teens - protect that smile

Once our teens and young adults know how to brush and floss properly and we’ve established regular visits to the dentist as a part of regular health, our job is over, right?  Wrong!  Young people have special needs that are a reflection of the activities they are doing in their lives, the foods they tend to eat and their habits.  Here’s how you can help your not-so-grown-up to protect that healthy smile.

Creating a Problem

Sometimes mouth and tongue piercings can create oral hazards.  Smoking and alcohol are also more prevalent at this age, and can do damage to oral health.  There are many ways that young people can instantly reverse all the good health habits they have built up to this point, so being on the watch for the signs of declining oral health is important.  Now is the time to address any problems that are beginning to develop, such as gingivitis.  This is the time in life when such things can be easily reversed without a procedure.  Sometimes nothing more than a good cleaning is needed.

Protecting Your Teeth

This time of life is full of activity, especially sports, so making sure the mouth and teeth are protected during training is critical.  Any injuries now could lead to fractured teeth, tooth sensitivity or even oral surgery.  Get a guard that fits properly so you will be more inclined to wear it.  The difference can be tremendous.

Fissure Sealants

One of the best investments a young person can make in his or her smile is to have fissure sealants on the teeth.  This will help prevent tooth decay and delay the onset of cavities.  Cavities are always a problem, no matter what one’s age, but at this stage in life, with its fast food, soda and sugary snacks, young people are more likely to experience a buildup of sugars that can lead to cavities.  Particularly active people who drink a lot of sports drinks are also vulnerable to cavities.  Encourage water where possible and continue regular oral hygiene standards.

Good habits such as regular flossing, brushing and trips to the dentist are still important, of course.  Quit smoking!  Limit your alcohol and always wear a mouth guard where there is a risk of oral injury. After all, what you do now will set you up for oral health well into the future.

If you have any questions, concerns, or if you want to make an appointment with one of our dentists in central Arkansas, contact us today at 501-725-0616.

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