Glendale, CA dentist discusses common oral care concerns for teens and tips for good oral care
Becoming a teenager is not easy. Not only are teens already concerned about puberty, physical and emotional changes, and peer pressure, but they also worry about their appearance. Braces, having their wisdom teeth removed, and bad breath are common oral care concerns for teens. In Glendale, CA, Dr. Carlos Garcia and the team at Bright Smiles Dental Studio offer quality dental care for the whole family to help your child have healthy teeth and gums, and to minimize their oral concerns.
COMMON ORAL CARE CONCERNS FOR TEENS
Parents often worry about how to care for baby teeth. The worries continue as the baby teeth fall out and the permanent teeth erupt. As children grow and develop, children and adults find themselves faced with various oral health concerns. These common concerns include:
- Bad breath
- Straight, even teeth
- White teeth
- Tobacco use
Teenagers are constantly trying to impress each other. Unfortunately, bad breath affects people of all ages. It can have negative social implications for teens. Often, assessing their oral habits and making a change in oral hygiene can help get rid of bad breath. Something as simple as regularly brushing the tongue can make a big difference; however, if you or your teen notice persistent bad breath even after making changes to the oral hygiene routine, contact your family dentist to determine the cause of the problem.
Having straight, even teeth boosts confidence. Teenagers are already sensitive about their looks. Metal braces can be embarrassing. In some cases, teens may qualify for orthodontic treatment with clear, BPA-free plastic aligner trays. These aligners are created using impressions of the patient’s teeth to ensure a snug, appropriate fit. This orthodontic treatment relies on a series of trays that apply gentle pressure to continuously move the teeth. For self-conscious teenagers, the trays are nearly invisible. So, patients can speak and smile without others knowing about the orthodontic correction.Along with the desire for a straight smile, teens begin to wonder about the ways to whiten or brighten their teeth. A whiter smile is another way to achieve a winning smile and to boost confidence. Although there are several commercially available products, professional teeth whitening by a dentist is the safest, most effective way to transform the smile. Teenagers and adults should seek professional advice before whitening. Dr. Garcia offers Zoom! for dramatic in-office whitening. Custom at-home whitening is also available. Remember that maintaining good oral health habits and having the teeth regularly cleaned by a dental hygienist can help remove simple surface stains for a whiter smile.
Tobacco use is a concern for teenagers and parents. The teen years are often when people are introduced to and start smoking. Peer pressure is one of the common reasons that teenagers start smoking. Tobacco use is detrimental to a patient’s oral and overall health. Not only are cigarettes full of dangerous toxins, but they also cause bad breath, teeth staining, gum disease, and cancer. Talk with your child early and often about the dangers of all tobacco use, not just cigarettes. If you suspect your teen may be smoking, address the problem quickly. Tobacco is addictive. The earlier tobacco use is caught and stopped, the less likely it is to become a nasty habit.
TIPS FOR GOOD ORAL CARE
It is important to get children off on the right foot with oral care. When they are infants and toddlers, establish positive dental health habits. As teens, continue to stress the importance of maintaining a proper oral routine. This helps to prevent larger problems and sets the stage for good lifelong dental health. It also helps minimize some of the common oral care concerns that teens may have. General tips for dental care for teens and adults include the following:
- Brush at least twice daily for two minutes at a time.
- Floss to remove the particles that brushing may have missed.
- Rinse daily with mouthwash or an oral irrigator to cleanse hard-to-reach areas.
- Rinse after meals. It may be difficult to brush after each meal; however, especially for patients with braces, rinsing helps remove food particles that may be stuck around orthodontic appliances. This also helps to prevent bad breath that can occur when braces or aligner trays contain food particles or bacteria.