If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, this article is for you. Today’s post discusses dental issues of special concern to adolescents. Dental risk factors for Addison teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related issues.
At The Addison Dentist, we see cavities and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes and complicating factors include insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, malocclusion (misaligned bite), smoking, hormonal changes, tooth grinding, mouth breathing, and side effects of medications.
As children become more independent, some get lax about brushing and flossing. In addition, some teens’ diets become worse when they have more freedom to choose what to eat. Few parents let their four year-old drink an energy drink, but they are consumed frequently by Addison adolescents – presumably without their parents’ knowledge.
Malocclusion can make proper brushing and flossing challenging, leaving even vigilant brushers with decay from food particles that are almost impossible to remove. Malocclusion can also trigger TMD (Temporomandibular disorder). If you suspect that your teen’s bite is not aligned properly, or if your teen hears a clicking sound in their jaw joint, call The Addison Dentist at 469-998-2515 to schedule an exam.
In spite of numerous Texas public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many adolescents take up the harmful habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.
Addison parents of adolescents are well aware that puberty has a significant impact on physical and emotional health. Puberty causes all sorts of changes in the body, and the mouth is no exception. Increased hormone levels (especially in females) can cause the body to react to a very small amount of plaque, triggering inflammation of gum tissue and increased risk of the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Your dentist can counsel you if more frequent professional cleanings are necessary to preserve gum health.
If you visit any soccer field or basketball court in Texas, you will see that many young athletes fail to protect their teeth. If your adolescent participates in a contact sport, meet with us about custom athletic mouthguards.
One of the teen dental issues that impacts most young men and women is wisdom teeth. It’s best to start monitoring your teen’s wisdom teeth early so they can be treated before they cause problems with the jaw or surrounding teeth. And you certainly don’t want to send your high-school grad to an out-of-state college without addressing his or her third molars. If problems arise, your youth won’t be near their regular dentist, will probably miss class, and will either need to come home or use an out-of-network dentist or oral surgeon. If you don’t have a family dentist, Maricarmen Ramirez, DMD of The Addison Dentist can examine your teen and evaluate X-rays to advise you on the best course of action for his or her wisdom teeth.
This article is by no means exhaustive on the subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.
If you are looking for a family dentist in the Addison area, I invite you to schedule an appointment at The Addison Dentist by calling 469-998-2515. We have been providing exceptional dental care to Addison families since 2005. For more details about teen dental health or sedation dentistry, Invisalign, or teeth whitening, call today.
Maricarmen Ramirez, DMD
The Addison Dentist
4145 Belt Line Rd Ste 208
Addison, Texas 75001