Many oral health issues can come up for teens as their bodies change. Our SmileTown Burnaby dentists list problems that can occur and how they can be prevented or addressed.
Oral Health Issues in Teens
As your child matures into a teen, many oral health issues can crop up as a number of factors can contribute to significant changes in the mouth.
Your teen is likely becoming more independent, making decisions for themselves and spending more time with friends and away from you - which means oral hygiene can slide down the list of priorities under school, social events, sports, etc. While this is happening, development and hormonal changes are happening, which can add up to various oral health issues we'll list below.
As it enters puberty, your son's or daughter's body will produce more estrogen and testosterone, which sends extra blood flowing to the gums. The gums may then swell and be more likely to bleed.
Extensive swelling and bleeding is referred to as puberty gingivitis, a condition that may advance to periodontitis - the more serious form of gum disease that can lead to tooth and bone loss.
Regular dental exams and cleanings can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and give your dentist the chance to check for any oral health conditions or diseases that require treatment.
As hormones increase during the onset of puberty, the mouth's chemistry can shift, causing more bacteria to develop on the teeth. Enamel then erodes, which can increase your teen's risk of cavities,
Daily dental routines may also need to change to help prevent negative effects due to this microbial growth. Brushing after each meal and using an anti-bacterial mouthwash can help reduce damage to tooth enamel. Teens should also remember to floss once every day.
Habits & Lifestyle
Teens' lives get busier and they naturally become more independent as they get older. They may sleep in more, stay up later and eat more take-out and junk food than they did as children. That means they’ll need to stay on top of their oral healthcare.
Our dentists at SmileTown Burnaby often recommend teens carry a travel case of dental supplies in their purse or backpack for easy access - a small toothbrush, floss pick, sugarless gum and mini bottle of mouthwash can go a long way to helping them keep their smile white and teeth healthy.
As your teen’s facial shape changes, their jaw may transform and changes in the mouth may occur. If this leads to problems, your dentist can take X-rays of the jaw and teeth, assess whether treatment is needed and potentially refer your teen to an orthodontist. Braces or procedures on the jaw may be needed to correct bite problems and avoid problems in the future.