Dr. Kelli Slate offers some dental advice for parents who have teenagers:
Encourage them to regularly brush and floss their teeth
Adolescents can sometimes be difficult and wish to protect their independence; especially when it comes to personal things like looking after their appearance, hygiene or caring for their teeth. Many parents know it is difficult to enforce any routine or rules but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Remind your teenagers to brush and floss their teeth at least daily. And remember that a reward may entice them to stick to regularly cleaning their teeth. If you have some extra money, why not treat them to the bluetooth sonicare toothbrush with its super cleaning app. It is an investment and perhaps a bit pricey but certainly one of the best available electric tooth brushes.If too expensive then there are many good electric tooth brushes which don’t cost as much.
Drinking plenty of water is good for them
It may not be possible to know what teenagers drink when they are at school but you can help them become healthier by avoiding sugar rich sodas at home. Sugary sodas have well known harmful effects on our teeth and will contribute to tooth decay as well as other health issues such as obesity and diabetes. Why not buy your teenager a cool looking water bottle they can take to school filled with plain water. It will save money and be so much better for their health.
Does your teenager play sports?
If your teenager engages in physical activities where their teeth could get damaged, please ask us about a custom-made mouthguard. It is always best to get expert dental advice about which type of mouthguard is best suited to your teenager needs.
These are becoming evermore fashionable with many teenagers having their tongues and lips pierced. However, research studies have shown that oral piercings can lead to dental problems such as cracked or chipped teeth and in many instances injuries to gum tissue. In severe cases, piercings have even caused irreparable nerve damage. If your teenager has an oral piercing, it is important that they make regular dental appointments for examinations and that inspections are also undertaken at home. Contact us immediately if any problem arises. And before getting an oral piercing, try to get your teenager to visit a dentist for advice.
This is not just a problem for adults but often starts during puberty. In fact changes in the body’s hormones can cause an adolescent’s gums to become more sensitive and susceptible to gum disease. This is especially true for girls. Dental braces can also make regular care through brushing and flossing more difficult. This unfortunately leaves gums more vulnerable to a build-up of tartar and plaque which increases the likelihood of developing gum disease. If for any reason you notice that flossing is causing your teenager’s gums to bleed or they are suffering from bad breath, schedule a visit to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the problem and if necessary recommend ongoing dental treatment for gum disease
Does your teenager wear braces? If they do then they could be more susceptible to canker sores. These sores frequently go away on their own. However, avoiding foods which are acidic will elp. Regular cleaning will also reduce the likelihood of them reappearing in the future. If canker or cold sores are creating considerable discomfort or do not subside and go away after a few weeks then contact your dentist to make an appointment.
Anorexia and bulimia
These eating disorders are serious diseases that require medical treatment. Not only do they damage your teenager’s general health but they can also damage their teeth. If your adolescent has been diagnosed by a doctor with one of these eating disorders, it is important to advise your dentist and book an appointment. Only your dentist can help with problems such as the development of tooth cavities, mouth lesions and gum disease which are all commonly associated with these eating disorders.