Over the course of a lifetime, a lot of changes happen with our teeth. Just as bones, skin and muscles change with age, so do our teeth. Since teeth are at the front line of our digestive functions, they are prone to receiving a lot of wear and tear. Factors such as oral hygiene, dental treatments and preventative measures also contribute to how our teeth age and change. Here are some changes you can expect from the development of a first tooth to over the age of 50.
Babyhood to Childhood
Between 4 to 7 months, a baby should start sprouting teeth. Usually, the bottom two front teeth appear first followed by the two upper front teeth. By the time a child reaches the age of 3, he or she should have a complete set of primary teeth which consists of 20 teeth. Taking care of primary teeth is extremely important and it is recommended by the Canadian Dental Association that the first dental check up for a toddler is within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age.
Copyright: alekuwka83 / 123RF Stock Photo
6 to 12 Years
At the age of 6, children can expect to start losing their baby teeth. Changes in the jaw are also starting to occur in order to accommodate the growth of permanent teeth. When a child reaches the age of 12, they should have completely lost all baby teeth and replaced them with permanent adult teeth. Regular dental check ups is recommended every 6 months to keep teeth healthy and to detect any problems early on in their stage.
13 to 19 Years
During these years if permanent teeth are uneven or overcrowded, your dentist may suggest having this corrected. Misaligned teeth can be corrected with the early wearing of dental braces. During the teen years wisdom teeth will start coming in. For some this is no problem at all as their wisdom teeth grow into the proper position. For others the teeth stay in the jawbone, which is called “impacted” and don’t cause any overt complication or nuisance. This is not the case for everyone. Your Burnaby Dentist can determine if your wisdom teeth are causing present problems or will cause future problems and provide treatments and solutions. As with all ages, it is important to maintain a good oral hygiene routine as well as visit your dentist regularly.
20 to 30 Years
If good oral hygiene was followed in prior years, it is possible to enjoy a strong and healthy set of teeth through your 20’s.
During these years however, it is not uncommon to experience brittleness that can lead to broken teeth, especially if you have a habit of simultaneously eating or drinking cold and hot drinks or food. If oral care was poor during prior years your teeth will show the effects of this. If this is the case, cavities might be present and tartar build up which leads to gum inflammation, gum disease and loss of the integrity of your teeth.
At this age, you may already require treatments like fillings, dental crowns and root canals to solve underlying problems. This is also the age where your wisdom teeth have finished growing. In some cases, this can lead to extraction (especially if it’s pushing against your other teeth and causing pain).
If you are a chronic coffee or tea drinker, your teeth may start to sport a yellowish tint. It can be treated by professional dental bleaching or by regular use of teeth whitening products.
31 to 50 Years
One of the most prominent changes people at this age experience is the gum lines receeding causing “long tooth syndrome”. This is the age bracket that you start to lose bones so the gums tend to change their appearance, which affects the way your teeth look and feel. Years of brushing teeth too aggressively also contributes to gums being pushed up and the roots of teeth being exposed. You might also experience sensitivity as exposed roots can cause this.
Stress and grinding can also take a toll on the back teeth. Some people may start to see their back teeth caving inwards. This can be especially prominent in people with a dental condition called Bruxism.
51 and Above
At this age, you might notice a significant thinning of the structure of your teeth, which can result in gaps in between the teeth. Your teeth might also appear more yellow and see through. This results from the enamel of your teeth weakening and eroding allowing the yellow dentin layer to be more visible. Daily exposure to coffee, tea and other acidic food and drinks will also continue to yellow teeth.
It’s not impossible to have a lifetime of beautiful, healthy teeth. If you start taking care of your teeth from early on you will have many, many decades to enjoy them.
At every age, it is important to never underestimate the power of good oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist. The investment in taking care of your teeth is worth it as once you lose your permanent teeth, you’ll never have them back again.
If you have questions or concerns about your teeth and how they age and change over a lifetime, be sure to ask your Dentist at North Burnaby Dental Group.