How Dental Care Differs Between Children and Adults


Across different age groups, jaws and teeth will develop at varying rates. This is part of the reason why family dentists often make recommendations based on the patient’s physiological stage of development. Therefore, parents need to understand that there are unique dental requirements for their children that may differ from their own needs.

Dental Care for Children

The main difference between adults and children is the focus of the dental care process. Children’s bodies are still growing. It is the task of your dentist to ensure that their teeth and gums do not develop complications.

The dental care professional lays the foundation for healthy teeth and gums right from the first visit. Cavities on baby teeth can shift to the tooth that is about to sprout. Dentists are also responsible for imparting information on oral hygiene for both the parents and their children.

At High Tide Dental, we pride ourselves on our pediatric preventative program. Our goal is to see your child for their first visit as soon as their first tooth erupts, even if it is just for a “ride” in the dental chair. Our main focus at your child’s first few visits is to build a positive relationship with visiting the dentist that will last years to come.

Adult Dental Care

Adults are also susceptible to oral health complications. Contrary to most assumptions, the issue is not just with dental cavities. Statistics suggest that adults over the age of 35 lose more of their teeth to gum disease than cavities.

Children have an advantage in that their bones are soft and can adjust. On the other end, older adults have a weaker immune system, which increases the time it takes to heal.

Oral Health Routine

Another critical task for the dentist is to encourage patients of all ages to proper oral health routines including brushing their teeth regularly. These routines should also include flossing at least once a day to remove debris stuck between the teeth.

Adults may have a higher likelihood of succumbing to oral health problems, like periodontal disease, because of their lifestyle habits. Alcohol, tobacco, sodas, and sugary foods can increase the risk of dental complications.

Treatment Procedures

The treatment procedures at your local dental office will also vary depending on the age of the patient. For example, kids have thinner enamel than adults. Because their sensitive teeth are prone to cavities, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments for your child.

The fluoride solution has a higher concentration than your regular toothpaste. Fluoride varnishes may be used for both adults and kids. It is particularly useful for preventing cavities in children with thin enamels and sensitive teeth as well as adults who are prone to cavities.

Dental Sealants

Dentists understand that it can be challenging for children to keep up their oral hygiene routine. Sugary foods and sweets can increase the risk of cavities. Your family dentist may determine that the child needs a sealant.

The sealant is a barrier that protects the molars and premolars to limit cavities and gum disease. The patient will still have to keep up their daily oral hygiene routine. But sealants coupled with brushing and flossing can reduce the risk of cavities by 56% within the first year.

The American Dental Association approves of the use of sealants. It is a painless and fast dental office procedure that will protect your child’s tooth for many years to come.

Dental health can affect your social, physical, and psychological well being. Make a point of visiting your dentist regularly for routine check-ups. An evaluation can catch symptoms at the earliest stages and prevent extensive procedures. We are happy to review all of your preventative and restorative options at your first visit.