If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, this post from Vanguard Dental Group in Derry NH is for you. We discuss dental issues of special concern to adolescents.
Dental risks for teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related factors.
We see decay and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes and complicating circumstances 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 Derry teenagers – presumably without their parents’ knowledge.
In spite of numerous public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many teenagers take up the detrimental habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.
Derry parents of youth 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 required to preserve gum health.
This article is by no means exhaustive on the critical subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.
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