Five Dental Health Tips for Teens

This post was written by our Community Education Coordinator, Carolina Gutierrez. 

Volleyball practice, graduation, prom, homework, college applications… Teenagers have a lot on their mind, and unfortunately oral hygiene is sometimes the last thing they care about. 

teens_oral_health

Here are the 5 most important things to consider when discussing oral health and the teen years:

1. Remind your child that they should be brushing at least twice a day and to floss at least once a day. 

Try not to have so much junk food at home, buy more fruits and vegetables. This will not only benefit their dental health, but also their energy level and weight.  This will also help your young adults make good choices when they are living on their own.  

2. Peer pressure is a huge part of the teenage experience. A lot of teens get pressured into smoking cigarettes in high school...

...Even though they are taught from a young age that smoking is bad for their health. Teenagers should be reminded of the dangers of smoking cigarettes.  Smoking causes bad breath, tooth discoloration, the increase of plaque and tar in your teeth, and oral cancer. 

3. Another thing that many people do not think is related to oral health? Mouth and tongue piercings.

Teenage years are when children start to express their style more, and piercings come with that. Oral piercings can cause tooth loss.  Also, if the piercing is in contact with the gum line it can cause permanent damage such as receding gums, chipped or fractured tooth, and nerve damage. 

4. Everyone knows how important it is to drink water, but for many teen athletes sugary sport drinks reign supreme.

These drinks often have more than 10 tsp of sugar per serving (basically a whole day's worth) and are proven to cause tooth decay, cavities, and weight gain because of the sugar and citric acid in the drinks. 

5. Finally, remind your teens that wearing a mouth guard is very important during contact sports.

A mouth guard prevents serious injuries such as broken teeth and jaw fractures. 

 

 

Parents need to start teaching children at a very young age about oral health. That way, teens are more likely to maintain their health as they become more independent. Set a good example for them.  Your teen is more likely to have good oral hygiene if they see how important it is to the parent as well. 

References:

WebMD Smoking & Oral Health

WebMD Oral Piercings Cause Long-Term Damage

Colgate

Know Your Teeth

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