Friends, schoolwork, and catching up with sleep – that’s an everyday reality for millions of teens. Dental care and dental hygiene often move far down in the teens’ priority list. It’s not easy to find those two minutes to brush teeth properly when you already late for school, or when you are sooo tired after that football practice. Our role as parents is to make sure that our teenage children keep their everyday dental routine. We need to help our teenagers take responsibility for his/her dental health.
Dental Health Recommendations for Teens
1. When there is not enough time (or no facility) to brush teeth after a meal, rinse mouth with water. Another option – chew sugar-free gum with xylitol. Although it is not as effective as brushing teeth, it will help to prevent tooth decay.
2. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Floss once a day to prevent gum disease and tooth decay on the sides of the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach.
3. Try to avoid junk food. Select healthy options like fruits, vegetables, cheese, and yogurt. Make the right choices and not only your smile will stay healthy, but you won’t have problemswith extra weight in the future.
4. Do not smoke or chew tobacco. You know that it’s bad for your health in general, but it will also affect your oral health. Negative impacts of smoking on your oral health:
- Stains on your teeth
- Bad breath
- Slow healing after tooth extraction or oral surgery
- Gum disease and tooth loss
- Oral cancer
If you chew tobacco and notice any changes in your mouth, contact your pediatric dentist immediately.
5. If you play sports or do activities with a risk of falls, collisions, or contact with hard equipment (football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, hockey, gymnastic, wrestling, skateboarding, skating, bicycling) – wear a mouth guard.
6. Buckle up in the car. Wear your helmet when biking or skateboarding.
7. Avoid the mouth jewelry! Oral piercing (tongue, cheek or lip) is considered to be cool, but can be very dangerous for your health. There are millions of bacteria in your mouth, and infections and swellings often occur with mouth piercings. Your mouth and tongue could swell so much after the piercing procedure that you might have difficulty breathing or you could choke if part of the jewelry breaks in your mouth. You can also damage or crack your tooth while biting too hard on piercings.
8. Visit your pediatric dentist twice a year. Teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment and sealants are important. They prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
While most teens care about the appearance of their teeth, many of them need to be reminded of every day steps they need to take to keep their mouth healthy. They need to know about the danger of many actions for their oral health and its’ consequences.
Please don’t hesitate to contact our Kids Pediatric Dentistry office in Allen with any questions regarding teen’s oral health. We are looking forward to hearing from you!