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“But Mom my Teeth are Fine” Why Visit an Orthodontist – Even When You Don’t Have Dental Problems

Have you talked to your teenager about their teeth lately?

We know it might be a struggle to get your teenager to listen to you sometimes but we also know how importantit is to them to look good is at that age. That’s why it’s important to check in with your growing teenager about their oral health. Studies tell us it’s a crucial time for dental hygiene; the CDC says dental decay really takes hold during the ages of five and 17.

We’ve assembled some talking points for discussion between you and your teenager to help keep those adult teeth healthy for a lifetime.

Oral Health Tips for Teens

Sugar: With teens, sugar is a major culprit in oral decay these days. Teenagers love those sugary Starbucks drinks and they usually drink plenty of soda which adds to the tooth decay mix. The acid and sugar found in these drinks is an energetic mix – and by this we mean it will energetically attack your kid’s teeth. If you can’t get your teen to cut down on these beverages, encourage them to use a straw, which will cut down the contact to the teeth, and have a sip of water finishing their sugar bomb, which will help was some of the sugar off the teeth.

Sports: Always wear a mouth guard when playing sports. Delta Dental says more than 200,000 injuries occur every year to the mouth while playing sports. Make sure your teen has a mouth guard and is rinsing the guard regularly and storing it properly.

Skip oral piercings: If your teen hasn’t started clamoring for a lip or tongue ring don’t be too shocked if they do but a tongue or mouth piercing can chip your teeth – even during sleep. Fracturing a tooth is a serious dental issue that must be repaired immediately through a crown, root canal, filling or even extraction. The other issue with these piercings is infection, which can be serious.

Eat healthy: Teenagers are running off to the next adventure; it’s just how they roll. The truth is that they’re full of natural energy and are also certain they’re going to live forever, a heady mix that often leads them to eat fast food on the go. Nutritional snack bars are always a favorite between classes or after-school activities, but many of these snacks have a lot of added sugars and chemicals. Have your teen pack a travel toothbrush and use it to brush after a snack. Packing carrots or apples instead of snack bars, will help fight tooth decay. Even chewing sugarless gum can help cleanse the teeth of sugar, along with drinking lots of water between meals.

Schedule a Checkup

Call Truman Orthodontics to schedule your teen’s orthodontic checkup and be sure to visit your dentist regularly. While wearing braces it is especially important to have excellent oral hygine and  we can help you reinforce these cavity-prevention tips. We find that teenagers sometimes listen more to our office team than Mom and Dad at this time in their lives; so, let’s work together to keep your teen’s smile intact. 

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