Teenagers and Teeth: Here’s What You Need to Know

Being a teenager is a lot of work! There are so many constant changes happening all at once. From the pressures and responsibilities of school, sports, family, and more, finding time to discuss the importance of dental health with your teenager can be a challenge. 

At Shining Smiles, we want to do all we can to equip you with the knowledge and resources you need in order to care for your teen. 

Read on to learn more about teenagers, their teeth, and how you can encourage healthy habits from the start!

 

Good Oral Care Habits Early On

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “1 of 7 (13%) adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth.” 

It’s no secret that guiding your child in oral health habits from a young age can have a long-term effect on their overall health. 

It has been said that the mouth is the “gateway” to the rest of the body. Meaning, the way we care for and treat our mouths and dental health can have a lasting impact on preventing and curbing other health problems in the future. 

Opening up the floor to discuss oral hygiene with your teen is the best place to start. We all need a little encouragement to remember to floss, right?

 

What Dental Problems Do Teens Experience?

Teens grow fast and their dental issues can range from the need for sealants, spacers, braces, and wisdom teeth extraction. 

  • Dental sealants are a way to cover a tooth to protect and prevent decay. If caught early enough, sealants are usually the first step to fight against cavities from forming. 
  • If the decay has progressed enough to the point of becoming a cavity, the Shining Smiles team will walk you and your child through the options of how we can go about removing the decay and picking the right dental filling
  • The teenage years are also within the timeframe when many begin their orthodontic journey with braces. We have found that many patients have had great success with Invisalign Teen® which are clear braces made specifically for teenagers! The fact that the clear aligners are removable so you can eat, drink, brush, and floss more naturally may be best for your child. Invisalign treatment also allows you to preview your own virtual treatment plan so you can see what you’d look like with straight teeth! 
  • Wisdom teeth can start to erupt during adolescence as they are actually the last adult teeth to grow in. Through our oral exam and digital X-rays, we will be able to determine the best course of action when it’s time for those to be extracted.

 

Healthy Tips for Your Teenager’s Perfect Smile!

Remember that reinforcing proper oral health at home will be key in the overall well being of your child’s health! Follow these helpful tips to keep your teen’s smile healthy:

 

  • Snack Smart – Make sure your teen keeps healthy snacks around to support their overall health, but to also maintain healthy teeth and gums. Choose snacks that don’t have a lot of added sugars that can lead to decay.

 

  • Brush & Floss – Teenagers are busy, but by encouraging them to stay consistent with a solid morning and evening routine that includes brushing and flossing their teeth, they will remove plaque and tartar that can easily build up over time.
  • Regular Oral Hygiene Appointments – We encourage patients to schedule an oral exam and cleaning every 6 months. By building that relationship with your dentist, your child will have ongoing care provided by someone who can track the development of teeth, mouth, and gums that will set them up for success!

 

 

Contact Shining Smiles Family Dentistry in Marietta, GA today! Our office is conveniently located in The Avenue® West Cobb Shopping Center right next to Panera Bread. 

We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Resources:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/life-stages/teen-oral-care/teenagers-and-healthy-teeth-what-parents-need-to-know-1013

https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/index.html