As your child enters adolescence, their dietary habits can greatly impact their dental health. With sugary drinks, unhealthy snacks, and processed food items, the chances of dental damage can increase drastically. Add North Carolina’s mouth-watering desserts from Wake Forest, and you get the greatest food bomb invading as an unwanted cavity!
Neglecting dental hygiene can result in unpleasant issues such as yellow teeth, inflamed gums, and bad breath. But fret not, for preventing dental problems during the teenage years is not as difficult as it may seem. Encouraging a healthy dental hygiene routine can make all the difference for teens and parents alike. To help you get started, here are seven essential tips to keep in mind for optimal dental care for teens.
Keep an Eye Out for Misalignment
A perfect smile is a weapon to conquer self-esteem and confidence; however, with the prevalence of crooked, misaligned, gapped, and uneven teeth in younger groups, teenagers often feel demotivated by the appearance of their smile. To help overcome this issue, orthodontic treatments are widely available, even in small towns like Wake Forest, NC. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, around 4.5 million people in the US are rocking braces on their teeth, most of which are kids and teens. Therefore, your dentist may recommend relevant procedures, such as braces for teens in Wake Forest, NC, for a misaligned teeth structure.
From improving your ability to speak, chew, and breathe properly to helping you get a better night’s sleep, properly aligned teeth can significantly impact your teen’s overall health and well-being.
Establishing a consistent and effective teeth-brushing routine is important. By incorporating these simple tips into their dental practice, your teen can keep tooth decay at bay and enjoy healthy, happy teeth and gums:
- Brush twice daily, one of those times being just before bed. This helps remove any leftover food particles and bacteria that can cause decay while they sleep.
- Always brush for two minutes. Set a timer or use an app because two minutes is the magic number for optimal brushing.
- Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride is a powerful ally in the fight against tooth decay, so ensure your teen’s toothpaste has it.
- Clean teeth in a circular motion and gums in a side-to-side (vibrating) motion. This helps remove plaque from all angles and ensures thorough cleaning.
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle when cleaning the gum line. This helps get right up to the edge of the gums and prevents gum disease.
- Clean both the front and back of teeth, the chewing surfaces, and around behind the back molars. No tooth left behind!
- Avoid brushing within 15 minutes of eating or drinking, as it can damage the enamel. Give your teen’s teeth some time to recover before getting scrubbed up again.
Use a Reliable Mouthwash
Get ready to swish and swirl your way to a healthy mouth! Using mouthwash may not be necessary daily, but incorporating it into your oral care routine can work wonders for your teen’s pearly whites.
To get the most out of mouthwash, choose a type that’s packed with germ-fighting power. Look for labels that boast ‘antibacterial’ or ‘anti-plaque’ properties to ensure those pesky bacteria don’t stand a chance. Read the instructions on the back carefully, and while it may be tempting to swallow a mouthful of minty freshness, it’s important to always spit it out.
One pro tip: hold off using mouthwash right after brushing your teeth. Wait a little bit to let that fluoride do its job, and then get to swishing for maximum impact.
Use Mouthguards During High-Risk Sports
Your teen’s love for high-energy sports like soccer, basketball, and football can be exhilarating, but they also pose a risk to their dental health. As your teen progresses through junior high and high school, the sports will become more intense, and the chances of dental trauma and broken teeth increase. But don’t let that put a damper on their passion.
Instead, encourage them to wear a mouth guard during risky sports to protect their pearly whites from expensive damage, infections, or abscesses.
Make Flossing a Habit
While it’s not necessary for your teen to floss as often as they brush their teeth, incorporating regular flossing into their dental routine can greatly impact their oral health. Flossing helps remove stubborn food particles and bacteria that brushing alone can’t reach, preventing bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay. By taking a few extra minutes daily to floss, your teen can maintain a healthy, happy smile for years.
Here’s a quick guide on how to floss like a pro:
- Cut a piece of floss around 30-40cm in length.
- Gently slide the floss between two teeth down to the gum line.
- Use a gentle back-and-forth motion, forming a “C” shape around each tooth to remove debris or plaque.
- Be sure to use a fresh section of floss for each tooth gap so you’re not just moving bacteria around from one spot to another.
Watch Out for Wisdom Tooth
As your teen enters their teenage years, they may experience the discomfort of wisdom teeth growing in behind their molars. But did you know that wisdom teeth can wreak havoc on oral health if left untreated? These teeth can grow unevenly, damaging surrounding gums and even causing painful infections.
That’s why it’s important to have a dental x-ray done and to consult with your dentist about scheduling an appointment with an oral surgeon. By removing wisdom teeth before they become a problem, you can help your teen avoid serious dental issues down the road.
Maintain Adequate Calcium Intake
Calcium can help strengthen the enamel of your teeth, keeping them strong and healthy.
But wait, before you have your teen start chugging gallons of milk or munching on cheese, remember that everyone’s body is different and has unique needs. So it’s important to talk to your doctor or health professional to determine how much calcium your teen needs daily to maintain oral health.
Note: Beware of hidden sugars lurking in calcium-rich foods. While many dairy products like yogurt are great sources of calcium, they may also be loaded with sugar, which can be just as harmful as it is helpful.
Teens taking care of their dental health is not just about having a beautiful smile but also about avoiding serious oral health problems like cavities and gum disease. By following the tips above and visiting your dentist regularly, you can establish good dental habits in your teen that will serve them well for years to come.
- Revamping Your Fitness Regimen: Lagree Resolutions for 2024Welcome back, fitness enthusiasts! As we step into the promising landscape of 2024, it’s time to lace up those Lagree socks and kickstart the year with a renewed commitment to our fitness goals. As you already know, December is the time to reflect on our Lagree progress and set specific fitness goals for the upcoming… Read more: Revamping Your Fitness Regimen: Lagree Resolutions for 2024
- Understanding Alcohol Abuse and AddictionWhat is alcohol abuse? Alcohol abuse refers to drinking patterns that cause harm to one’s health, relationships, or ability to work. This includes binge drinking and chronic heavy drinking. Potential effects are liver disease, accidents, conflicts with loved ones, mental health issues like depression, and reduced life quality. Recognizing alcohol abuse early enables seeking help… Read more: Understanding Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
- How to Prove Long-Term Disability in Slip and Fall Injuries in Chicago?Slip and fall accidents can result in severe injuries, leading to long-term disability for the victims. When such incidents occur in Chicago, understanding how to prove long-term disability is crucial for seeking compensation and ensuring justice. In this guide, we’ll delve into the steps involved in proving long-term disability in slip and fall injuries in… Read more: How to Prove Long-Term Disability in Slip and Fall Injuries in Chicago?
- Tips and Tricks for Success in Surviving and Thriving in NCLEX BootcampNursing is a vital and challenging profession. As nursing students gear up for the NCLEX bootcamp – they face a test that is both a rite of passage and a gateway to their careers. Succeeding in the bootcamp NCLEX is not just about academic prowess. It’s a test of endurance, resilience, and a strategic mindset.… Read more: Tips and Tricks for Success in Surviving and Thriving in NCLEX Bootcamp
- Targeting Pain: Conditions Treated by Chiropractic Services and Physical TherapyLiving with pain can feel like a never-ending battle where relief seems just out of reach. It’s like having your own personal rain cloud that follows you around, even on the brightest days. But a beacon of hope shines in the healthcare landscape, where practices like Austin Preferred Integrative Medicine offer more than just a quick fix.… Read more: Targeting Pain: Conditions Treated by Chiropractic Services and Physical Therapy
- How to Prepare for Your First Chiropractic SessionIf you’re considering visiting a chiropractor for the first time, it’s important to know what to expect and how to prepare for your initial session. Chiropractic care focuses on spinal care and can provide relief from back and neck pain while promoting overall wellness. By taking a few simple steps to get ready, you can… Read more: How to Prepare for Your First Chiropractic Session