Now That They’re TeensTeenagers pose some unique challenges to both their parents and our dental practice!
Since tooth decay can actually increase during the teenage years, specifically due to poor dietary choices and inadequate dental hygiene, it is particularly important that you stay on top of your teenager’s oral health.
If you have any questions about teenage dentistry or want to schedule an examination for your teenager, contact a participating dentist in your area. The dentist knows that teenagers can be challenging too, in more ways than one!
Let’s Look at Some Dental Situations That Affect Today’s Teens
Today’s teens face a number of choices when it comes to oral health and their dental care. The following are specific areas of concern:
Tongue and Lip Piercing
Like it or not, more and more teens are opting to have their tongues and lips pierced, often in multiple places. Piercings of the tongue and lips can result in severe infection, swelling of the lips and tongue which could block the airway, blood loss and nerve damage. In addition, it may be harder to take necessary dental X-rays and the jewelry itself could become loose and be swallowed or could crack or damage teeth.
Teens tend to consume more than their fair share of sugary colas, fruit drinks, candy and snacks, all of which lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. The acid in soda will erode the paint on a car – what do you think it does to their teeth?
Despite all warnings, more and more teens are smoking due to peer group pressure. Smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth and smoking or using chew (dip) or smokeless tobacco also causes bad breath, oral cancer and gum disease.
Eating disorders can affect oral health in addition to many other bodily functions, and ultimately can cause death. The self-induced vomiting associated with Bulimia deposits strong acids from the stomach onto the teeth, exposing them to decay. It also causes bad breath. Anorexia deprives the body and the teeth of vital nutrients due to intentional starvation.
If your teen, or any child, plays a sport, mouth guards protect teeth from damage due to injury. Insist that your child wears one!
Aside from the obvious benefits of wearing seat belts, they also protect your teen’s mouth from injury that can be sustained in an accident. Alert your teen to this and inform them that it’s not cool not to wear one, either as a driver or a passenger in a car!
Many teens today are concerned with tooth aesthetics. While there are many cheaper methods available over-the-counter in any local pharmacy, the safest and quickest way to achieve a pearly white smile is by visiting the dentist’s office.
Rest assured that the dentist is as concerned as you are about your teenager’s dental health. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an examination for your teenager, give a call today to a participating dentist near you.