With teens, there are a host of things we as parents worry about. Some days it doesn’t seem to stop.
But did you know dental decay is the most common chronic disease among teenagers ages 5 to 17 according to the CDC on pediatric dental care?
Of course, this problem becomes even more likely in the actual teen years when teenagers are more likely to be attending – or not attending – their family dentistry appointments on their own.
That’s why proper pediatric dental care – even when the “child” is closer to adulthood – is so important!
Here are some tips from our family dental practice to help teens take care of their teeth and help prevent future dental issues:
Limit soft drinks and juices
This one is pretty obvious… Sodas, juices, and flavored drinks all include lots of sugar and are acidic too! This not only promotes cavities, but can also harm the protective enamel of the teeth—leaving them vulnerable to rot and decay as well. Sipping through a straw and rinsing the mouth with water after drinking can help prevent the negative tooth damage from these drinks.
Watch the ball!
Teens and sports seem to go hand in hand. According to one dental insurance website:
More than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw occur each year, and family dentists and pediatric dentists regularly recommend the use of mouth guards in a variety of sports activities.
No holes in the mouth…
Piercing of the tongue is a very popular trend among teens. Yet, what many don’t know is there are some very serious risks of this almost-common practice among adolescents. For one, the jewelry can chip their teeth while eating or chewing. This can result in the need for major dental attention. Sometimes, damage done by piercings can even result in the need for a root canal!
Additionally, infection is a risk and the tongue can even swell after the piercing, causing breathing problems. Finally, unclean piercing equipment can pose a risk for the very dangerous Hepatitis virus.
Yes, it can be hard to get teens to follow your advice when it comes to their dental care.
But it’s very important you keep trying and keep on pushing. It’s vital they stay away from these dental hazards and maintain their regular twice a year appointments too. If so, your kids should make it through the teen years – and into adulthood – with their teeth in great shape for the future!