How do dental services change as I get older?
The specific needs of each patient change across their lifetime. Below is a bit about the dental health services people typically need as they move from childhood, into their teens, adulthood and even into their senior years.
Dental Services at Each Stage of Life
Regular dental care for children is essential, to help them set a solid foundation for lifelong oral health. We provide a comprehensive range of dental services for children at Driftwood Dental.
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.
As many teens are concerned about their appearance at this age and having a healthy, white smile, 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 top of mind 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.
If restorative services such as crowns, bridges or fillings are required, we are happy to offer these and address any questions and concerns you may have.
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:
- Dry mouth (caused by medications)
- Need for tooth replacements or dentures
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Oral cancer
- Gum disease or periodontitis
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.