Our health begins in our mouths. We pass food through our mouths and into the digestive tract. From there, vital nutrients are absorbed and sent to the body parts that need them.
Our teeth begin this process when we chew our food. The teeth are made of enamel or the hard outside material of teeth, the dentin or the mushy insides of the enamel, and the pulp inside the jaw that holds the root of the tooth.
The life stages of teeth begin in pregnancy. The bud begins at six weeks of pregnancy. Twenty buds make up a tooth. The tooth forms a cap when the teeth mature in the bell stage. A baby’s crown then develops when the child is two to three months old.
As the baby grows, the teeth fall out and are replaced with adult teeth. Adult teeth chew food, are exposed to tobacco use, in addition to eating or drinking acidic things. They require regular brushing and flossing to maintain peak tooth health. Let’s examine each stage in the life of teeth more closely.
Our dental health begins even before we’re born. Mothers who brush and floss, have regular dental checkups, and eat healthy tend to give their babies healthy teeth. Mothers with cavities or other dental problems pass them on to the baby.
Nutrients most needed for the baby’s dental health are Vitamins C, A, and D plus protein, phosphorous, and calcium. Mothers will find these nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice, low fat dairy foods, and lean proteins such as fish, fowl (chicken and turkey,) and lean beef.
Eat as many different colors of fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. Dr. Bruce Vafa DDS., the best West Hollywood dentist, can give you a list of the right foods to eat to build the healthiest teeth for your baby.
Babies have 20 teeth beneath the gums at birth. Their adult teeth are just beneath the “baby” teeth. At the age of two to three months, the two bottom middle teeth erupt. Next are the two middle top teeth at about four to five months of age.
A baby’s teeth are made of thinner enamel than adult teeth. They also have shorter roots. They disappear easier when the baby teeth come out. Unfortunately, baby teeth can get cavities, too, as well as tooth decay.
Mothers should take baby to the dentist following the eruption of the first tooth but no later than one year of age. This will ensure healthy teeth for baby.
When children are around six years old, their first permanent or adult teeth erupt. It begins with the molars, top and bottom, in the back of the mouth. By age 12, the baby teeth are lost and 32 teeth replace them.
The wisdom teeth are present around the ages of 17 to 21. These don’t erupt, though. If they crowd the permanent teeth or hurt, they have to be cut out.
By the age of six, children should be taught how to brush their teeth. They should be shown how to spit out the toothpaste so they don’t swallow it. Flossing should be taught at this age as well to avoid dental problems now or later.
Eating healthy is beneficial to dental health as well as brushing and flossing. We know it’s difficult to keep children away from sugar and soft drinks. Try to limit these as well as sugary fruit juices.
Teach children about fresh fruits for a sweet treat. Show them the special satisfaction found in crunching into vegetables. If you have to dip them in something to make the vegetables more palatable, use peanut butter with celery or apples and ranch dressing with broccoli flowers or green pepper strips.
Our teen years are an adventure of discovery. We learn about ourselves, how to interact with other people, how to handle the changes to our bodies and minds, figure out parents, and check out cool stuff. Some of these cool things can impact our dental health.
For example, tongue piercings are a thing. Did you know that the bacteria in everyone’s mouths can cause infection and swelling to tongue piercings? This affects the teeth. Checking out tobacco use harms the teeth as well by discoloring the enamel and giving you bad breath.
The teen years are when we get braces or other dental appliances to straighten our teeth or to give us the most excellent smile possible. Today’s Invisible Smile appliances help teen smiles to be healthy while not being called derogatory names like “tin grin.”
While all this is going on, it seems like asking teens to eat right while brushing and flossing is too much. It isn’t. Kids need all the calcium they can get along with phosphorous for strong, healthy teeth.
Slip some fresh fruit or berries in their low fat ice cream or smoothies. You’ll also find calcium in cheese and yogurt, almonds, salmon, and dark leafy vegetables. Your teens will get phosphorous in eggs, nuts, dairy products like yogurt, fish, and beans.
As adults, we go into the employment market, hang out with friends after work, dine out, shop, seek entertainment, buy cars and houses, marry, have children, and more. Some adults are so busy they fail to brush and floss as often as they should for healthy teeth.
Lots of adults live on fast foods, pre-packaged foods from the grocery store, soft drinks, and sugary chewing gums. All this takes a terrible toll on the teeth. Kids, teens, and adults need to see Dr. Bruce Vafa DDS. who is the best West Hollywood dentist twice per year. He can slow or repair the effects of all this on the teeth.
The first thing he’ll tell you to do is make the time to brush and floss twice a day if not three times. You’ll need to chew sugar free gum and drink lots of water. If you must have soft drinks, choose sugar free fruit juices instead. Drink your coffee without sugar and creamer.
The adult world is full of stress. Stress does awful things to the body, but the first thing it does is to prime the mind for something to soften the stress. Most people reach for a cigarette, alcohol, or some kind of anti-anxiety drug. What these do to the teeth is terrible.
One way to mitigate stress is to use mindfulness. You can do it anytime anywhere. Meditation usually takes a quiet place and a few minutes to do, but mindfulness doesn’t take any time at all. It calms the mind, and you won’t need a cigarette or a drink when stress hits.
The doctor will tell you to get rid of the pre-packaged foods and eat fresh. It’s cheaper and better for you. It gets the nutrients you need for strong, healthy teeth into your body. He’ll also tell you to dispense with what drugs you can in favor of more natural methods of anxiety control.
Final Thoughts About The Life Stages Of Teeth
Health begins with the mouth and teeth. Keeping them healthy is of paramount importance. You and your children should see the dentist twice per year and keep the teeth supplied with healthy foods. Ditch the bad stuff so you’ll have a beautiful smile.