If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, this post from Premier Dental Esthetics in Arcadia CA is for you. We’ll discuss dental issues of special concern to adolescents. Dental risks for Arcadia teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related factors.
At Premier Dental Esthetics we see tooth decay and gum disease in teenagers far too often. Possible causes and complicating conditions include insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, malocclusion (misaligned bite), smoking, hormonal changes, tooth grinding, mouth breathing, eating disorders, and side effects of medications.
As children become more independent, some get lax about brushing and flossing. Furthermore, 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 Arcadia teenagers – presumably without their parents’ knowledge.
Malocclusion (crooked teeth) can make proper brushing and flossing problematic, leaving even vigilant brushers with decay from food particles that are almost impossible to remove. Malocclusion can also trigger TMD (Temporomandibular disorder).
In spite of numerous public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many youth take up the habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.
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 result in issues 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 develop, they won’t be near their regular dentist, may miss class, and will either need to come home or use an out-of-network dentist or oral surgeon.
This article is by no means exhaustive on the vital subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.
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