Dental Health Concerns and Tips for Teens
The adolescent years can be challenging for your teenager. Between making new friends, keeping up with extracurricular activities and schoolwork, and obvious outward physical changes, dental care can take a backseat on your teen’s priority list.
Without consistent dental care, a teen who has had a clean bill of dental health is susceptible to cavities. The good news is, the selfie generation has helped many kids pay closer attention to their dental health, which has dentists and parents everywhere rejoicing!
With that said, it’s still important to ensure your teen is brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and receiving regular exams and cleaning from their trusted Charlotte pediatric dentist. Now that back to school season is approaching, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate your teen’s dental health habits.
We’ve compiled some of the most common teen dental health concerns, along with helpful tips to keep your teen’s smile healthy as they progress through their formative years.
Tooth Decay & Cracks
By the time a child reaches their pre-teen years, some may have experienced slight tooth decay and/or minor damage to teeth. Tiny cracks or chips can occur from sports or playing woodwind or brass instruments in band, and may not always be visible to the naked eye.
Your dentist can custom fit a mouthguard to help protect your child’s teeth during sports.
Dental Care and Orthodontics
Whether your teen has traditional braces or Invisalign, your teen’s oral health will require extra attention to ensure total success of their orthodontic treatment. Special toothbrushes, flossing brushes, and avoiding certain foods will help your teen achieve the bright, healthy smile they’ve worked so hard for during their orthodontic experience!
Children are often graced with the presence of wisdom teeth in their later teen years. With age comes wisdom, and an extra set of molars.
Wisdom teeth don’t always cause issues if they come through correctly. If your child doesn’t have enough space in their mouth for the teeth to form safely, problems can start to form.
Wisdom teeth that don’t come in properly can cause pain, bacteria, and infections. If you notice wisdom teeth coming through before your next scheduled exam, it is best to contact your dentist so they can determine next steps.
Choose Healthier Snacks
Teens are often on the go, so their snack choices may not always be tooth-friendly. Your teen needs fuel to stay alert and succeed in school, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs. Avoiding sugary snacks will help them avoid a mid-day crash in energy. Keep healthy snacks, like apples, carrot sticks, and cheese on hand for your teen’s busy weekdays.
Encourage Dental Care On the Go
Keeping a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste in your teen’s backpack can help them stay consistent with their dental health needs. If stopping to brush isn’t always possible, encourage them to stick with water as their beverage of choice, and have some on-hand to rinse after meals and snacks.
Keep Up With Regular Dental Exams
Make sure your teen is still receiving regular dental cleanings and exams at least twice a year. If your teen expresses any concerns in between appointments, or if you notice anything that you suspect could be a dental issue, contact us!