We’re excited to have Dr. Popper of Junior Smiles back with us this month for Part II of our “Tackling Teenage Teeth” blog series! (Read Part I about when your child might need braces HERE.) This month, Dr. Popper is talking about all of the annoying oral habits you need to get your Boca Raton teenager to stop doing NOW. I get it– easier said than done, but as parents I guess we have to try!
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?
It’s not entirely the kids’ fault, though. It turns out that the hormonal tsunamis of adolescence make the gums more vulnerable to assault by plaque. And girls get the worst of it unfortunately. The ways teenagers behave certainly compound the problem, but let’s be fair.
Go figure, Boca Raton teenagers have a burning desire to be attractive. Yet, they often fail to stick to the relatively simple, easy practices that go such a long way toward keeping their smiles sparkling and their breath fresh (like regular brushing with proper technique and flossing).
It’s even more baffling to Boca parents who see the enormous efforts their teenagers are willing to put into grooming and dressing. Go figure. The “why” of teenage behavior is a huge, open-ended subject.
I humbly concede that telling you how to improve your teen’s oral hygiene habits is beyond the scope of my dental expertise. And if YOU figure this out, I hope you’ll tell me! 🙂 What I will do is highlight a few things to aim for or stop…
Teenage Teeth Tips & Tricks
- Somehow, parents need to get their teens to embrace brushing, flossing and fluoride. Flouride’s probably the least problematic of these, and guides for brushing and flossing are widely available. A simple few minutes a day can effectively combat tooth decay and gingivitis.
- Trauma is a major cause of teenage dental troubles. Sports, developmental awkwardness, and general bad judgment can get teenage teeth knocked out, broken, or cracked. Collisions between teenage teeth and the world are inevitable. But when we know the risk is elevated, as in some sports, mouthguards are essential.
- Mouth piercings, smoking, recreational drugs, alcohol and junk food all pose risks to teens’ oral health. A Boca Raton pediatric dentist can address the dental consequences, but only if parents get their teens in for regular checkups.
Make that a priority, and may the force be with you!
Sponsored: This blog post was sponsored by Junior Smiles. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider and please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I have been compensated, but that does not impact my views or opinions.