Teens and Dental Care
Teenagers and dental care can be a challenging period for a parent. Your active teenager has the advantage of the last of the permanent teeth come in. This is the best time to look at their lifetime smile with teeth straightening, giving an increased confidence when it is often needed. On the flip side, teens starting exerting their Independence dropping the childhood good habits of proper dental hygiene. Some young men and women develop teenage tooth decay that can cause recurring dental problems in later years.
Peer pressure comes into full play with food changes, trying new things and the interest in self expression. This can take many forms, some of which can have a impact on dental health.
- Oral Piercing
Oral piercings or tongue splitting may have great appearance to your active teenager, but they can be dangerous to their health. The the mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. For instance, the mouth and tongue could swell so much that you close off the airway or could possibly choke if part of the jewelry breaks off in their mouth. In some cases, piercing could crack a tooth if bitten down too hard on the piercing, and repeated clicking of the jewelry against teeth can also cause damage. Oral piercing could also lead to more serious infections, like hepatitis or endocarditis.
- Energy Drinks and Soda
At a time when teenagers need to increase their calcium intake, teenagers tend to lean toward energy drinks and sugared soda, both which have dental challenges. In the Academy of General Dentistry, it was found that energy drinks have a increased amount of acid. An additive that enhances flavor and self life. It is also very good at stripping enamel from teeth! Soda is not as intense as the energy producing power drinks, however the end result is the same. Both cause your teeth to “sit” in sugar for up to 4 hours.
- Daily Brushing … or not
A Gallup survey recently revealed that only 64 percent of kids age 12 to 17 brush the recommended two times a day. Two percent, the poll found, don’t brush at all. Not a huge surprise for an age group that is attempting to assert their independence; with some teens, refusing to do anything a parent says. Parents are often urged to choose their battles during these years, and generally that is good advice. However, poor brushing habits can result in cavities, yellowing, gum disease and, lead to loss of precious teeth in their later years.
A good alternative solution to pressuring your teen, is to schedule an checkup appointment with your dentist, specifically with the idea of having the dentist show a teen the result of what happens in their mouth when they do not clean. Cross relating their present oral health with “this is what is going on in your mouth right now”. The dramatic and rather gory imagery, just might do the trick.
Surf City Dentist would like to be your family dentist and work with your teenager. Call us for an in-person interview appointment. Your health, your family, your kids are important to us.
This blog is for advisory purposes only. Actual medical/dental diagnosis can not be done online. This blog does not replace the opinion or procedures recommended by other licensed professionals in the field.
Please see a licensed dentist or doctor.