The teenage years prove to be busy times for most families; however, good teen dental care and oral hygiene habits and regular dental checkups are still vital components of your teen’s overall health and wellness.
Teen Dental Care
Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry of Mechanicsville, VA is pleased to provide high quality dental care for children through late adolescence. The teenage years prove to be busy times for most families; however, good oral hygiene habits and regular dental checkups are still vital components of your teen’s overall health and wellness. Teenagers are more vulnerable to tooth decay if their diet contains high sugar including sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks and carbohydrates. Some common dental problems that affect teenagers include:
- Cavities or decay
- Malocclusion or misalignment of teeth
- Erupting or impacted wisdom teeth
- Injury to the teeth or mouth
Along with the American Association of Orthodontists, Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children visit an orthodontist for an evaluation by the age of 7. At 7 years old, most children will have a mixture of permanent and primary teeth and this is the ideal time to have an expert evaluate the alignment of your child’s bite.
During the preteen and teenage years, it is likely that orthodontic treatment may be used to transform your teen’s smile. This is an important time to make sure teeth stay healthy and clean and we encourage all patients to keep up with regular dental checkups and cleanings, especially during orthodontic treatment. While the orthodontic appliances are necessary to create a healthy, beautiful smile, they also provide additional places for food particles to cling to and sticky plaque to form. Cleaning teeth after each meal during orthodontic treatment will help minimize the risk of decay.
Sparkle Tip for Teens in Braces: If you don’t have a toothbrush handy after lunch at school, swishing water in your mouth can loosen and remove food particles that get lodged in your braces.
Help Protect Your Child’s Smile
If your child is involved in contact sports such as football, soccer, ice hockey, field hockey or lacrosse, Sparkle Pediatric Dentistry highly recommends using a properly fitted mouthguard. Typically, mouthguards fit over the top teeth and help reduce the risk of chipped or broken teeth, tooth loss and/or permanent nerve damage. Mouthguards provide an adequate layer of protection from a blunt force to the face or mouth. An injury to the mouth can be painful and may require several dental visits to fix.
Studies performed by The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests a dramatic reduction in orofacial injuries while using mouthguards during high contact sporting events. Many over-the-counter mouthguards have the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means they have demonstrated:
- Product components are safe for use in mouth and do not cause irritation to the soft tissues
- The appliances are easy to use and are low-risk of damaging orthodontic appliances
- Passes specific tests of durability and efficacy
Sparkle Tip for Protecting Teeth: The best mouthguards are the ones that are worn during a sport or recreational activity.