Looking after your teeth is important at all ages.
This includes the teen years, when an attractive smile can boost teenagers’ confidence.
In this article, we offer tips on adolescent dental care and keeping teenagers’ teeth healthy.
Follow a healthy diet
Make healthy choices when it comes to food and drink, and your teeth will thank you!
For a tooth-friendly diet, avoid sugary, fizzy drinks that can damage tooth enamel. Instead, choose still water, milk or tea (no sugar). You should also restrict fruit juice to mealtimes.
And instead of sugary snacks, why not try:
- Crunchy raw vegetables
- Fresh fruit
- Plain popcorn
- Unsweetened cereal
- Rice cakes
- Plain bagels
Know the effects of smoking, alcohol and drugs on teeth
Smoking can lead to a range of problems to do with your dental health, including:
- Bad breath
- Stained teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth loss
And along with alcohol, smoking can increase your chances of getting mouth cancer.
Illegal drugs can cause many health-related problems. Some of the issues they cause include:
- Stained teeth
- Dry mouth
- Craving sweet food or drink, which can lead to tooth decay
- Teeth grinding
Understand the risks of tooth jewellery and mouth piercings
If you’re tempted to get a tooth gem, make sure it’s fitted by a dentist instead of a beautician.
A dentist will also be able to remove tooth jewellery safely.
Keep the area around the tooth gem clean to avoid plaque building up and causing decay.
If you’re considering a mouth piercing, you’ll need to know about the risks. These include:
- Infection around the site of the piercing or one that can enter your bloodstream and affect your heart
- Swollen tongue
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Difficulty eating, talking or swallowing
- Difficulty keeping your mouth clean
- Serious infections such as hepatitis B or C and HIV due to piercing with dirty needles
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, now is a great time to do something about it.
It’s really common for teens to wear braces to straighten or correct the positioning of their teeth.
If you’re self-conscious about your smile, go and see your dentist, who can talk you through the options for straightening your teeth.
Get familiar with your wisdom teeth
Your wisdom teeth are your final set of molars to come through, usually appearing in the later teenage years.
Sometimes they cause issues if they come through in the wrong position or are impacted, which means they are stuck under the gumline.
It’s a good idea to see your dentist when you start noticing your wisdom teeth so they can check for any issues and ensure they’re healthy.
Keep it clean
Last but not least, it’s important to get into a good oral hygiene routine to keep your mouth healthy. Here’s what you need to do:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes every session
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue
- Floss once daily
- Use antibacterial mouthwash
- Visit your dentist regularly
A healthy smile is something we all love, so get to work on yours by visiting the dentist regularly.
We’re happy to see all the family, including teens, here at Opal Dental — think of us as your family dentists for Te Atatu and surrounding areas!
Book an appointment for yourself or your teenager’s dental care today — we’re happy to discuss anything to do with adolescent dental health and guide your teen to a brighter, healthier smile!
And know that high school children are entitled to one free dental check a year and free subsequent treatment too, so make the most of all the help you can get to achieve healthy teeth and gums for your teen.