Dr. Miller emphasizes the importance of maintaining good dental health during the teen years, a time when your child is becoming more independent and taking care of their own personal and oral hygiene. Our team will provide oral hygiene advice when your teen visits for routine dental care and encourage a good daily regimen of toothbrushing and flossing.
Diet and Oral Health in Teens
A healthy diet during the teen years will not only support a healthy smile but also the overall physical well-being of your child during these crucial developmental years. The teen years are often when we see patients increase their consumption of “junk-food”, which can impact their dental health, the condition of their skin and their overall appearance. While it is difficult to control or monitor your teen’s complete diet, providing a wide range of fruits, vegetables and nutritious foods at home can be beneficial.
Daily toothbrushing with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and flossing is important, and something that many teens may forget as schedules become busier and they are more independent. This is especially important if they are wearing braces or an oral appliance to avoid decay and tooth staining.
Teens are also likely to become more self-conscious about the appearance of their smile. A healthy diet will also reduce the incidence of common concerns related to their oral health including tooth discoloration and bad breath. Limiting the consumption of dark beverages such as sodas, coffee and teas and a good daily oral hygiene routine will keep their smile as white as possible.
Teenaged Tobacco Use
Smoking and tobacco use continues to be a common habit among teens, despite the growing evidence of its detrimental impact on all areas of their health and long-term well being. Tobacco use of any kind will increase the risk for developing oral cancer, affect the color and condition of the teeth and gums and eventually lead to a more aged appearance.
Vaping, which continues to grow in popularity will also have similar oral and overall health effects.
Oral Piercing and Oral Health
Tongue piercing can present oral health concerns that your teen should be made aware of when appropriate. Tongue piercing can significantly increase the risk of developing an oral infection, damaging the teeth or gums and may lead to permanent numbness in parts of the tongue.
Teens with a tongue piercing may avoid dental visits, which can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. If your teen has a pierced tongue, bring them in for regular visits to maintain their oral health and enable Dr. Miller to monitor for any developing concerns.