Threats to Your Teen’s Oral Health

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If you are currently parenting a teenager in your house, we know your list of worries is long. However, in your concern for their grades and curfew, don’t forget about their oral health. In fact, teens are especially vulnerable to poor dental health due to these common habits and situations during adolescence:

Chewing on Objects – Adolescence can be a stressful time. Do you catch your teen chewing on the end of a pen, chomping ice or biting his or her nails on a frequent basis? These are habits that can dramatically influence the integrity and condition of their permanent teeth over time.

Frequent and Late-Night Snacking – Is your teen always starving? It is no surprise that teenagers are growing. However, try to provide healthy fibrous foods for them to choose from when they graze through the kitchen during the day, or all hours of the night as they study or stay up late with friends. Sugary or starchy snacks that linger on the teeth all day long can eventually lead to plaque buildup and cavities.

Chewing or Smoking Tobacco – No parent wants to think that their teen is exploring cigarettes. However, it might deter them from the trendy habit if they were told how detrimental nicotine is for their oral health, ranging from discolored teeth and bad breath to gum disease and more.

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks – Whether they are coming off the practice field or trying to stay up late to cram for a test, it is not uncommon to find a sports drink or energy drink in the hand of a teen. Unfortunately, these contain high amounts of sugar and acids, a deadly combination in terms of keeping teeth and gums healthy. If your teen notices discoloration or sensitivity within their smile, it may be a sign that their drink is causing enamel erosion.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits – Now that your child is on his own for getting dressed and staying clean, their brushing and flossing habits may fall by the wayside. Furthermore, if you are relying on your teen to take care of their own dental checkups, you may find that they put off going to the dentist for far too long or never get around the making the appointment. Always express the importance of routine oral hygiene to your child, whether they are 6 or 16.

Braces – Adolescence is a common stage for undergoing orthodontic treatment. While braces are very effective at creating a straighter, more attractive smile, they can also be a threat to one’s dental health. Brackets and bands make it more difficult to keep the teeth clean, which often leads to gingivitis and stains on a teen’s teeth. If you’ve got a teen in braces, don’t substitute their orthodontic appointments for routine dental care.

Sports – Last but not least, if you have a teen athlete in your home, insist they wear an athletic mouthguard. This can protect their lips and cheeks from lacerations as well as keep their teeth free of fracture or avulsion. In addition, mouthguards have been found to prevent concussions in youth sports.

At Basin Dentistry, we want to take care of your teen’s smile. We provide top quality dental care for the entire family, including adolescent dentistry. Our office is equipped to make dental visits comfortable, educational and rewarding for tweens and teens in Midland.

Posted on behalf of Basin Dentistry