Oral health may not be your teen’s top priority, but through education, you can help your teen adopt healthy habits. There are three common issues that teenagers struggle with when it comes to their oral health.
Issue #1: Tooth Decay
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is still the most prevalent disease affecting children in the United States.
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There are a number of things you can do to reduce your teen’s risk of tooth decay. Encourage your teen to eat a balanced diet and limit the amounts of sugar they consume when possible. Sugar is the prefered breeding ground for many kinds of bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay.
A proper oral hygiene routine is another way to help prevent decay in your teen’s teeth. Encourage him or her to brush and floss for the recommended amount of time each day. Visiting our pediatric dental office regularly can help establish oral health habits in his or her routine.
Issue #2: Tobacco & Nicotine
The adolescent years mark the first time teens may feel pressured to try tobacco, nicotine, and vape products. If you notice that he or she has begun any of these habits, encourage them to drop the habit. Tobacco has been shown to increase the risk of oral cancer, periodontal disease, bad breath, and stained teeth, along with other side effects.
Besides the negative effects these products can have on the health of your teen’s teeth and gums, many of these products, including e-cigarettes and vaping, can be a detriment to their overall health as well. Remind your teen that smoking increases the risk of strokes, heart disease, lung disease, and more.
Issue #3: Injuries Caused by Sporting Activities
Many teens participate in sports. While this is a great way to stay healthy and create friendships, it’s important to remember the potential danger these sports pose to your teen’s teeth and gums.
You can help protect your teen’s mouth by getting them a mouthguard. While there are many options today that will do a fair job at protecting him or her, a custom fit mouthguard will provide the most complete protection. It helps safeguard not only their teeth, but also their gums, lips, face, and head.
We hope that this information will help your teen to maintain optimal oral health, not only for their school years, but for the rest of their life. We take pride in setting the foundation for your child’s oral health and are here to help. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to schedule your child’s next appointment at our Elgin pediatric dental office. We look forward to seeing you.