The importance of teen oral health care
We can all remember being the same - never quite believing that our skin will go crepey and wrinkly from sun exposure and that our teeth will go yellow and rot if we don't care for them. Our teens are no different - but that doesn't mean we can stop trying to educate them.
Here are some of the things teens do that will affect their oral health;
- Use teeth as tools - teeth are not designed for prying open knots, opening drinks and bags of chips, or cutting string. Chipped, weakened or even broken teeth can result.
- Crunching - Chewing things like ice or popcorn kernels seem harmless enough but this can actually cause teeth to fracture or get microscopic cracks in the enamel.
- Scrubbing - teeth and gums do not like to be scrubbed. A more gentle technique is required.
- Not brushing - teens get tired and falling straight in to bed seems like a good idea, as does sleeping in until the last minute. Neither of these habits include regular tooth brushing.
- Tongue piercing - the presence of jewellery in the mouth can cause chipped teeth and damaged enamel. It can also damage the gums.
- Sugary drinks - fizzy drinks are sadly cheaper than water. Sports drinks are highly prized amongst teens as are energy drinks. RTD's (ready-to-drink alcopops) are popular amongst teens too. All are laden with sugar which is a primary agent of tooth decay.
- Snacking - teens are hungry - and hence they like to snack. However snacking means your teeth are exposed to more decay and plaque enhancing food.Snacks such as carrots and celery can help clean the teeth.
- Clenching or grinding - the teen years can be full of angst and stress. This can cause small fractures in the teeth and enamel and can cause headaches. Discuss with your Dentist.
- Picking - floss is best to remove food from between teeth, not a knife, a nail, a pin or even toothpicks.
- Kissing - well actually this one turns out to be good for teeth as it increases saliva production!
Did you do any of these things ? If so, did you damage your teeth ?