Adolescent/Teen (12 – 18 Years)

How can my adolescent child prevent dental problems?

Dental caries are most common in teenagers who frequently drink soft drinks and sports drinks. While sports drinks work well for athletes who need to hydrate, they are also full of sugar and acid that promote tooth decay. Frequent use of sports drinks or soft drinks promotes tooth decay. A better alternative would be plain water in between meals.

Are sealants good for a teenager’s teeth?

Yes, sealants are a very effective preventive measure that helps reduce development of caries on the back molars by approximately 70%. They are placed on the decay prone areas of the back molars on the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

What should I do if my teenager grinds their teeth?

Teeth grinding is a serious issue, especially in teenagers and young adults. You should bring this issue up to the dentist because grinding can lead to problems with the TMJ later on. The stress can cause pain and soreness. In order to remedy the situation, your dentist may prescribe a special mouth guard. This guard should help alleviate the symptoms above.

Should my teenager wear a mouth guard for sports?

We highly recommend mouth guards for all kids that play any type of contact sports including football, hockey and soccer. Mouth guards do more than prevent just tooth injuries. They are also effective in reducing concussions and more severe brain injuries. There are many options such as over the counter mouth guards as well as custom mouth guards.

Is it safe for my teenager to chew gum?

Yes. Sugarfree gum is actually helpful because it helps stimulate a constant salivary flow which naturally cleans teeth. Just make sure it is sugar free!

What can my teenager do about bad breath?

Bad breath is a concern for most teenagers. Good oral hygiene practices which including regular brushing and flossing will help with this. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well. Plaque can coat the surface of the tongue and contribute to bad breath. Beyond good oral hygiene practices, if bad breath still persists, consult with your doctor to rule out any underlying issues. Asthma, sinus and throat infections can also contribute to bad breath and is known as secondary halitosis.

Wisdom Teeth

If your teen’s teeth come in crooked and/or impacted, your dentist may recommend that you have your teen’s wisdom teeth pulled (extracted). The reasoning probably is this: it’s far easier to pull wisdom teeth, with a reduced risk of complications, when a person is younger (under 25). Pain, infection, and orthodontic concerns will ultimately determine when the teeth need to be removed. After reviewing a Panoramic x-ray, Dr. Landa will discuss the prognosis for your child’s Wisdom teeth (3rd molars).

Transition to General (Adult) Dentist

Pediatrics is not only a specialty defined by age, but it is also limited by the dental needs of the patient. If your child requires a procedure that falls outside of the scope of Pediatrics (deep cleaning, permanent tooth crown, root canal, etc.) then our office will provide you with a referral to another provider.

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