Teenagers and adolescents, defined broadly as youths between the ages of 10 to 18, have distinctive needs when it comes to their dental care. This group has been shown to be at an increased risk for cavities and periodontal disease, tends to have poor nutritional habits and has an increased awareness in their aesthetic appearance.
Teenagers and their parents often lead busy lives and taking care of their teeth may not be a high priority for your teen. Adolescents are mature enough to do most self-care on their own, which means parents may not be aware of oral care habits. As a result, we see cavities in teenagers more than you may think. What can parents do to help ensure healthy and beautiful smiles?
Keep up with your teenagers’ dental care
There’s no need for parents to supervise their child’s dental care, but a quick reminder goes a long way with teens. Check in with your children occasionally. Ask if they are brushing and flossing regularly.
Limit cavity-causing food and drinks
It’s difficult for parents to control what teenagers eat and drink because they are often in different places. What they can do, however, is make an effort to limit sticky and sugary snacks and foods inside the house. Limiting availability of gummy candy, sodas, and sports drinks will (hopefully!) lead teens to select healthier options when at home. Stock up on fresh fruits, nuts, and other healthy snacks. Research shows that calcium-rich snacks such as cheese and greek yogurt are some of the healthiest snacks for your child’s oral health.
Keep a variety of oral care products available at home
Keep an eye on your home supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss so your teen has what they need, when they need it.
Schedule regular dental visits
All family members, including teenagers, should have a dental check-up and cleaning twice per year. In addition, many teens should be seeing an orthodontist to ensure proper alignment.
An attractive and healthy smile is important to your teen when meeting people and making friends. And it can boost their confidence and help them feel good about themselves. Capital City Pediatric Dentistry sees children of all ages, including teenagers. Our offices are taking all safety precautions during this time to keep our patients and staff safe. To make an appointment, contact us today.
Source: AAPD, Oral Health Foundation