You read and hear a lot about the importance of oral health and hygiene for young children, but proper dental care should be a focus during the teen years as well.

HEALTHY HABITS

A healthy diet and proper nutrition are extremely important to the overall health and wellness of teenagers – and is often overlooked!  Quick meals in the form of “nutrition” bars and fast food help keep you alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs.  However, today’s fast-paced lifestyle of grab-and-go food threatens to leave the teen generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health. Considering keeping toothbrushes and toothpaste in lockers or back packs. If you need, want and can chew gum, choose a sugarless gum with xylitol after meals or snacks to help cleanse your mouth and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

SODA

FACT: A typical 12-ounce can of regular soda contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar.

FACT: The average male in the 12- to-19-year age group drinks the equivalent of 868 cans a year

Should the amount of soda consumed be limited? YES! This goes for everyone, but especially teens, because on average they consume more soda than any other age group.  Not only is sugar harmful to teeth, acidic flavor additives can also erode and damage tooth enamel.  Sipping soda through a straw to help decrease direct contact with your teeth and rinsing your mouth with water after drinking soda can reduce the risk of cavities.

ORAL PIERCINGS

Tongue piercings are not a healthy choice for your mouth.  Chipped teeth and problems eating, sleeping, talking, and chewing are just a few of the issues caused by oral piercings.  A chip or fracture can be confined to tooth enamel and require a filling.  In some cases, a root canal or extraction may be needed. Infections are also common and cause pain, swelling, and can block breathing.  If you are going to choose an oral piercing, be sure to only get pierced in a properly sterilized facility and follow all after-care instructions.

 

 

*Picture Source: Colgate.com