Teens & Teeth
Your teen may drive you crazy sometimes, but reinforcing good dental behaviors should top every parent’s priority list.
Teens are often at high risk for cavities because of the questionable behaviors they engage in. Whether it’s skipping their dental visit or eating ice cream for dinner, teens tend to ignore consequences in favor of immediate gratification.
Parents should be aware of these top 3 oral health dangers to teens:
- Food on the Go: Is your teen always rushing in and out of the house? Candy, potato chips and other foods high in sugar and starch are the enemy to your teen’s teeth. Sugar creates acids that destroy tooth enamel and result in cavities. Poor brushing and flossing habits can lead to cavities between teeth, a common problem in teens. Give them healthy snack options instead.
- Oral piercings: Teens may think piercings look cool, but they can chip or break the tooth enamel. Piercings can cause the tongue to swell or may become infected, sending bacteria into the bloodstream. If your teen has a piercing, encourage him or her to see a dentist regularly.
- A Caffeine Buzz: If your teen is a fan of soda or energy drinks, encourage them to read the labels. These drinks are full of sugar and caffeine. The added sugars attack their teeth and can contribute to gum disease. If your teen is an athlete, learn more about how they could be harming their teeth with sports drinks. Water is the best and healthiest way to hydrate.
As parents, you may find it hard to talk to your teen. But educating your teen now will help him or her have healthy teeth as an adult. If all else fails, appeal to their vanity – everybody loves a beautiful smile!