As your child becomes a teenager, the responsibility for maintaining their dental health will begin to shift from you to them. However, you will still be able to give them some advice and guidance. Below are four things which can help your teen maintain great oral health as they develop into an adult.
If your teen plays sports, the opponents they face will get larger, stronger and more competitive during their teenage years. This can create an increased risk of teeth being damaged or knocked out during a game or match. You should advise your teen to always wear a mouth guard when playing contact or highly physical sports.
Mental health issues
It is estimated that 1 in 5 young people in Australia will experience mental issues at some point as they are growing up. Problems such as anxiety and depression can cause teens to neglect their oral health. Some medications used to treat these conditions can cause a dry mouth which increases the risk of cavities. You should encourage your teen to talk to you or someone they trust if they are worried about their mental health and encourage them to maintain their dental health as well as their mental health.
Part of the process of becoming an adult involves exercising increasing power over the choice of what to eat. It is likely that at first, your teen may decide to indulge in the things which were rationed or forbidden when they were a child, such as fast food and surgery drinks and snacks. You should remind your teen not to overdo it and encourage them to maintain a diet which is good for both their physical and dental health. Snacks such as crunchy vegetables and hard cheeses make a great alternative to sugary snacks, as they help to remove plaque from the teeth and provide vital vitamins.
The teenage years are a time of experimentation. If you teen is considering getting a mouth piercing, you should ensure they are aware of the potential impact this could have on their dental health. Piercings can interfere with dental procedures such as x-rays and can encourage the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to increased tooth decay.
If you have any questions or concerns about your teen's dental health, you should contact a family dentist today. They will be able to offer help, advice and treatment as necessary.