Top Tips for Healthy Teen Teeth
Every parent wants their child to grow up with a health and beautiful smile, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children aged between five and seventeen. When children are younger, their parents or caregivers have more control over their eating habits, and over their dental care regime.
Younger children will typically visit their pediatric dentist with their parents, but teenagers have more control over how they spend their free time, and may not wish to do something as mundane as visiting their local dentist office. After many years of proper professional and home care, older teenagers may fail to get the treatment and help they need, or they may not receive the necessary education so they can make smart decisions about oral care for themselves. We can do a lot to help with this last point, as patient education is particularly important to us, and our pediatric dentists are very good at getting the facts across in a way that can be easily understood without being patronizing. There are also a lot of things that you can do to help, and we’ve listed a few tips below.
- Try to limit their intake of sodas. It is easy for busy teens to grab a can of soda while out and about, but these fizzy drinks are high in sugar. Even the diet varieties are high in acids which can easily cause tooth decay. In addition, try to encourage your teen to drink any sodas through a straw as this minimizes contact with their teeth, or to rinse their mouth with plain water after drinking. Best of all get them to switch to just plain water.
- Make sure their mouth is protected during sports. Every parent wants to encourage their child to play sports, but around 200,000 injuries to the teeth and jaws are caused each year through sporting activities. We can provide your teen with a custom-made mouthguard that offers maximum protection. These do cost a little more than the ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards you can buy over-the-counter, but offer vastly superior protection. This could save thousands of dollars in restorative dental care in the future, not to mention long hours in the dental chair.
- Discourage oral piercings. Teenagers can view oral piercings as a way of expressing their individuality, but they are not good for dental health. They can easily chip teeth, and may mean costly restorative work is required. When tooth enamel is damaged it increases the risk of tooth decay, and if the infection goes even deeper it could lead to root canal treatment. In addition, mouth infections are quite common with oral piercings, and a pierced tongue can swell up to such an extent it hinders breathing.
- Make sure you have plenty of tooth friendly snacks at home. You might not be able to control what they eat outside the home, but you can encourage them to develop healthier eating habits. Keep a ready supply of crunchy fruits and vegetables, and low fat cheese and sugar-free yoghurts.
Healthy teens should be visiting their pediatric dentist twice a year, and regular professional cleanings will help keep their smile looking beautiful and bright.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)