We’ve talked about establishing strong dental care for children early on, but as any parent knows, teenagers develop their own idea of what they do and do not need to do!
Here’s a list of some tips to keep your teen on top of their dental health:
Skip the Soda
Teens are drinking more soft drinks than ever. Sugar in sweetened sodas can cause cavities, and the acidic flavor additives — even in unsweetened sodas — can cause damage to tooth enamel.
If they must drink soda, try to limit the amount of time spent drinking it and rinse with water once finished drinking the soda.
Keep Teeth Safe During Activities
Contact sports can cause injuries to teeth, but wearing a mouth guard is a great way to prevent injuries to the teeth. More than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw occur each year, which is why dentists regularly recommend the se of a protective mouth guard during sports.
Custom-fitted mouth guards are usually more comfortable, but even the over-the-counter guards will help to protect the teeth. Any mouth appliance should be rinsed and brushed frequently and kept in a ventilated container so it can dry between uses.
Avoid Oral Piercings
Oral jewelry can easily chip teeth while chewing, talking or even sleeping. The fracture can be a simple chip of the enamel, or it can be more extensive and require a filling or even extraction.
Infections are common with oral piercings. The tongue can swell after being pierced, and could become infected with the possibility of the tongue becoming so swollen that it interferes with breathing. Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, including hepatitis, as well as other issues.
Oral piercings can only harm the mouth, so the best idea is avoid them all together.
Teens often reach for quick snacks after school and on the run to sports or a part-time job. These snacks often include “nutrition bars” and fast food that are typically full of sugar and lack proper nutrition. Again, try to encourage the limiting of sugary foods and drinks. Keep lots of real foods readily available: fruit, while grain crackers, veggies, cheese, and nuts.
Brushing for two minutes, two times a day is another habit that should be enforced for a healthy mouth. Unfortunately, we see many teenagers beginning to neglect their oral health and when they come in for a visit, lots of cavities are present.
Be their cheerleader for brushing and flossing to prevent dental issues from arising!