Dental Care & Oral Health For Teens
Teens present a unique challenge when it comes to oral health care. The dentists at Smile Town Dentistry in Burnaby can help your teen achieve great oral health, and maintain it into adulthood.
Oral Health Risks For Teenagers
As your teenager transitions from childhood to adulthood, new oral health care considerations may begin to emerge. Some of the oral health issues teens are likely to contend with include the following:
Children who need braces will typically start wearing them once all their adult teeth have emerged, around the age of 12 or 13. Braces typically worn for 18 months - 2 years. > Learn More
Third Molar (Wisdom Teeth) Eruption
Wisdom teeth typically begin to emerge during the teen years (anywhere, in fact, between the ages of 15 and 25), so many teens have to deal with the discomfort of newly emerging teeth, and the potential dental problems that go along with them.
Wisdom teeth can cause crowding, impacted teeth, and an increased incidence of tooth decay, among other things, and their eruption should be carefully monitored by a dentist.
Hormonal changes that take place during puberty can sometimes put teens at a greater risk for periodontal (gum) disease. The increased levels of hormones can cause an increase of blood circulation to the gums. This, in turn, can increase the sensitivity of teenagers' gums to irritation, plaque, or food particles, causing them to turn red and feel tender.
This means that it's even more important than ever that your teen has a well-established, thorough and regular oral hygiene routine. That includes regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care.
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.
Most teenagers are pretty sensitive about appearances, so focusing on the more social aspects of good oral care and help your case.
Set a good example.
Keep your own standard of oral health care high, and your teen will be regularly reminded of its importance. While teenagers can be a bit rebellious at times, the fact that your emphasis on good oral hygiene for your teen isn't hypocritical will make an impact.
Make oral health care supplies and products readily available.
Keep a supply of soft toothbrushes (and some back-ups), floss in various colours and flavours, tooth picks and plastic flossers, and good-tasting toothpaste in the bathroom at all times. The novelty of fun flavours and colours is not lost on teens, even if they roll their eyes!
Make healthy snacks available.
Teens tend to enjoy their junk food, and while this is fine in moderation, be sure to keep a steady supply of healthy snacks options available for your hungry, growing kid.
Sliced fruits and veggies, hummus and dip, cheese, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs are all great choices.
Emphasize the dangers of smoking and oral piercings.
Teenagers are particularly susceptible to peer pressure, and may be more willing to set aside health concerns for the sake of fitting in. Smoking and oral piercings are popular among teenagers, so it's important that parent's stress the risks of both of them.
Smoking, aside from increasing the risk of cancer, can also increase the risk of gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, and stained, yellow teeth.
Oral piercing are extremely easily infected (the mouth has a lot of bacteria), can chip tooth enamel, cause difficulties with daily oral function and can also increase the risk of gum disease.
When the jewelry comes into contact with the gum tissue, it can cause injury and gum recession, which in turn leads to loosening and even loss of teeth.
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