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How Your Smile Changes as You Age


How Your Smile Changes as You Age

As a child, one of the things you look forward to is losing your baby teeth. Maybe you even got a visit from the tooth fairy. Did you know that your smile changes even after you get all of your permanent teeth in? In fact, your smile changes all throughout your life, even after orthodontic treatment!

Primary (Baby) Teeth

Although all 20 primary teeth are present in the jaw when you are born, most human babies will get their first tooth somewhere between 6 and 10 months. Many times, getting teeth causes babies to feel uncomfortable and sick. This is a big change that occurs in your mouth as you transition to being able to chew food. Typically all teeth have erupted by the time a child is 3 years old.

Permanent (Adult) Teeth

As kids start losing their baby teeth, permanent teeth will start to come in. Usually, this happens between ages 6 and 7. This change is why it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists to have an orthodontic exam at age 7. As the 32 adult teeth begin to come through the gums, orthodontic specialists like Dr. Aimee Skelton can determine if a patient would benefit from early orthodontic treatment. Most people have all adult teeth, except molars, by age 13. Your molars can come in anytime from age 17 to 21. Orthodontic treatment is beneficial during this time because an orthodontist will make sure there is plenty of room for the teeth to naturally come in where they should or they can create a treatment plan to shift the teeth as needed. Who knew there were so many smile changes going on during this time?!

Smile Changes After Treatment

Your smile can and will continue to change after you have braces or Invisalign® treatment and transition into adulthood. As you age, your jaw bone begins to lose density and can shrink. This can cause your teeth to become crowded. In addition, every day activities like swallowing, breathing, and eating can create spacing in your teeth. Gum disease can also contribute to spacing in teeth. This is why wearing your retainer is so important after you complete orthodontic treatment. A retainer will keep your teeth from shifting too much and correct any movement you may experience.

If you find that your teeth have moved too much for your retainer to fit, reach out to us! We can schedule an exam to see what would be your next step. Sometimes we can create a new retainer for you and other times you may need another round of orthodontic treatment. Either way, we are here to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful as it changes  in all stages!

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