When it comes to oral health, adolescence is a pivotal time for Bloomington youth. On the upside, the last of the permanent teeth come in providing young men and women with their “adult smile.” Good habits can be forged and reinforced. Teeth can be corrected with orthodontia, providing increased confidence when it is often sorely needed.
On the downside, some youth take up habits that are detrimental to their teeth. Adolescents often don’t understand the importance of proper dental hygiene and how it impacts lifelong oral health. Some young Bloomington men and women develop teenage decay that can cause recurring dental problems in later years.
Unfortunately, eating disorders are far too common among adolescents. Bulimia can cause enamel erosion, decay, and even complete tooth loss. We strongly urge parents to intervene immediately and seek appropriate medical care if they suspect their teen has an eating disorder.
The importance of diet cannot be overstated. Adolescence is a time when many young men and women decrease their calcium intake—a danger to both bones and teeth. The consumption of energy drinks and sugared soda also contribute to tooth and gum problems in teenagers.
Furthermore, teenagers that use tobacco and illegal drugs have an increased risk of decay and oral cancer. Oral piercings can be extremely detrimental. The health risks include tooth and gum damage, infection, allergic reactions, nerve damage, and excessive swelling that can block airways.
Teens who are undergoing orthodontic treatment often have a difficult time correctly cleaning their teeth. It is a challenge to fit toothbrush bristles and floss under dental hardware. Toothbrushes and flossing devices that squirt water can help adolescents with braces adequately clean their teeth and gums.
Create A Smile, PC – Dr. Ken Moore advises Indiana parents to make sure their teenagers receive twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings. Ken Moore can identify and treat oral issues in their early stages so that further damage can be prevented or minimized.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following critical guidelines for adolescent oral health:
Teens should drink fluoridated water.
Fluoride supplementation is recommended for high-risk teens that don’t have access to fluoridated water (up to age 16).
Teens should use fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.
Teens should floss daily.1
To schedule a thorough teen dental examination and cleaning, call Create A Smile, PC – Dr. Ken Moore at 812-332-1405. The team of friendly dental professionals at Create A Smile, PC – Dr. Ken Moore is devoted to oral health for Bloomington children and teens.
1“Protecting All Children’s Teeth, Oral Health in Adolescence,” www2.aap.org/oralhealth/pact/