Your teens are always trying to look their best and a great way to start is with a nice, beautiful (or handsome) white smile! Good oral habits that started in their early years are important now, especially snice a lot of teenagers wear braces or other orthodontic treatments. Not only does good oral hygiene help your teeth last a lifetime, a clean mouth makes you feel good about yourself and it gives you fresher breath and a nicer looking smile. Dr. Hubbard and the team at Coastal Pediatric Dentistry suggest these tips to help your teen maintain good oral hygiene now and throughout their adult years.
Just like any other age, dental issues do occur during the teen years. Learning about the issues teens face with their oral health can help make it easier to make the best decisions when issues do arise. Here are the top dental issues teenagers deal with on a regular basis:
Mouth Guards - Most teens that play sports are familiar with mouth guards. It is crucial to use them to protect your smile! These guards cover the upper teeth and are made especially to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other serious damage to your mouth.
Eating Disorders- Unfortunately teens often face a variety of eating disorders including bulimia (binge-eating and vomiting) and anorexia (a fear of gaining weight often resulting in vomiting). These are serious disorders that have a direct effect on the appearance of teeth by eroding the tooth enamel.
Orthodontics - As you probably already know, many pre-teens and teens require braces. There are many different reasons braces are needed. Dr. Hubbard works closely with local orthodontists that will evaluate and determine if braces are needed and what type of treatment is right for your teen.
Smoking - It is important that you don't smoke or chew tobacco! It is very dangerous for many reasons, including serious problems with your teeth and gums. Not only does it stain your teeth and contribute to bad breath, but it will increase your risk of developing oral cancer and gum disease.
Nutrition - You are definitely what you eat! Nutrition plays a key role in your dental health. Eating snacks with excessive sugars and starches causes plaque, which destroys tooth enamel. Try to eat a well-balanced diet and choose nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or fruit for snacks.
Oral Piercing - Oral piercing has become popular with teens, but can cause major issues with your mouth including infections, bleeding and nerve damage. In addition, you can actually choke on studs or other jewelry or even crack teeth and damage your gums. Consult with your dentist to learn your safest options if you are considering this.