Dental Care & Oral Health For Teens
Teens present a uniquely challenging element of our work as pediatric dentists. At Smile Town Dentistry in Langley, we can help your teen achieve great oral health, and maintain it for life.
Dental Health Issues For Teenagers
As your teen transitions from childhood into adulthood (scary, we know!), new oral health care considerations may emerge. Some of the oral health issues teens are likely to face include the following:
Children who need braces will commonly start orthodontic treatment once all their adult teeth have emerged, around the age of 12 or 13. Braces typically worn for anywhere between 18 months - 2 years. > Learn More
Third Molar (Wisdom Teeth) Eruption
Wisdom teeth, which begin to emerge during the teen years (anywhere, in fact, between the ages of 15 and 25), mean that many teens have to deal with the discomfort of newly emerging teeth in a mouth already pretty full of teeth. This can introduce new dental problems into the equation.
Wisdom teeth may cause crowding, impacted teeth, and an increased incidence of tooth decay, among other things. Their eruption should be carefully monitored by a dentist.
The hormonal changes that your child experiences during puberty can put him or her at a greater risk for periodontal (gum) disease. This is because the heightened hormone levels cause an increase of blood circulation throughout the body, including the gums. This may increase the sensitivity of teenagers' gums to plaque, irritation, or food particles, causing them to turn red and feel tender.
For this reason, it's even more important than ever that your teen has a well-established, thorough and regular oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental cleaning appointments.
How can I help my teen maintain good oral health?
Emphasize the importance of good oral health in eliminating bad breath, stained and discoloured teeth, and tooth loss.
Many teenagers can be quite sensitive about appearances, so focusing on the more social aspects of good oral care, including nice, straight white teeth, and fresh breath, can help your case.
Set a good example.
Keep your own standard of oral hygiene high, and your teen will be reminded of its importance on a regular basis. While teenagers can sometimes be a bit rebellious, the fact that your lectures on good oral hygiene are not hypocritical will make an impact.
Make oral health care supplies and products readily available.
Keep a supply of soft toothbrushes, floss in various colours and flavours, tooth picks and plastic flossers, and uniquely flavored toothpaste in the bathroom at all times. Teens are not immune to the novelty of fun flavours and colours, even if they roll their eyes!
Make healthy snacks available.
Teenagers tend to enjoy their junk food. This is fine in moderation, but be sure to keep a supply of healthy snacks options available for your hungry, growing kid.
Hummus and pita bread, sliced fruits and veggies, yogurt, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs are all great, kid-friendly choices.
Emphasize the dangers of smoking and oral piercings.
Since they can be particularly susceptible to peer pressure, a teenager may be more willing to set aside health concerns for the sake of fitting in. Cigarettes and oral piercings are consistently popular among teenagers, so it's important that parent's are careful to stress the risks of both of them.
Smoking, aside from increasing cancer risks, can also increase the risk of bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay, and yellow, stained, teeth.
Oral piercing can become infected very easily (the mouth has a lot of bacteria), and they can also chip tooth enamel, cause problems with daily oral function and increase the risk of gum disease.
When the jewelry comes into contact with gum tissue, it may cause injury and gum recession, which in turn leads to loosening and even loss of teeth.
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