Dental disease rears it’s ugly head at any age but especially during the teen years when many teens are indulging in adult foods as well as party goodies and junk foods. The busy lifestyle of the teen often means less time for brushing and flossing which creates a lethal combination and one that the teen of today needs to be on a constant vigil against. Thankfully there are plenty of dental tools at the disposal of teens that they can take up and use in the battle against dental disease.
Puberty brings with it surging hormone levels and this means more blood going to the gums. This extra blood can make gums sensitive becoming more irritated and prone to dental disease.
If the teen had a childhood of good dental habits those habits will give the teen tools to use to fight the dental disease scourge inside the teen mouth.
Braces also are a prominent feature the mouth of most teens. Braces are excellent breeding ground for plague and food particles that brushing misses and that can become trapped in the braces. Your dentist or dental hygienist should show you how to care for your braces and your teeth while you are wearing these dental appliances.
Teens also play sports using mouth guards to protect teeth. Mouth guards also protect the lips and inner mouth too so it is important to learn to be diligent about wearing the mouth guard whenever you play contact sports. If the teen has bridgework or other fixed dental appliances on the lower jaw, it may be recommended that they wear a mouth protector for the lower teeth too.
The food a teen eats can also be a tool against dental disease. Did you know that teens that eat a lot of starchy foods or sugary foods are at a higher risk for plaque formation and dental cavities? A teen that chooses to eat healthy is choosing a tool that can help fight against dental disease.
The toothbrush and floss are excellent tools against dental disease as long as they are the right floss and toothbrush. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for the right teeth caring tools for you and also ask for them to show you how to use them properly. Don’t forget to learn the proper technique for cleaning your tongue if you want fresh breath!
There are special cautions that apply to teens as they explore the world around them regarding fighting dental disease:
Nicotine contained in tobacco products is a serious threat to dental health. Teens are under constant pressure to use these products. Teens need to be aware of the fact that these products carry health risks that include dental problems such as stains that dull and yellow the teeth, bad breath, and increases the plague in your mouth which elevates your risk for gingivitis.
Teens have another grave danger they face in the form of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia both of which can erode tooth enamel. A dentist can help you to protect your enamel so just ask at your next visit. Learning about the dangers of eating disorders should prompt a teen to gain knowledge about avoiding these eating disorders.