For teens who established good oral hygiene routines as children, keeping their teeth and gums healthy as the grow into young adulthood should come naturally. That said, here are some tips from our Burnaby dentists on how to keep teens' smiles healthy.
The basics of good oral health for teens are much the same as those for adults:
Brush two times a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to remove plaque. Plaque is the main cause of cavities and gum disease.
Floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line. If plaque is not removed every day, it can harden into tartar.
Limit foods that are high in sugar or starches, especially sticky foods, as these tend to linger on the surface of the teeth for longer.
Visit the dentist at least every six months for professional cleanings and checkups.
In addition to these basics, the following are a few dental health issues that tend to affect teens specifically:
The early teen years are when many people undergo orthodontic treatment. Talk to your dentist about the alignment of your teen’s teeth, and whether orthodontic treatment is something to be considered.
As they become more independent, teens begin making more and more of their own dietary choices, and they may not always make the best ones for their oral or overall health.
Make sure your teen understands how their dietary choices affect their health, so that they have the tools to make better choices.
Unfortunately, many people start smoking in their teens. In addition to the myriad of general health risks that smoking comes with, it also increases the risk of oral cancers, gum disease and even cavities.
In addition, smoking causes tooth discolouration and bad breath. Talk to you teen about all the reasons that smoking is a terrible idea, and how important it is to avoid even trying it.
Oral piercings are popular among teens, but they can cause a lot of oral health problems, including chipped teeth and infections. For more information on why we advise against oral piercings, click here.