As young people progress toward complete independence, some make questionable choices when it comes to health.
You may know teens who skip meals and others that eat ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. Some kids spend more hours on Instagram than sleeping. Braces can hinder proper brushing. Eating disorders such as bulimia can quickly erode enamel and damage a smile.
Dental troubles manifesting in the adolescent years can affect teeth for life. Let’s look at some important dental issues for adolescents.
The third molars usually come in between late adolescence and the mid-twenties. Common wisdom teeth troubles include bite misalignment, cavities, gum disease, and damage to the nearby teeth. It is vital to monitor wisdom teeth and follow the guidance of your dentist.
If you notice that your child is abnormally preoccupied with body image and weight loss, you should be on the lookout for signs of bulimia and anorexia. These serious disorders should not be ignored. Seek treatment immediately if you discover that your teen is binging and purging or intentionally restricting food.
Oral Health and Orthodontia
Braces can make proper brushing difficult. Toothbrushes and flossing devices that squirt water can help adolescents with braces clean their teeth and gums.
If you visit any high school during lunch hour, you will see that sugar-laden soda, juice, and energy drinks are becoming a beverage staple. (Perhaps we adults are setting a bad example.) While juice is definitely the healthiest choice of the three, heavy juice consumption can hurt enamel just as effectively as a can of Coke. Water is the best drink for teeth as well as calcium-rich milk, which leads us to our next section.
Inadequate Calcium Intake
Some youth who drank milk daily as kids curtail their consumption when they start eating meals away from home. This is unfortunate because calcium is just as essential for youth as it is for younger children. For strong teeth and bones, encourage your teen to enjoy low-fat dairy products daily.
Athletics benefit youth in a number of ways but, unfortunately, also pose a threat to teeth. Make sure your teen wears a protective custom mouthguard when participating in any activity where a mouth injury can occur.
We encourage parents to be vigilant about twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings for their teens. Many oral issues develop unnoticed. To schedule an intensive examination and cleaning, call Hammond Aesthetic & General Dentistry at 801-657-5633.