How to Keep Your Teen’s Teeth Healthy
Raising a teenager is a full-time job that can be pretty stressful. But, we’re here to help take some stress off of parents by showing them a few ways to keep their teen’s teeth healthy.
Promote a Regular Oral Health Routine
The best way to keep your teen’s teeth healthy is by keeping them in a regular oral health routine. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes each session. The 2 –minute time limit helps ensure that they get all of the bad bacteria off of their teeth. Make sure they brush the entire tooth surface, including the backside of your teeth – which is often neglected.
Brushing only covers about 1/3 of total teeth surface area, which means that nearly 2/3 of teeth aren’t being cleaned well enough. Debris left in between teeth can cause plaque buildup and cavities, which is why it’s important that your teen flosses once per day as well.
Pack Their Lunch
You can help your teen get healthier teeth by packing their lunch for school, and giving them some mouth-healthy snacks. Try to pack some cheese, which is high in calcium and promotes enamel health. Also, add an apple, which is high in fiber and cleans teeth as it is enjoyed.
The number one lunch tip for teens is this: drink water, and avoid sugary drinks all together. Water naturally cleans teeth of food debris, which helps prevent acid attacks and promotes healthy enamel.
Avoid Oral Piercings
Oral piercings, particularly lip, tongue, and cheek piercings, greatly increase the risk of damaging nearby teeth. Studies have found permanent tooth damage occurred to 25% of adolescents with lip rings, and nearly 50% of teenagers with tongue piercings suffered permanent tooth damage. In addition to tooth damage, those with oral piercings have a greater risk of suffering nerve damage, oral infection, pain and swelling.
Protect Their Teeth During Sports
Did you know that your child is 60 times more likely to damage their teeth when they aren’t wearing a mouth guard? Mouth guards – sometimes called mouth protectors – work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue or cheek. Mouth guards also work to prevent tooth loss and other facial injuries. Mouth guards come in all shapes and sizes, and are sold at most sporting goods stores.
If your teen is playing sports this year, then it’s imperative that you get them a proper-fitting mouth guard.
Visit Our Office
Your child should see their dentist at least once per year for a routine oral health checkup. If you don’t have a dental home, then visit our office. We see children of all ages and help families earn healthy teeth together.