Between school, socialising and activities, the teen years are all about enjoying a new sense of freedom and independence. But that shouldn’t stand in the way of great dental health.
In dental terms, the teen years help set the foundation for habits and dental heath that will serve your child throughout the rest of their life.
So, as you navigate their growing independence and maturity, here’s a quick checklist when it comes to teen dental health.
Regular dental check-ups throughout the teen years are a must. During this phase of development dentists have the opportunity to flag potential issues and treat them before they become actual problems.
By the teen years, almost all adult teeth have emerged. That means we can take preventative action to improve your child’s dental health for life.
For example, if your child’s molars have deep crevices, we may recommend treatment like fissure sealants to lower the chances of them developing cavities in later life.
Your teen should see a dentist at least once a year, and maybe more often if recommended.
The teen years are often when school children are playing their most rigorous contact sports. Whether it’s AFL, rugby league, hockey or touch football, a mouthguard is a necessity.
If your child plays contact sports, talk to your dentist about having a mouthguard professionally fitted to protect those adolescent pearly whites.
By the time a child reaches their teens, all adult teeth have emerged or are well on their way to erupting. If you haven’t already done so, this is the ideal time to have your child assessed by an orthodontist.
Teen years are considered the prime time for orthodontic treatment as the teeth are in position, but the jaw is still developing. That gives an orthodontist an excellent window of opportunity to straighten teeth and remedy any issues with the bite.
Teen life is busy, we know. But that’s no excuse to neglect dental hygiene. Although your child may be more independent than ever before, ensure that independence includes a responsibility to look after their teeth.
Teeth need to be brushed at least twice daily for two minutes and flossed once a day. If you’re having trouble getting your teen to commit to their dental health, appeal to their image conscious tendency. Gently remind them about the bad breath, teeth staining and cavities that come with inadequate dental care.
Meanwhile, harness technology to assist. There are some great apps and timers available to help ensure your teen brushes their teeth regularly for the two minutes required.
The right food
That new sense of independence might mean you don’t have the control over your child’s diet that you once did. But try to remind your teen of the importance of healthy foods when it comes to their dental health.
Sweet sugary foods and particularly sweet sugary drinks should be enjoyed in moderation. This is especially important if your teen has braces.
If they do feel the need to indulge, extra vigilance and more regular brushing and flossing will be required.
About Brite Dental
Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.
Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.