How Your Smile Changes Over the Years

Jan 6, 2022

As we kick off the new year and reflect on years past, you may be flipping through pictures and feeling nostalgic. But have you ever noticed your smile changing in those pictures? Over the years, your smile changes with your body in several ways. Read on to learn more and discover why 2022 could be the year for your best smile yet!

Baby teeth and early intervention

Our first set of teeth begin to emerge in infancy, helping us talk, chew, and smile. By 3 years old, most children have all 20 of their baby teeth. These baby teeth reserve space in a child’s jaw for the permanent (adult) teeth that grow under the gums. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can move into the empty space, crowding the jaw as other adult teeth develop. Starting infants off with good oral care can protect their teeth for years to come.

While many people associate orthodontic care with teens, the recommended age for a first orthodontic appointment is 7 years old. By examining a child at this age, orthodontists can spot problems with growing jaws, bites, and teeth. This allows us to help guide a child’s growth and help them develop the healthiest smile possible. Proactive care is typically more effective, quick, and less invasive than waiting to treat underlying orthodontic problems.

Teenagers and their smiles

For many teens, getting braces can be a rite of passage. There are many reasons why teenage years are so common for orthodontics. Although some cases require earlier intervention and benefit from a preliminary childhood examination, many problems develop during the adolescent years. Most kids will have lost all their baby teeth between ages 11 and 13, when most permanent teeth have come in. Problems like crooked teeth or a misaligned jaw will be more apparent, and our teen patients love their healthy smile transformations!

Changes for adults

As adults, our bodies don’t stop changing, and neither do our teeth. With aging, even adults with excellent oral hygiene may experience changes like yellowing teeth, dry mouth, gum recession, and crowding. Daily life can cause our teeth to shift and lead to wear and tear that affects smiles. As you get older, jawbones shrink and your teeth can begin to shift.

For adults who had orthodontic treatment, it is critical to continue following your retention plan. For adults whose teeth have shifted from natural aging or forgetting your retainer, have no fear! Using braces or aligners can help straighten out your smile.

Book your appointment

It is never too late to take control of your orthodontic health! If you are ready for a picture-perfect, healthy smile this new year, schedule an appointment by calling 614.885.2000 and visit us for your complimentary consultation.