Dental Care & Oral Health For Teens
When it comes to oral health carem, teenagers present a unique challenge. The Smile Town North Delta dentists can help your teen achieve great dental health, and maintain it into adulthood.
Oral Health Risks For Teenagers
As your teen transitions from childhood to adulthood, new dental health considerations may begin to take shape. Some of the oral health issues teenagers are likely to be faced with include the following:
Most children who need braces will begin orthodontic treatment once all their adult teeth have erupted, around the age of 12 or 13. Braces typically worn for 18 months - 2 years. > Learn More
Third Molar (Wisdom Teeth) Eruption
Wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge during the teen years (in fact, anywhere between the ages of 15 and 25), and so many teens have the discomfort of newly emerging teeth to deal with, as well as the potential dental problems that go along with them.
Wisdom teeth can cause impacted teeth, crowding, and an increased incidence of tooth decay, and various other issues. For these reasons, their eruption should be closely monitored by a dentist.
Due to the hormonal changes that take place during puberty, teens are at a greater risk for periodontal (gum) disease than younger children, or adults. The increased levels of hormones result in an increase of blood circulation to the gums. This, in turn, can increase the sensitivity of teens' gums to plaque, irritation, or food particles, resulting in gum disease.
This increased risk means that it's more important than ever that your teen has a well-established, consistent at-home oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing and flossing, and dental check ups and cleanings at the dentist's office.
How can I help my teen maintain good oral health?
PLace emphasis on the importance of good oral health in eliminating tooth loss, bad breath, and stained, discoloured teeth.
Teens can be pretty sensitive about appearances, so highlighting the social aspects of good oral hygiene and help your case.
Set a good example.
If you're consistent and diligent about your own oral hygiene routine, and your teen will be regularly reminded of its importance. Although teenagers can sometimes be a little rebellious, they'll still appreciate the fact that your emphasis on good oral hygiene extends to yourself as well, and be more likely to take you seriously.
Make oral health care supplies and products readily available.
Keep a stock of soft toothbrushes, floss in different colours and flavours, mouthwash, plastic flossers, tooth picks, and good-tasting toothpaste readily available in the bathroom. Teens aren't 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, and while this is alright in moderation, keeping a steady supply of healthy snacks options available for your hungry, growing kid is a great way to boost his or her oral (and overall) health.
Sliced veggies and fruits, hummus and dip, yogurt, cheese and hard-boiled eggs are all wholesome, appetizing choices.
Discuss the dangers of oral piercings and cigarette smoking.
Teens can be highly susceptible to peer pressure, so in some cases, they may be willing to set aside their health for the sake of fitting in. Oral piercings and smoking tend to be popular among teens, so it's important that parents make the risks of both very clear.
Smoking, aside from increasing the risk of cancer, also increases the incidence of gum disease, tooth decay, stained, discoloured teeth, and bad breath.
Since the mouth has a lot of bacteria, oral piercing can become infected very easily. They can chip tooth enamel, cause difficulties with daily oral function and can increase the risk of gum disease.
And, when the jewelry comes into contact with gum tissue, it can cause injury and gum recession, which can often lead to loosening and even loss of teeth.
Download the FREE Smile Town Children's Activity Book.
A great resource to help get your kids ready – and excited – about visiting the dentist.
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