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Teen's Dentistry

Dental health during teen years offers another set of challenges.  For most parents, this does not come as a big surprise.  A significant amount of changes occur during these formative years as children look for greater independence and freedoms often to there own detriment.   Parents often experience a many frustrations along the way as they try and instill core values in their children, dental health is just one area that requires constant reminder to ensure a strong and healthy mouth.

But teens listen more than we realize, parents who are concerned and proactive can make a tremendous difference in the dental future of these young adults.  Oral home care habits tend to slide, sometimes to the point of complete neglect.  Increased independence may lead to eating and drinking habits that harm oral and overall health.  Any encouragement you can give to help your teen avoid the long-term effects of cavities and gum inflammation should not be underestimated.

Preventive visits every six months provide us with an opportunity to coach your teen and reinforce the efforts you are making with them.  Sometimes the rapport we establish in a professional, yet friendly, setting proves especially effective.  Plus, we can share problems with them through visual aids while reinforcing any positive efforts they are making.

Tips for home efforts that protect your teen’s dental health:

  • Limit sodas and energy drinks. Sugary carbonated drinks are the number one cause of tooth decay in adolescents.  Many 20 ounce bottles of soda contain 18 teaspoons of sugar in an extremely acidic liquid.  The combination can be devastating for teeth.
  • Encourage brushing before bedtime.   Night hours can be especially harmful as the mouth dries out and bacterial plaque flourishes.
  • Explain the dangers of sharing toothbrushes. Teens love to share everything, even toothbrushes. The bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities can easily transfer from one person to the next through this method.
  • Slip in dental floss or a toothpick with their lunch or backpack.
  • Custom Mouth guards for after school sports (Soccer, Football, Lacrosse, Skiing, Field Hockey, and Running).  Studies clearly show the benefit of custom mouth guards in helping reducing traumatic dental injuries.  The benefits in helping to reduce the incidence of concussions is imports as well as improved breathing and hence performance, while in use.