It's well-established that puberty and the ensuing teenage years come with a long list of biological changes, but one that often gets overlooked is oral health. Dentists frequently cite hormonal fluctuations in puberty as the cause of gum disease and increased bacteria in the mouth. Also, recently-grown-in adult teeth can alter the shape of one's jaw and bite. That’s why it’s imperative for parents to stay on top of their teenager's oral health care habits. Below are a few dentist-approved tips for accomplishing this.
3 Tips to Monitor Your Teen’s Dental Hygiene
1. Limit Sodas & Sugary Snacks
In recent years, the all-encompassing dangers of sugar have made headlines, but it's something dentists have known for decades. Sugary foods, especially sodas, wreak havoc on the teeth, no matter your age. Teenagers have relatively new adult teeth that can be particularly sensitive to the corrosive effects of sugar. By limiting the number of sugary snacks and drinks you have in the house, you’re doing your teen a huge favor — for both their oral health and their overall wellbeing.
2. Encourage Routine Brushing & Flossing
As kids enter the teenage years, their schedules fill up with sports, extracurricular activities, dates, and nights out with friends. But no matter how packed their schedule may be, always encourage them to make time to brush and floss. Twice a day — once in the morning and once right before bed — is the norm, but brushing after meals and after eating sugar-laden foods is certainly beneficial, too.
3. Consider Mouthguards
If your child is involved in sports, consider getting them fitted for a mouthguard. Mouthguards protect the teeth from damage and can mean the difference between a healthy mouth and one that requires tooth restorations or oral surgery. Assure your teen that, since mouthguards are custom-fitted, they’re comfortable and unobtrusive, and are a smart precautionary measure.
In addition to encouraging proper oral hygiene at home, it’s crucial to schedule regular appointments with your family dentist. The team at Cabarrus Health Alliance is ready to guide your child's oral health through the ups and downs of the teenage years. From offices in Kannapolis and Concord, NC, they offer all manners of preventive and restorative dentistry, including teeth cleaning, extractions, and crowns. They also offer a mobile dental clinic that travels to schools throughout the state. To schedule an appointment for your teen, call (704) 920-1070 today. Visit them online to learn more about their comprehensive services.