If you have children then you probably spent a considerable amount of time making sure they cleaned their teeth properly when they were little, and attempting to get them to floss on a daily basis. However once they are teenagers it can become a little more difficult to keep an eye on their dental health, even though this age can bring about a whole new set of oral hygiene issues. So what can you do to make sure your teen has a healthy smile right into adulthood?
Make Sure They Attend Our Leeds Surgery Regularly for Check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are important for all ages, and Dr David Brown or whoever your child sees here at Leeds City Dental care will want to make sure your teenager’s teeth are developing normally. We can also check to make sure they are cleaning their teeth properly, and are always available to offer advice and help on how to improve brushing and flossing techniques.
Once they have all their adult teeth it’s likely that our surgery will recommend dental sealants be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth provided they don’t yet have any cavities. These are an excellent preventative measure as they protect these vulnerable surfaces against decay. Dental sealants do need replacing every so often, and this is another thing that will be assessed at every check-up.
This is also the time for orthodontic care and if necessary our dentists can recommend the best type of brace for your teenager. Although traditional braces are still popular, many systems now use clear brace brackets or ceramic brackets that are far less easy to spot and invisible or removable braces can also be a good choice. These are clear plastic aligners that can be removed for brushing and flossing and when eating, and which are very easy to keep clean.
Sports Mouth Guards
If your teenager is keen on playing sports then you’ll probably want to continue encouraging this healthy habit. However sports can sometimes be rough on teeth and a sports mouthguard is designed to cover the upper teeth, protecting them against damage. It doesn’t cost very much to have a custom made mouthguard and it could save a lot of tears and money further down the line.
Unfortunately this is also a time when some teenagers will take up smoking and this habit can be hard to discourage, and even harder to break a few years later. As well as being bad for general health, smoking is also pretty awful for oral health. It can take to help to stress the fact that it yellows teeth and leads to bad breath.
This is also a time when some teenagers think about getting an oral piercing as a way of expressing their individuality. While it certainly does this, any kind of jewellery in the mouth can lead to problems. The constant presence of a barbell or hoop is likely to chip or crack the teeth or can irritate the gum tissue leading to gum recession. The actual process of piecing the tongue or soft tissues can also be hazardous as it creates an open wound in the mouth that can be prone to infection.
This can have a serious effect on oral health, as bulimia will continuously expose the teeth to strong stomach acids. If your teenager does have this disorder then it’s highly likely that your dentist in Leeds will be one of the first to notice during regular check-ups as it doesn’t take long for acid erosion to occur. Although our dentist in Leeds may be able to treat acid erosion and any signs of cavities, they cannot treat the actual eating disorder, and it is important to get specialist help in order to resolve this issue as soon as possible.