Teenagers can be tough on their teeth. Their lives are busy with school, jobs, sports, clubs, social activities, and don’t always give the time or thought needed to properly maintain oral health. Not all teens have this problem, of course, but we’ve seen enough come through that it’s becoming a concerning trend.
Teens also eat a lot of junk food. Sorry kids but objectively it’s true. You or your teen may be an exception, but somehow teens tend to eat more candy. We suspect that because they don’t pay bills, they spend upwards of $60 a week on candy and soda. This is all speculative of course.
What makes teens mouths more susceptible than adult mouths to poor oral hygiene? Is it just some poor habits, or are there more factors that go into it? Let’s take a look at what we find to be the biggest offenders for the teens that walk through our doors.
Teen Mouth Problems
1. Teens are tough on their teeth. We mentioned it already but consider this. They’re always jostling through their school halls, having gym class, going to sports after school, interacting with hundreds of people a day. Physically it can be demanding on their mouths (especially sports, consider a mouthguard). We’ve seen teeth chipped, knocked out, twisted, split, and broken from day-to-day activities and sports alike.
2. Piercings of the mouth are already risky business for most people. The increased risk of oral disease comes from post-piercing effects and not the initial piercings, although infections from contaminated needles (hep-c) are always a risk when using less-than-reputable parlors.
Besides that, there’s a possibility of nerve damage, allergic reactions, and other infections. After the procedure, however, you may notice bleeding, pain, swelling and an increased amount of drooling. These can lead to an increase in disease as well. Think before you get your tongue, under your tongue, or gums (yes we’re seen it) pierced!
3. Smoking is bad. If you’re a teen who smokes or a parent who smokes who has teenage children, stop it. Besides the obvious yellow teeth and lung cancer smoking attribute to a variety of cardiovascular diseases, bad breath, and even oral cancer.
Now we understand that smoking is incredibly addictive, and stopping once you’ve started very hard. So here are some good resources if you or your kids, loved ones, friends, etc. need a little push.
American Lung Association – http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/
American Lung Association – 1-800-LUNGUSA
Smoke-Free – http://smokefree.gov/
Quit.com – https://www.quit.com/considering.html
4. The rest of the risks teens face are normal problems that everyone faces. Making sure your daily habits are set (brush twice, floss once, etc., etc.). The eventuality of your wisdom teeth erupting with a vengeance. That bowl of candy that you walk by every day and take just one or two little morsels out of.
Teens, parents, let’s all agree right now that we don’t always see eye to eye on everything and that’s okay. One thing we need to make sure we deal with together, however, is oral hygiene. Teens, your parents may annoy you with unreasonable requests such as “Clean your room” and “pick up your shoes”, but in this case, they are right to tell you to brush your teeth. Parents, bug your kids about their teeth more than you bug them about their shoes. I know, they leave them in the entryway, and you nearly tripped on one today and died, but you should impress upon them that their health is more important than shoe placement. Let’s face it, though, you’ll wind up throwing those shoes into their room later.
Thanks for reading, and if you or your teen needs dental work fast, reach out to us at Hospital Dental Group by filling out the form on the right, or calling the number at the top and bottom of your screen. Thanks for reading!