What Teens Should Know About Protecting Their Dental Health

Teens have unique oral health concerns, and they need to maintain a regular schedule of checkups with their dentist in Manhattan or Riverdale, NY to ensure that they are taking all of the appropriate steps to protect their smiles. Here is the information teens—and their parents—need to know about dental health in adolescence. teen - teeth

The time to address orthodontic issues is now.

Although some people get braces at an even younger age today, most people who get orthodontic treatment do so during their teen years. If your dentist has recommended that you get orthodontic care for spacing issues or misalignments, the time to do it is now. When you are getting orthodontic treatment, whether you wear braces or Invisalign aligners, see your dentist regularly for checkups and to get advice about maintaining good oral health. Sometimes, people with braces don’t brush and floss as effectively as they did before, and they end up with gum disease or discolorations.

Bad habits can lead to bad oral health.

Often, teens experiment with bad habits that could have a negative impact on their oral health. Smoking leads to tooth discoloration and gum disease, and it can increase your chances of getting oral cancer. Eating disorders can affect your teeth in many ways, including exposing them to high levels of acids that strip away your enamel and leave you vulnerable to decay. Your dentist may also frown on oral piercings. Piercings can lead to chipped teeth and bacterial infections that could affect not just your oral health but your systemic health as well.

You may need your wisdom teeth out.

You don’t need your wisdom teeth, so your dentist may recommend having them removed during your teens. Even if they aren’t causing you any problems, leaving them in sets you up for issues in the future, including pain, infections, and damage to the neighboring teeth. Wisdom teeth extraction is usually worse during adulthood, so most dentists recommend having it done during your teens.