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Dental Tips For Teens

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Dental Tips For Teens

Caring for your child’s teeth when they’re little is a challenge. However, don’t think you get a free pass when they reach their teenage years.

Teenagers can be prone to problems with dental health thanks to plentiful opportunities to sneak sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks at school. Some even engage in tobacco use.

Poor dental hygiene will lead to bad breath, irritated gums, and yellowing teeth. A little prevention and a strong dental hygiene routine can help them have plenty to smile about, even during their teenage years.

According to R+R Dental, these dental tips for teens are a great place to start to ensure healthy oral care habits are in place.

Watch Their Food Choices

You won’t win if you force your child to become health-conscious overnight. However, you should pay attention to what they’re eating. The occasional treat shouldn’t be a concern, though if you find your child consuming excessive amounts of sugar, it’s important to help them make healthier choices.

Foods like chips and pretzels can stick to the teeth and cause plaque to build up. Encourage your teen to rinse their mouth after having a snack. You can also get them to alternate with healthier snack options for better balance.

You won’t be able to stop your teen from eating junk food when they go to school. But at home, you can stock the fridge and pantry with healthier snack options. Cut up fresh fruits and veggies and put them directly in their line of sight on the fridge’s shelves. They’ll be more inclined to grab these healthier snacks if there’s no prep work involved.

Get More Hydration

Teens love their sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks. Of these, energy drinks may have them beat for the most harmful beverage for teeth since they cause more enamel loss.

You may think fruit juice is a healthier option, but many brands are also loaded with sugar and only some juice. It’s far better to have your teen eat whole fruits rather than drink juice. Whole fruit also contains more fiber which can benefit your teenager’s health.

If your teen is a coffee drinker, remind them that coffee stains teeth. The best choice that kids in this age group and everyone else can make when it comes to beverages is water. Proper hydration ensures that saliva does its job in the mouth and helps remove food particles from teeth between brushing.

Never Skip Flossing or Brushing

When going through a morning or evening routine, brushing and flossing are among the most important things a teen can do for oral health. You may see your teen standing in front of the bathroom mirror with their toothbrush in hand, but are they brushing properly?

The same goes for flossing, as plenty of adults struggle with this part of dental hygiene. Have your dentist teach your teen how to use dental floss properly, and they’ll be better equipped to do it themselves at home. While everyone should brush at least twice daily, flossing may be done once daily.

Talk to your kids about the consequences of skipping brushing for a night. The plaque buildup that can form is astounding. If you’re worried about how well they’re brushing, get them an electric toothbrush to help them keep their smiles bright and healthy.

Sometimes, all it takes is reminding teens about what is universally uncool among other teens, like bad breath or a yellow smile. These reminders may inspire them to step up their oral care.

Get Regular Dental Cleanings and X-Rays

Dentists recommend that everyone, including teens, have a dental cleaning and checkup twice per year. Generally, X-rays are taken once a year, though, in each visit, the dentist will check for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns. The dentist can spot minor problems before they become big ones and add a fluoride treatment to help protect teeth.

Watch Out for Wisdom Teeth

During the teenage years, wisdom teeth usually develop behind the back molars. These teeth tend to grow unevenly and can cause damage to the surrounding teeth. They can also cause oral infections.

X-rays will reveal if wisdom teeth are coming in and whether or not they are a problem. In many cases, your dentist will keep watch on these teeth. If your teen’s wisdom teeth are causing problems, you will be referred to an oral surgeon to have them removed.

Always Wear Protective Gear During Contact Sports

The teenage years are filled with opportunities to engage in sports. Football, soccer, basketball, and hockey are just a few of these contact sports where your teen could sustain dental trauma.

Broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth are painful and can be expensive to fix. If a tooth cracks, infections or abscesses may form without treatment. Make sure your teen always wears a mouthguard during these sports to reduce the risk of these types of injuries.

Look Out for Gum Disease

If gum disease runs in the family, it often shows warning signs during the teenage years, especially for girls. Keep watch for inflamed, red, or sensitive gums in your teen, and make sure you express your concerns about these symptoms to your dentist to prevent this problem before it spirals out of control.

Follow All Orthodontic Advice

Not everyone is born with a smile that is perfectly aligned. Your teen may have gaps, an overbite, or other issues requiring orthodontic care. Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, make sure your teen knows the proper way to care for their teeth.

With braces, you may need to get a water flosser for them to clean between their teeth. If they wear Invisalign, make sure they’re wearing them as instructed to get the best results.

By teaming up with your dental practitioner and talking to your teen about these dental tips, you can help them have more to smile about in the coming years.

SEE ALSO: WHO Cancer Arm Classifies Aspartame As “Possible Carcinogen” While Consumption Limits Remain Unchanged

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