Teenagers frequently experience dental issues, so parents must proactively promote good oral health in their kids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 13% of teenagers between 12 and 19 have at least one untreated decaying tooth.
Cavities, gum infections, and bad breath are just a few dental issues that can develop because of poor oral hygiene and improper nutrition. Bad dental health can also seriously hurt a teen’s self-esteem.
As a result, it’s crucial for parents to inform their kids about the value of dental care and to give them the guidance they need to practice good dental hygiene. If you’re a worried parent, here are some tips for helping your teenagers with dental issues and ensuring they have bright, healthy smiles.
- Address orthodontic issues
If your teenager has orthodontic issues, such as an overbite, underbite, or misalignment, it is essential to address them early on, as they can lead to serious dental problems if left untreated. In some cases, orthodontic issues can also affect a teenager’s self-image.
A dentist or orthodontist can recommend various treatments for orthodontic issues, including traditional braces, clear aligners, and other specialized appliances. Invisalign is popular for teenagers with mild to moderate orthodontic issues, such as small gaps, crooked teeth, or more advanced bite malocclusions. Invisalign uses custom-made, clear, removable aligners to fit your teenager’s teeth and gradually shift them into the correct position.
When looking for a reputable clinic to provide Invisalign treatment for your teenager, consider factors such as the experience and credentials of the orthodontist and the quality of the technology and equipment they use. Be sure to read reviews and ratings from previous patients. But if you want a suggestion, Invisalign for Teens by Koen Orthodontics is a good option. It is a reputable clinic that provides Invisalign treatment for teenagers with a team of experienced and highly skilled orthodontists who use the latest technology and techniques to achieve optimal results.
- Encourage regular brushing and flossing
Teenagers are more likely to develop dental problems, including cavities and periodontal disease, because of bad eating habits and ignoring dental hygiene. But you can help them maintain good dental hygiene and avert these problems by encouraging regular brushing and flossing.
Teens should floss daily and brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to get rid of food particles and plaque stuck between teeth. Teach them to brush for at least two minutes from an early age and the proper technique. By emphasizing the advantages of good dental hygiene, which include fresh breath, a radiant smile, and fewer dental issues, you can motivate your kids to make brushing and flossing a regular habit.
- Consider dental sealants
Teenagers who may find it hard to reach the back of their mouth while brushing and flossing will find this treatment especially helpful. Dental sealants are used to fill cavities in the mouth where germs and food particles can gather. Sealants stop bacteria from entering the tooth surface and prevent tooth decay by smoothing the outside layer.
- Use fluoride treatments
There are numerous ways to receive fluoride treatments, including:
- Usually, a brush or a dental tray is used to apply fluoride gel treatments to the teeth. The gel is kept on the teeth for a couple of minutes so that the fluoride can permeate the enamel and strengthen the teeth.
- Fluoride varnish treatments include applying a fluoride solution straight onto the teeth.
Teenagers more likely to have tooth decay due to factors like poor dental hygiene, drinking sugary beverages, or wearing orthodontic devices like braces might benefit greatly from fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments can aid in both cavity prevention and the reversal of the initial phases of tooth decay.
Remember that a dentist should be the only one to offer fluoride treatments. When used correctly, fluoride works effectively; however, too much fluoride can result in oral fluorosis, leading to white teeth patches.
- Encourage the use of mouthguards
Mouthguards are custom-made to fit their teeth and provide a cushioning effect of absorbing the impact of a blow to the face or mouth. This helps to reduce the risk of broken or chipped teeth and other injuries to the mouth and jaw.
Teens who actively play sports in school must wear a mouthguard to keep their teeth safe. You can either check into over-the-counter, frequently less expensive solutions or talk to the teenager’s dentist about manufacturing a custom mouthguard.
- Address tooth sensitivity
Cavities in the teeth, gingivitis, chipped enamel, or exposed tooth roots are just a few problems that lead to tooth sensitivity. Your kid may require dental procedures like dental bonding, a dental bridge, or a root canal to relieve tooth sensitivity. They may also benefit from using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth or fluoride treatment to strengthen the enamel. Encouraging your teenager to avoid acidic and sugary foods and drinks can also help prevent further enamel erosion and tooth decay.
- Get regular cleanings and X-rays
During a dental cleaning, a dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar build-up from your teen’s teeth and gums, which can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, regular X-rays can help detect any potential dental problems that may not be visible during a visual exam, such as cavities, bone loss, or impacted teeth.
By detecting these issues early on, your teen’s dentist can address them before they become more serious and potentially expensive. Regular cleanings and X-rays can help identify serious problems that must be fixed immediately. It is recommended that teenagers receive a dental cleaning and exam every six months or as recommended by their dentist.
Dental problems are common among teenagers, but they can be prevented or managed with proper dental care and attention. Support your teenagers to develop healthy dental practices, including routine brushing, flossing, and checkups at the dentist as a parent or legal guardian. By keeping an open line of communication and being supportive, you can help your teenagers manage their dental problems effectively and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years. Remember, prevention is key, and the earlier you start instilling good habits, the better off your teens will be in the long run.