Your teeth were made to last a lifetime, and maintaining strong oral health habits through adulthood is the best way to ensure that your natural teeth will stick with you for the long haul. The basics, like brushing twice per day and flossing, apply to every age group. However, each decade of adulthood comes with its own set of oral health risks. Ahead, we’ll cover those risks by decade, along with what you can do to keep your mouth healthy throughout adulthood.
Staying Healthy Through Adulthood: Oral Care in Your 20s
Tooth decay is one of the most common oral health issues that affects young adults. Changes in diet are especially common in your 20s, and those changes can exacerbate or diminish your risk of tooth decay. Alcohol and tobacco use often begins during these years as well, and both of those items can do real damage to your teeth.
- Sometimes, diet changes come from necessity. If outside factors make it difficult to eat as healthy as you’d like, brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly will help lower your risk of oral health issues.
- If you do get a cavity, having it filled as soon as possible will help you avoid long-term complications.
- Wisdom teeth often emerge during the late teenage years or early 20s. Since impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, and even damage your other teeth, most people have their wisdom teeth extracted in a relatively simple procedure.
Staying Healthy Through Adulthood: Oral Care in Your 30s
If you’ve maintained good oral health habits in your teens and 20s, your 30s should actually offer comparatively smooth sailing. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink is one common issue, usually caused by brushing a bit too intensely. Normally, this can be addressed with a change in brushing habits and toothpaste.
- The 30s are a common time to have children, and pregnancy will impact your oral health. Hormonal changes increase your risk of gum disease during pregnancy, so it’s important to meet with your dentist in Calgary to develop a safe oral care plan.
- Cosmetic issues are also common during this decade. If your teeth have become stained over the years, consider professional whitening to get the results you desire in a safe setting.
Staying Healthy Through Adulthood: Oral Care in Your 40s
Dental repairs like cavity fillings, crowns, and bridges are designed to be long-lasting, but may need some repairs of their own over time. Your 40s is the perfect time to have your dentist look over all of your prior dental work, and make sure everything is still in good shape.
- Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is primarily caused by stress, and it becomes more common as you progress through adulthood. Grinding can lead to uneven wear of teeth and the painful TMJ syndrome, so treatment is important.
- Gum disease is also fairly common in your 40s, and can lead to long-term problems with the structure of your teeth and jaw. Maintain strong oral health at home to lower your risk, and talk to your dentist about the warning signs of gum disease.
Staying Healthy Through Adulthood: Oral Care in Your 50s
Your oral health experience during your 50s will largely be shaped by how you cared for your teeth during your 20s, 30s and 40s. If you’ve stuck to a strong daily routine throughout, then your 50s should be much like your 40s. If you’ve had some lax years mixed in, you may have a higher chance of decay and gum disease.
- If your teeth are in good health, your primary risk factors will be diseases of the mouth. Be sure to attend your regular checkups, so that your dentist can screen for gum disease and other issues.
- Tooth decay can happen at any age, so it’s important not to let up on your oral hygiene. Try to limit sugar consumption, and stick to your routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with fluoride daily.
In the past, it was fairly common for adults to lose teeth, especially in their 40s and 50s. That’s no longer the case. With strong care at home and regular trips to your dentist during adulthood, your teeth really can last a lifetime.