Adolescence is a time fraught with changes for your kids. Teenagers come with their own new set of talents and challenges, and they also come with some unique dental health concerns. Here are four reasons to consult with your child’s dentist and keep up regular appointments in their teen years.
1. Wisdom Teeth
You got your children through teething as babies, then losing and growing teeth as kids. By the time they reach adolescence you may think you’re past monitoring new teeth. Then along come the wisdom teeth.
These are the last teeth to come in, generally making their appearance between ages 15 to 25. Because your child already has a mouth full of permanent teeth, lack of room to grow may lead wisdom teeth to become stuck below the surface of the gums, or impacted. Impacted teeth can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and damage to nearby teeth until the problem is corrected, usually with surgery. Regular checkups with x-rays allow your dentist to see problems with wisdom teeth ahead of time and recommend appropriate treatment before complications can occur.
2. Orthodontic Treatment
Once your child’s permanent teeth are in, you can begin to address any problems that orthodontic work may correct. A misaligned bite can affect proper chewing and lead to pain. Crooked teeth might prevent good brushing and flossing, making your child more prone to cavities. A straighter smile might also boost confidence in a time that’s rife with insecurity. Your dentist can determine whether orthodontia would benefit your child and recommend the right course of action.
3. Sports Injuries
Organized sports are a great way for teens to explore interests, develop talents, and socialize. But common sports injuries also pose threats to oral health. Falls, collisions, and impacts with hard surfaces can cause tooth fractures, tooth intrusion, knocked out teeth, or jaw joint dislocation. Luckily, a good mouth guard will protect your child’s teeth and ward off injuries. If your child’s starting a new sport, ask your dentist about sport-specific equipment for their age and activity.
4. Mouth Piercings
The teen years come with plenty of fashion choices as kids look to define and express themselves, and some of these choices may affect their dental well-being. Jewelry in the lip, cheek, or tongue can pose threats to oral health. Your child’s mouth contains billions of bacteria, leaving piercings wide open to infection. The hardware they choose to sport could also lead to cracked or chipped teeth and gum recession. Check in with your dentist for guidance about potential complications with oral piercings.
Protecting Your Kids’ Teeth through the Teenage Years and Beyond
Staying on top of these and any other oral health issues that arise will both protect for your teen’s teeth now, and show them how important dental health is going forward.
Prepare them for success by keeping up with their changing needs. Set up their next appointment by contacting Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today.