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Family Care Dental Clinic

Managing Oral Health In Teens

Managing Oral Health In Teens

The teenage years can be one of the hardest periods of one’s life. It can also be hard on parents as the onset of puberty can completely change the child’s emotional state.

Teenagers can also be tough on their teeth. They may be so busy with social activities, school and sports that they don’t find time to brush properly. They also tend to eat a lot of junk food. Combine the two and you have a situation where tooth decay is likely to develop.

Some Things That Help To Keep One’s Oral Health

Brushing: We should brush our teeth at least twice a day (or better, 30-40 min. after every meal), avoiding sugary snacks and beverages as much as possible is how to do it. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, too.

Sealants: Dental sealants are a type of special plastic coating that act as a barrier, protecting cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth and are sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves in other teeth. Sealing a tooth is fast and easy. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but sometimes a reapplication is needed.

Mouth guards: If you play a contact sport, it’s a good idea to wear a mouth guard. It may feel awkward at first, but mouth guards are the best thing you can use to protect your teeth from getting broken or knocked out. They cushion blows that would otherwise cause injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures.

Some Dental Concerns That May Arise

Wisdom teeth: Also referred to as third molars, wisdom teeth should come into teen’s mouth between the ages of 17 and 21. Sometimes they do not have enough room to come in normally or are in the wrong position to come straight up. When that happens, your dentist may refer to them as impacted and they may have to be removed.

Teeth that are out of alignment: If you have a bad bite or your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, you may benefit from braces. Braces can help improve your smile and straighten your teeth. They can also improve your dental health and overall health because untreated orthodontic problems can make it hard to bite and chew and can interfere with eating. If you have a bad bite, you may also be prone to cavities or gum disease because it may be hard to clean your teeth.

Mouth jewellery: Oral piercings or tongue splitting may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. That’s because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. They could crack a tooth if you bite down too hard on the piercing and repeated clicking of the jewellery against teeth can also cause damage. An infected oral piercing can also lead to more serious systemic infections, including hepatitis or endocarditis.

Eating disorders (e.g. anorexia, bulimia and binge eating): Eating disorders arise from a variety of complex physical, emotional and social issues and they can also be devastating to one’s oral health. Poor nutrition may make the gums and other soft tissue inside the mouth bleed easily, and the glands that produce saliva may swell and individuals may experience chronic dry mouth. Frequent vomiting will also affect teeth. As the strong stomach acid repeatedly flows over teeth, the tooth’s enamel can be damaged. The teeth may change in colour, shape and length and the edges of teeth become thin and break off easily. Eating disorders require professional help. If you are concerned that you or a loved one has an eating disorder, please speak to your doctor.

Smoking: Smoking is not only bad for our health but also for the oral health. It can cause gum disease, stained teeth and tongue, bad breath, slow healing after a tooth extraction, and even oral cancer.

Dealing With Halitosis

Bad breath (halitosis) can happen anytime, thanks to the hundreds of types of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in our mouth. When we eat, bacteria feed on the food left in the mouth and leave a foul-smelling waste product behind.

What helps against bad breath?

  • Brush and floss: Brush at least twice a day and clean between teeth daily with floss to get rid of all that bacteria that’s causing your bad breath.
  • Clean tongue: Take care of your tongue! That’s where most bad-breath bacteria can be found. Use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clear them out.
  • Mouthwash: We can pick any mouthwash for our liking but we believe that the best is undiluted peroxide (from the ‘brown bottle’).

Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!

Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family. Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!

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