Adolescence is one of the most challenging periods in one’s life – you undergo many physiological and emotional changes. Parents become more demanding, and in some cases, you start looking for ways to earn an income.
During this transition from childhood to adulthood, you are also likely to experience changes in your oral health. You might need braces for teeth alignment, bad breath might become an issue, and wisdom teeth may start growing.
Regardless of your age, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Failing to take care of your teeth can cause conditions like tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and in several cases, tooth loss.
This article offers some helpful information on how teens can take better care of their teeth.
Brush Regularly and Thoroughly
It’s advisable to brush your teeth at least twice daily. Ideally, this should be after the first meal and before you go to bed. You can choose to brush after every meal, but ensure that you don’t exceed three times in a single day, as this can damage your gums.
When brushing your teeth, be as thorough as possible. Hold your toothbrush at an angle such that its bristles are between the gum and the teeth. Then, do tiny circular movements. Repeat this on both sides of your teeth, and more importantly, remember to brush your tongue.
Flossing helps remove food particles stuck in between your teeth, where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. These particles usually turn into plaque and can cause cavities if left unremoved. Ensure that you floss your teeth at least once daily.
Watch Your Diet
What you eat has a significant impact on your oral health. Sugary foods are known to cause tooth decay. For this reason, it is wise to train your teen to avoid candy, sodas, and other sugary stuff. Also, encourage them to brush their teeth after they have eaten chips, ice cream, pretzels, and other snacks.
Alternatively, stack your refrigerator with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables instead of junk food. Besides improving overall well-being, some veggies like carrots can strengthen your teen’s teeth.
Drink a lot of water
Drinking water after taking sugary foods and drinks helps to rinse your mouth and reduces the risk of cavities. What’s more, water keeps you hydrated and improves your health.
Avoid drinking energy and sports drinks, as they increase the risk of enamel loss if used excessively. Also, limit the amount of coffee you drink because too much can cause tooth staining.
Due to peer pressure and other factors, many people start smoking in their teen years. Whatever the motivation, smoking is harmful to your oral and overall health.
Using tobacco products causes tooth discolouration and bad breath. It also increases the risk of gum disease, mouth cancer, and tooth loss.
If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you are already using it, be honest with your dentist and follow their advice on preventing the conditions mentioned above.
Avoid Oral Piercings
Like smoking, oral piercings are often a result of the desire to fit in with your peers. Although they look ‘cool,’ they can have severe implications for your oral health.
Oral piercings increase the risk of chipping your teeth when chewing, eating, sleeping, or talking. They can also damage your gums and cause tooth fractures. Therefore, it’s wise if you avoid them altogether.
There’s always a risk of losing or hurting your teeth when playing contact sports, such as hockey, football, and rugby. You can lower this risk significantly by wearing a mouthguard whenever you hit the field.
While mouthguards tend to be uncomfortable, especially to first-time users, they make up for it by protecting your teeth.
Check Out Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth usually emerge during teen years. They tend to be painful because there’s no room for them to grow. If the pain persists, visit your dentist for further assistance. In most cases, the doctor removes these teeth.
The best way to ensure your teen takes care of their teeth is by emphasising the importance of having a fresh breath and a sparkling smile. If that isn’t enough, tell them how having stained teeth (or none at all) can adversely affect their social life and cost a lot of money to treat.