I know, I know: teenagers! I guess I was one myself, thousands of years ago. Although for the life of me, I can’t believe I did any of, you know, those things teenagers do. But I did. We all did…
In terms of my own oral health, I definitely can’t forget “those things” because I’m reminded of them every day working with my Boca Raton teenager patients. I’m going to get to the lifestyle issues in just a moment, but I want to point out that there’s at least one teenage oral health issue that isn’t due to their behavioral antics.
Did you know that a little over half of all teenagers (including Boca Raton teenagers) have gum disease, aka gingivitis, in some form?
I think my daughter is gorgeous. And her (baby) teeth are perfect! But, I need to face reality. She’ll have adult teeth soon enough and I had braces. My mom had braces. And so did my sister. So when do I need to start asking myself: does my child need braces? The answer is: as early as possible.
Don’t freak out, mamas. This doesn’t always mean that your child should begin orthodontic treatment as soon as an issue is identified according to Boca Raton pediatric dentist, Dr. Drew Popper of Junior Smiles. In some cases, it’s actually preferable or necessary to wait until adolescence before beginning treatment. Even so, Dr. Popper advises parents that it’s preferable to know-before-you-go. Early awareness allows him to monitor developments and recommend a consultation with an orthodontist. It also helps parents plan, especially financially.
Should you be going nuts about grinding? When #dailybocaaverygrinds her teeth, I can literally feel it in my bones. It makes me crazy! Many parents ask Dr. Popper of Junior Smiles about their child grinding their teeth while sleeping (including me). The kids who actually do it are a minority, but since the worry is so common, let’s talk about it mamas!
“Bruxism” is the technical term for the behavior of grinding the teeth and/or clenching the jaw. About 30% of children exhibit this behavior while asleep, usually in stages of deep slumber, according to Dr. Popper. It’s difficult to know exactly how many kids actually do this since they’re often unaware that they’re grinding. And of course, we’re not going to stand over their beds to watch them all night long…ain’t nobody got the energy for that.