Teenagers and oral health

  • Essential help for teens to preserve their smiles

  • Dental issues every teenager should understand

  • Same-day appointments for professional teeth cleaning

An image-conscious world can be both a blessing and bane – especially when it comes to teenagers.

Keeping up with fashion trends can be a weekly drain on parental funds as the latest labels in vogue are purchased, while needs to look good can help save money spent on dentistry.

In this blog, we focus on teenagers and oral health.

Establishing good teeth cleaning habits in childhood and carrying them through to teen years is the best way for emerging adults to enjoy a beautiful smile and healthy teeth.

Teenagers and oral health

Teenagers and oral health

Tips for teenagers on preserving your smile

Whether or not you wear braces or other orthodontic treatment trays, it is essential to:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque. Plaque is the leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gumline. If plaque is not removed daily, it can harden into tartar-an unsightly, hard yellow build-up.
  • Limit sugary or starchy foods, especially sticky snacks.
  • Visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

In addition to helping teeth last a lifetime, a clean mouth and fresh breath are relationship essential.

teenager brushing teeth.

Special dental issues teenagers should understand

A quick look over our patient records at North Street Dental and Implant Clinic, and you’ll soon realise oral problems can and do occur during the teen years. Becoming better informed about issues that affect oral health could make it easier to make the best decisions.

Let’s take a look at the most common challenges:

Orthodontics: Many pre-teens and teens require braces to fix crowded or crooked teeth and poor jaw alignment.

Teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, stand a better chance of being lost early, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles.

An orthodontic evaluation will determine if you need braces, and what type of treatment is right for you. If you wear braces, extra care should be taken to clean your teeth properly.

We now offer Invisalign teeth straightening therapy where the aligners are nearly invisible and can be removed by the patient for cleaning and special occasions. Really popular and great results!

Mouth guards: If you play sports, mouth guards are critical to protecting your smile. These devices typically cover the upper teeth and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to your mouth.

If you wear braces or other fixed dental appliances (such as a bridge) on your lower jaw, we’d suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.

Invisalign Go

Nutrition: Here’s one for students . . . Nutrition plays a crucial role in your dental health.

The sugars and starches in many snack foods and drinks support the formation of plaque, which destroys tooth enamel. Limit the number of snacks you eat.

Remember that when you have foods and drinks that contain sugars or starches, your teeth are attacked by acids for 20 minutes or more.

Eating a well-balanced diet can make a big difference in your dental health. For snacks, choose nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yoghurt or fruit.

Smoking: Sadly, teens still do it. If you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, don’t start. In addition to other health problems, smoking can stain your teeth and gums, stain the tartar build-up on your teeth and contribute to bad breath.

In the long run, chewing tobacco, smoking cigarettes and cigars all increase your risk of developing oral cancer and gum disease. If you do use tobacco, make sure you attend your check-ups so we can keep an eye on your mouth.

stop smoking

Oral piercing: Despite its popularity, the oral piercing can cause complications such as infections, uncontrollable bleeding and nerve damage. You can also choke on studs, barbells, or hoops that come loose, and the metal jewellery can also chip or crack teeth and damage your gums.

Eating disorders: Both bulimia (binge-eating and vomiting) and anorexia (an undue fear of gaining weight often resulting in vomiting) are serious disorders and also directly affect the appearance of teeth by eroding the tooth enamel. While we can treat the dissolved tooth enamel, we cannot treat the actual eating disorder – a potentially life-threatening condition that requires addressing psychological issues. Should you have an eating disorder – or think you might – talk to your GP.

How can I help get my teeth white? Thorough cleanings by our hygiene therapist, Sophie, will help remove most external staining caused by food and tobacco. Using a whitening toothpaste can also help remove these surface stains between dental visits.

If stains have been present for years, you may need to have your teeth professionally whitened to remove these more stubborn external stains.

Internal stains can be bleached, or teeth can be crowned or fitted with veneers.

If you wish, under changes in the regulations that govern us, you can now get a direct access appointment with our hygienist. Just call and usually we can get you a same-day appointment at our Dudley dental clinic.