Adolescents/Teens (12-18)

As a parent, you can be rest assured that these are going to be some challenging years for a variety of reasons.

Even if you have a child that is well-behaved, it is still a challenge! While your child’s dental health probably isn’t the first thing on your mind during these years, it’s still very important!

Here are a few tips from Children’s Dental Zone on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy during these years:

Tooth Decay

We know at this age it’s a challenge to get your child to care about their oral health and tooth decay, however it’s very important. If their teeth start to decay significantly during their teen years, it can set them up for a life of dental challenges.

While you can’t control everything you do, we encourage you to make healthy eating choices as a family, as this can significantly limit the amount of junk food they consume (sugar is one of the primary causes of tooth decay).

Say No to Smoking or Tobacco Use

Fortunately, smoking and tobacco use is on the decline in teens. As is well documented, tobacco can wreak havoc on your teeth, gums, and can significantly increase your child’s risk of oral cancer.

Protecting Your Teeth During Sports

As your child gets older, sports get much more competitive. Regardless of the sport, the ball (or puck) starts moving faster, and the hits get harder. The question is, do you really want your child to be wearing a flimsy, insecure, over the counter mouth guard when they get hit square in the mouth with a soccer ball, basketball, or even a baseball?

We didn’t think so.

At Children’s Dental Zone we highly recommend that you invest in a custom mouthguard for your teen, and we will be happy to point you in the right direction. While these mouthguards are a bit of an investment, they pale in comparison to what your medical bills might be if several of your child’s teeth get knocked out!

Keeping Your Breath in Check

No teenager wants bad breath and as a parent, if you lead with this angle, you might can get your child to take very good care of their teeth!

In addition to routine oral hygiene, your teenager can chew sugar-free gum, as well as use mouthwash daily to help prevent bad breath. A tongue scraper can also be a great investment as well.

If you are finding that your child seems to have chronic bad breath, it could be due to something other than their hygiene (such as an issue with allergies or acid reflux). If this is the case, we recommend seeing your primary care provider.

Keeping Their Smile Beautiful

In addition to avoiding tobacco and sugary foods, another “life hack” that can keep your child’s teeth whiter and brighter is to avoid coffee and dark colas. While one every now and then won’t hurt them, over time drinking several dark colas or coffees per day could stain your child’s teeth, and turn those bright whites to dingy yellow.

No one wants that! So if your child likes to drink sodas (most teens do), they should limit their intake, and drink through a straw.

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