When it comes to oral health, teens have a number of factors working in their favor. At this stage of life, the tooth enamel should be strong and healthy, protecting the teeth from sensitivity caused by hot and cold foods and drinks. In addition, teens are less likely to have developed serious dental issues that result in missing teeth, and their teeth generally look whiter and brighter because they haven’t yet withstood decades of exposure to staining elements. However, there are some dental concerns that can affect teens; this is why it is so important to attend routine general dentistry exams and cleanings. In this blog post, Dr. Phillip J. DeJesus and the team at DeJesus Dental Group discuss how dental care for teens differs from the care offered to adults at our Bridgeport, CT practice.
Tooth Decay and Cavities
Patients of all ages are at risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. When we see teens at our practice, we want to educate them about their dental health, and the importance of exercising good oral hygiene habits. First, teens should know that regularly eating and drinking sugary products can increase the risk of tooth decay. Since teens frequently consume sodas, sports drinks, candy, and other snacks loaded with sugar, we advise them to limit the consumption of these products or at least rinse the mouth out with water after indulging.
In addition, teens should maintain good oral hygiene habits. They should brush their teeth in the morning and at night before bed. They should also floss daily, a cleaning technique that many teens skip. By following these tips, teens can reduce their risk of developing cavities.
Hormone changes, such as those caused during puberty, make patients more vulnerable to gum disease. Teens should be especially vigilant about maintaining their oral health during this time. To reduce the risk of gum disease, patients should brush twice a day and floss daily.
Tooth or Bite Misalignment
By the time patients reach their tweens or early teens, signs of bite or tooth alignment may be present. This is an ideal time to undergo orthodontic treatment such as braces or Invisalign®. These treatments can straighten the teeth and improve the bite, permanently improving the appearance of the smile. Teens that have gapped teeth, twisted teeth, overlapping teeth, overbite, underbite, or crossbite should seek the advice of a dentist or orthodontist to learn more about their treatment options.
Routine Exams and Cleanings
Like adults and children, teens should attend dental appointments for an exam and cleaning every six months. These appointments should only take an hour. During this time, the dentist will take X-rays, evaluate the health of the teeth and gums, and clean the teeth. If we detect a cavity, we will typically recommend the use of a tooth-colored filling to prevent further damage. In the case of gum disease, we may recommend improved home care or a root planing and scaling procedure.
Whatever your needs may be, the team at DeJesus Dental Group is here to help you maintain or improve the beauty and health of your smile. Schedule an appointment today.