than adults.
Some of the more severe reasons adolescents might need to visit the dentist include the following:
- Toothache or sensitivity
- Gum problems (bleeding while brushing caused by inflammation)
- Loss of a tooth due to poor oral health or suffering a trauma
- Tooth decay
All of these oral health problems could be potentially serious to begin with or worsen over time if they’re neglected for too long. Bleeding gums are usually associated with lack of proper oral care and can eventually lead to tooth decay. It’s important to instill and encourage proper oral health care habits in your children from a very early age to prevent this from happening to them.
Dental Visit for Adults
Adulthood is a culmination of all of the life lessons and habits that you ingrain in your children while they’re growing up. Adults require just as much regular dental care as children do and there are many factors that can have a negative impact on the health of your teeth and gums.
- Smoking is arguably one of the worst offenders in terms of habits that can destroy your overall oral health. The toxins that emanate from cigarettes discolour your teeth, deplete the protective layer of enamel on them, and weaken their internal bone structure.
- Tooth sensitivity shouldn’t be neglected as it’s usually a symptom of a much more serious underlying problem such as internal tooth decay, periodontitis, or gum disease.
- Cracked or chipped teeth should also be mended as soon as possible as they provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria to penetrate the internal structure of your teeth and wreak all kinds of havoc, not to mention the fact that they can be extremely painful and cause sensitivity.
- Like tooth sensitivity, long lasting pain and cavities are also major signifiers that there may be a serious problem with one or more of your teeth that needs to be resolved immediately.
Dental Visits for Seniors
Seniors are typically at the greatest risk out of any age group when it comes to developing dental problems that may result in tooth decay or loss. Certain types of age-related illnesses, medications, and treatments may render side effects or symptoms that are detrimental to the oral health of elderly patients. These include:
- Diabetes and heart disease treatments can introduce tooth-decaying bacteria that can weaken the external structure of your teeth and eat away at your tooth enamel.
- Dry mouth is the result of insufficient saliva production or dehydration that can sometimes be associated with aging or certain medications. If left untreated, it could create a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, halitosis, and mouth sores.
- Lost tooth fillings are also problematic because they expose the inner nerves of your teeth to destructive bacteria as well as extreme hot and cold temperatures that cause drastic tooth sensitivity and pain.
Scheduling regular dental appointments is important at every stage of your life as they can help prevent the development of serious oral health issues down the line.
Visit Your Local Etobicoke Dental Clinic
Princeview Dental Group has been happily accepting and treating patients of all ages with a wide range of dental health issues. From simple checkups and cleanings to emergency dental visits, our staff is always prepared to recommend the best treatment options for children, teenagers, adults, and seniors alike. Contact us today to book an appointment.