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Oral health for every stage of life

Did you know? Your oral health is the gateway to your overall wellness. Maintaining good oral hygiene isn’t just about a bright smile; it’s crucial for your overall health at every stage of life. Here’s how oral health impacts your well-being across different ages. You are never too young to establish good oral hygiene, as soon as you start getting teeth, and hopefully keeping them, and you healthy throughout your life!

These are the different ages and stages of development and the possible effects of good and bad dental hygiene. I always say, “If you’ve got them, floss them” and “You only need to take care of the teeth that you want to keep.”

Infancy and Childhood (0-12 years)
Establishing oral hygiene habits early helps prevent cavities and gum disease, while also setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.

Did you know that baby teeth play a crucial role in speech development and proper nutrition? It’s never too young to emphasize the importance of early dental care. Even the youngest children should not be put to bed sucking on a bottle of milk. Give a bottle of water in the crib, at least at the end and create your own good habits of not leaving allowing a baby to fall asleep with milk left on their gums and teeth.

Depending on where you live, it is wise to discuss with the dentist what are the best protocols for your children. If there is a fear or anxiety, or severe decay, consider a pedodontist whose offices are designed to put children at ease and can do dental work under anaesthetic if necessary.

Adolescence and Teenage Years (13-19 years)
Inevitable hormonal changes during puberty can greatly increase the susceptibility to gum inflammation and gingivitis, in addition to the common woes of acne, voice and sexual changes. This underscores the need for developing consistent oral hygiene habits that continue into adult hygiene practices instead of coping with bad breath and rotten teeth that contribute to lower self esteem. Losing permanent teeth at this stage has long term repercussions to your looks, how you chew and much more.

Adolescents may also face orthodontic issues that impact both oral health and as mentioned, their self-esteem. This makes the importance of regular dental check-ups twice a year to be essential, especially considering this is a time for being prone to peer pressures and eating more junk food.

Working-Age Adults (20-64 years)
Starting in your 20s, poor oral health, particularly periodontal disease, has been linked to systemic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Dietary habits, oral hygiene and lifestyle play large roles in these diseases when they are not autoimmune conditions. The interconnectedness of oral and overall health has ever growing repercussions.

Stress and busy lifestyles can contribute to oral health problems like bruxism (teeth grinding) and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), causing pain and inability to chew or eat and adding to elevated stress levels that require new intervention techniques and often extra dental care. Tooth loss may result in larger expenses for crowns, implants and dentures.

Older Adults (65+ years)
Aging increases the risk of oral health issues such as tooth loss, dry mouth, halitosis, and oral cancer. Here we see these risk factors impacting nutrition, speech, and the overall quality of life. If you required intervention at an earlier age, for dentures, implants, crowns and bridges, you may be facing the extra costs of replacing them again.

Regular dental visits are crucial for detecting and addressing oral health problems early. These regular visits are a big factor in promoting and maintaining overall well-being in older adults. The shape of your face and the ability to eat and chew once again become super important for your overall well-being.

I hope you will keep in mind, that developing these simple habits as early as possible, will make a noticeable difference in your life. Remember, most people prefer to keep their teeth in their mouths and their money in their pockets instead of the other way around!

If you would like to make an appointment or speak to someone about a dental concern, contact us. Our office accepts dental insurance and charges according to the BC fee guide.

Stop grinding your teeth!

NightguardGrinding your teeth during sleep is kind of a sleep disorder. Also called bruxism, it can happen at any age.

Children sometimes do it as their teeth are changing from their primary to their permanent ones. Some people just get a wear spot, but in more serious cases, you might grind right through the enamel to the pulp.

The best prevention is a hard, plastic mouth guard created by your dentist. It will discourage grinding and protect the surface of your teeth.

Teeth: The strongest structures in your body

tooth enamel

A microscopic view of tooth enamel

Did you know your teeth are harder than bones? In fact, they are harder than steel.

Tooth enamel is unique in that it has to last our entire lifetime. The mineralisation process that produces tooth enamel creates an incredibly tough substance that is even harder than steel.

New research reveals a never-before-seen mechanism for crack deflection that helps make its exceptional resilience possible.


Can people really pick up radio waves on their braces or fillings?

Do you wear metal braces or have metal fillings in your teeth? The closer you are to a large AM transmitter, the more likely you are to hear music in your mouth.

When AM transmitters were common in big cities, it was an everyday occurrence for people living near them to hear the station on their toasters, from their light bulbs, and even from things like a metal spoon resting in a metal cup. If you’re picking up radio, your dentist can change the size of the filling or the length of wire in your braces to solve the problem.

Why are our teeth so sensitive to pain?

tooth painAccording to Live Science, sensitivity is a defense mechanism we’ve developed to protect damaged teeth from further injury. Teeth have three layers, only one of which — the innermost layer or “pulp” tooth — has blood vessels and nerves.
Learn more about tooth pain at

Protect your teeth with 7 tips, including brushing with light, gentle motion every day, using an electric toothpaste for better cleaning, seeing your local dentist regularly, using a straw for drinks, and wearing a night guard if you grind your teeth.

Find tips at

A water flosser to use in the shower

A “shower for your teeth” is the latest idea to help people get ready faster, while multi-tasking in the bathroom. The device hooks to a shower head to irrigate teeth and clean gums, according to the manufacturer. Seven jets of water massage the gums while flossing. It requires no batteries or electricity, and uses no countertop space. It’s powered by your shower.

See one in operation.

The legend of the tooth fairy

tooth fairyEvery single recorded human culture has some kind of tradition for the disposal of baby teeth. The story of the Tooth Fairy dates back to 13th Century Norse traditions, when it became a tradition for a ‘tooth fee’ to be given to a child when they lost their first baby tooth. Various cultures since that time advise throwing baby teeth into the sun, into fire, between the legs, onto or over the roof of the house; placing it in a mouse hole or burying or hiding it. During the 1950s and in the Disney spirit, Americans conjured up a benevolent fairy who rewards baby teeth with money.

Read more about this interesting history at

Important notes

  • February 27 is National Tooth Fairy Day
  • The going rate for a lost tooth is $3.70 USD or about $5 CDN

Lower the inflammation in your body through cleaner teeth

plaque IDIn a recent study investigating the correlations between gum disease and a variety of serious conditions like stroke, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, researchers discovered plaque-identifying toothpaste can potentially lower systemic inflammation. They urge more research on the degree to which plaque-identifying toothpaste can decrease heart attacks or strokes. In the meantime, see areas of teeth with plaque turn green when using this kind of toothpaste.

Learn more at

Tiny tooth sensors to monitor your health

tooth sensorScientists from Tufts University developed tiny sensors that attach to your teeth, and monitor your diet and health in real time.

The sensor, when communicating wirelessly with a mobile device, can transmit information on glucose, alcohol and salt intake. Researchers note that future adjustments of these sensors could make them detect and record a wide range of chemicals, nutrients, and physiological states.

Learn more at

Your teeth are like fingerprints

Your teeth are like your fingerprints: they’re uniquely yours. Whether the 20 “baby teeth” that serve us in childhood or the 32 permanent teeth we have in our adult years, no two teeth are exactly the same shape and size. Each tooth in your mouth has its own unique profile, and teeth vary widely from person to person.

Despite their unique properties, teeth can indicate certain information about us, like our age, gender, and personality. They can indicate certain personality traits and significantly impact our overall impression of people.

chart of dental identity