Protecting Your Family's Oral Health

Posted on: 12 March 2018

If your family includes people of various ages, a one-size-fits-all strategy for protecting your family's oral health may not be effective. People of different ages may need to focus on differing strategies, based on the individualized needs of their age group. 

Here are several age groups and some of the dental challenges associated with them.


The teeth begin to present when a child is around six months old. As a result, by the time a child is a toddler, the youngster has multiple visible teeth. 

The teeth make it easier for the child to enjoy a variety of solid foods. However, the primary teeth, like the permanent teeth, are subject to decay. Additionally, many toddlers participate in habits that can make tooth decay more likely.

Toddlers who drink juice or milk from a bottle risk the development of a severe form of tooth decay called baby bottle decay. To help ensure that a toddler avoids this condition, it is best to transition the child to a cup as soon as possible. In addition, as a child is being weaned, it is important to take the bottle away during naps and at bedtime. 

When a child rests, the little one's mouth produces less saliva. This reduction in salivary flow causes the mouth to enter a dry state. With too little saliva to rinse away the plaque and neutralize the bacterial acids, the teeth are more susceptible to decay. The concentrated bacterial acids dissolve the enamel of the teeth and cause holes to form in the tooth material. 

Advanced Years

When a person grows into senior adulthood, they may be more apt to experience gum problems. Gum disease may begin with mildly uncomfortable symptoms, such as gingival swelling, bleeding, or tenderness. However, if the condition is not reversed in a timely manner, it can progress to advanced periodontal disease.

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss among older adults. As the gums become increasingly infected, the infection can spread to the jawbone, causing the teeth to become loosened in their sockets.

Nevertheless, gum disease can be avoided through proper oral hygiene. Older people should ensure that they brush at least twice daily for two minutes per session, as suggested by a dentist. Additionally, they should floss at least once per day. If using string floss seems too cumbersome, an oral irrigator can be helpful. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouth rinse immediately after brushing and flossing can also help prevent gum problems. 

To learn more about protecting your family's oral health, reach out to a local dentist like Rupp and Grabowski Family Dentistry.