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Our last article focused on the tooth development timeline from birth through the teenage years. Now here’s a timeline of what to expect as an adult! Remember, your teeth may not follow this timeline exactly, but it does give a good overview of what the average person experiences. If you have questions or concerns about your teeth, be sure to talk to your dentist.

19 – 25 years

Developmental Events: Wisdom teeth may appear; signs of oral cancer or gingivitis may appear

Interaction with Dentist: Continue visits to the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and exams; may also need wisdom teeth removal (if wisdom teeth have not already been removed)

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; floss once a day; limit sugary or starchy foods and soft drinks; avoid oral piercings; keep travel toothbrushes with you in your backpack or purse

25 – 65 years

Developmental Events: Cavities around existing fillings and decay on the root surfaces of the teeth may become more common; sensitivity may begin to increase; crowns may be needed to strengthen damaged teeth; gum disease may begin as gingivitis; women may experience oral health issues due to pregnancy; may need replacements for permanent tooth loss and help with gum loss

Interaction with Dentist: Continue visits to the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and exams; may also need to come more regularly or see an endodontist or periodontist to treat gum disease or root canal

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; floss once a day; limit sugary or starchy foods as well as soft drinks; chew sugar free gum; pregnant women should be meticulous about caring for their gums

65+ years

Developmental Events: May need replacements for permanent tooth loss and treatment for gum loss; may have cavities around the roots of teeth; may have decay around old fillings; may experience dry mouth due to salivary glands not working because of more medications

May need to also see a periodontist or endodontist to treat gum disease or for root canal; crowns, bridges, or implants may be needed; continue visits to the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and exams

Home Oral Hygiene Routine: Arthritis may make it difficult to brush and floss; drink lots of water and avoid sweets, tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, and caffeine to fight dry mouth