As your child gets older, some of her dentistry needs will change. In fact, there are several unique issues that might affect teenage dentistry, and by better understanding them, you can help to keep your teen’s mouth healthy.
As your teen gets older, you’ll have less control of her diet. Late night study sessions may have your teen relying on soda and energy drinks to stay awake, and get-togethers with friends can have your teen munching on snack foods with high levels of starches and sugar.
Unfortunately, these changes can lead to some troubling oral health issues, including plaque formation, enamel erosion, and tooth decay.
It is important to continue encouraging your child to follow a proper diet, even after she reaches her teenaged years. Your teen should eat a balanced diet, choosing healthy snacks like raw vegetables and fruits. Be sure to also encourage your teen to choose water over soda in order to prevent potential dental problems.
Many teens participate in sports in high school, and without the proper equipment, injuries to the mouth can result. These injuries can range from minor issues like a bruised lip to major problems like broken and chipped teeth, which can result in expensive repairs. If your teen is participating in sports and athletics, it is important that you invest in a mouth guard, preferably one that is custom-made by your dentist in order to ensure a proper and comfortable fit. Even if your teen has braces, mouth guards can be fitted in order to protect your teen from the hazards involved in athletics.
The wisdom teeth typically erupt during the teenage years, usually after the age of 15. These teeth often cause problems because the mouth tends to be too small to adjust to the eruption of these new teeth. If the wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to grow in properly, they could cause the other teeth to shift positions. In other cases, the teeth may become impacted when they fail to erupt, causing infection and cyst development. For these reasons, many parents and teens choose to use the later teen years to have the wisdom teeth removed in order to prevent future problems.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of smokers pick up the habit while they are still teens. While most people understand the serious health hazards associated with smoking, many don’t think about the oral health consequences. These can range from minor issues like bad breath and stained teeth, and they can also include serious problems like periodontal disease and oral cancer. The effect on oral health is one of the many reasons that parents should discourage their teens against smoking.
It is extremely common today to see teens with piercings in their cheeks, tongues, or lips, and many teens go ahead with these piercings without considering the dangers associated with their decision. These piercings could fracture or chip the teeth, resulting in the need for dental work like a crown or possibly a root canal. Since the mouth is full of bacteria, other complications of an oral piercing could include nerve damage, blood clots, and infection.
If you have additional questions about how your teen’s dentistry and oral health needs have changed now that she is older, please contact our office to set up an appointment.