Friday, August 30, 2019

Keep Your Teen Cavity-Free

Keep Your Teen Cavity-Free

It’s true: Teenagers do know everything. Just ask one; he or she will assure you that it is adults who have their facts—about pretty much everything—wrong.

Sometimes facing off against teen attitude can feel poignant, in an “I remember being like that” way. But when your adolescent decides that he or she has outgrown worrying about cavities, there is no cause for smiles, wry or otherwise.

Just like children, adolescents must maintain proper dental hygiene to prevent cavities. To help your teen do an adequate job, suggest that your teen brush his or her teeth twice a day for the length (or half the length, depending) of a favorite song. Flossing is important, too. Because the hormonal shifts of adolescence can sometimes increase gum sensitivity, work with your teen to find a dental floss or tape that feels comfortable.

As for diet, it’s unrealistic to expect a teen to avoid carbohydrates and sugars totally. And as for brushing during the day after eating lunch—at school? in the bathroom?—that might also be an unpalatable proposition. Suggest in-a-pinch substitutes: rinsing with mouthwash or water or chewing sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol.

Save your strongest arguments for insisting on pre-bedtime toothbrushing. The lessened production of saliva during sleep makes food residue more likely to contribute to decay formation overnight—and increases the possibility that any mouth piercings your child may have can become infected. Infections at a piercing site can lead to systemic infections, such as hepatitis.

Schedule your teen for regular appointments at KiDDS Dental. Professional cleanings contribute to cavity prevention (or easier treatment if they’re caught early); we also offer sealants that contribute some protection against decay. This makes the occasional teenage dental hygiene slip-up less of a big deal.

We promise that your adolescent will be treated like a young adult—no baby stuff, no balloon animals, and no SpongeBob or Dora stickers will be foisted upon them. Alert us in advance that a sensitive teen is coming in, and we’ll be extra-conscientious about leaving childhood references at the door.

Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

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