Keeping Teens Healthy
The teen years are busy years. Your teen is keeping up with friends, keeping up with schoolwork, playing sports or involved in other extracurricular activities, and catching up on sleep. Because of a jam-packed schedule, your teen may put certain things on the backburner, including brushing and flossing. However, making the time for proper oral care is essential for your teen to keep their teeth healthy and their smile beautiful. The Elmwood Dental Group LLC can help.
Teens and Dental Health
Teens often face unique dental health issues that younger patients, and even older patients, do not. This is because many teens undergo orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment of their teeth and jaws. While braces are an effective treatment for providing your teen with a natural, beautiful bite, they can cause difficulties with proper dental care. Whether or not your teen wears braces, it is essential that they practice good oral hygiene. It is important that you stress the importance of brushing and flossing. We can also help to provide them with tips and tricks on how to keep their teeth beautiful and healthy.
Teens tend to lean toward a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars. Combined with the likelihood of poor oral hygiene practices, these foods can significantly increase their risk for tooth decay and cavities. Making sure your teen eats a well-balanced diet and drinks plenty of water, in addition to practicing good oral hygiene, can help to lower their risk.
Teens also have a higher risk for eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia. Not only are these disorders harmful to their overall health, but they are also harmful to their oral health as well. These eating disorders can lead to severe tooth damage and gum disease. While teens are often good at hiding eating disorders from parents, we are highly trained at recognizing the symptoms, including tooth erosion, decay, oral trauma, and more.
Peer pressure is strong amongst teenagers. They often feel pressured to do things so that they can fit in. This includes smoking. Not only is smoking bad for their body, but it can also be quite detrimental to their oral health as well. Smoking can lead to deep yellow and brown stains on the teeth, canker sores, bad breath, an increased risk for gum disease, and an increased risk for oral cancer. Maintain a smoke-free home and talk with your teen about the dangers of smoking. Teens are often very into their appearance, so letting them know that smoking can cause issues that can negatively impact how they look can help to discourage them from picking up a cigarette.
Oral piercings, including tongue and lip piercings, are popular among teens. However, while they are a form of expression, oral piercings can be detrimental to oral health. Piercings can wear away tooth enamel, cause physical damage, and lead to gum recession. There is a risk of infection or allergic reactions to the materials. Additionally, if piercings are done incorrectly, they can cause severe nerve damage. If your teen does decide to get an oral piercing, you should stress the importance of proper care to ensure that they do not cause them any harm.
Helping your teen to practice good oral hygiene, even if they think their schedule just does not allow for two minutes of brushing twice a day, is important for them to keep their mouth, and their whole body, healthy. For more information, and to schedule a dental visit for your teen, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC at (860) 331-8748 today.