Keep Your Teen’s Teeth in Tip-Top Shape
While the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your adolescent child’s mouth is eating—or kissing his or her sweetheart—the challenges of adolescence extend beyond these two activities. In fact, teenagers face specific dental problems, most of which can be managed as long as someone stays on top of them. If you have a teen in the house, be aware of the following dental concerns.
Healthy, straight smile
Most teenagers are preoccupied with their physical appearance, and their smiles are no exception. Your child may become conscious of bad breath, or of stained or crooked teeth. Brushing twice a day with an American Dental Association-approved toothpaste, flossing regularly, eating healthy foods and visiting us every six months can help keep your teen’s smile healthy and bright. We may recommend orthodontics for your teen, and not only for aesthetic reasons. Crowded or misaligned teeth can lead to gum disease, cavities and jaw problems.
Wisdom teeth woes
You thought your teething woes were over when your child got his or her permanent teeth, but there’s one more round of it heading your way. The third molars, commonly called “wisdom teeth,” emerge in the teenage years. If there isn’t enough room for them to come in properly or they become impacted, they can cause pain, infection and damage to the surrounding teeth. In that case, they may need to be removed.
Smoking, drug use and eating disorders
Despite our best efforts, many teenagers engage in dangerous behaviors during adolescence. Smoking can cause bad breath, gum disease and stained teeth; certain street drugs can wreak havoc on your child’s mouth. Bulimia, an eating disorder that strikes a large number of teenagers and involves purposeful, repeated vomiting, severely damages enamel from acid exposure. While these problems require the intervention of other health care professionals, we can help minimize their impact on dental health. Be sure to alert us if your child is struggling with an eating disorder or substance abuse.
As the parent of an adolescent, you probably have a lot of issues that require your attention. While you may put your child’s dental health lower on your list, it’s in your child’s best interest to make it a top priority. Be sure to schedule an appointment with KiDDS Dental at least twice a year.
Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!