Oral health

Want to avoid cavities? Brushing twice a day with toothpaste and limiting sugary snacks and drinks is how you do it!

It is very important for you to take care of your teeth. Good adolescent oral health can prevent a variety of dental issues developing in the future.

Hormonal changes related to puberty can put teens at greater risk for getting periodontal disease. During puberty, an increased level of hormones cause increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in sensitivity of the gums and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.

Brushing and cleaning your teeth

Want to avoid cavities? Brushing twice a day with toothpaste and limiting sugary snacks and drinks is how you do it. It’s simple but sometimes life gets busy and you might be tempted to skip it. Don’t! A bright smile makes you feel good inside and out. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, too.

For more information on keeping your mouth healthy click here.

Some dental issues that may concern you during the adolescent years

Braces

If you have a bad bite or your teeth are crooked or out of alignment, you may benefit from braces. Braces can help improve your smile and make your teeth straighter. They can also improve your dental health and overall health because untreated orthodontic problems can make it hard to bite and chew and can interfere with eating.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars are the last teeth to come in during young adulthood. Most people have most of their permanent teeth by age 13. Your wisdom teeth should come into your mouth between the ages of 17-21. Sometimes they do not have enough room to come in normally or are in the wrong position to come straight up. When that happens, your dentist may refer to them as impacted and they may have to be removed. Your dentist or Orthodontist may also recommend removing your wisdom teeth to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of getting braces, treating gums or other dental procedures.

Smoking

You know smoking is bad for you in general, so it should be no surprise that all forms of tobacco are also harmful to your oral health. For one, they can cause bad breath, but other potential problems include:

  • stained teeth and tongue
  • dulled sense of taste and smell
  • slow healing after a tooth extraction or oral surgery
  • difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
  • gum disease and tooth loss
  • oral cancer

Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these and other tobacco-related health problems. For information, advice and support visit: https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree

Oral piercings

If you pierce your tongue, lips, cheeks or uvula (the tiny tissue that hangs at the back of the throat,) it can interfere with speech, chewing or swallowing. It may also cause:

  • Infection, pain and swelling.
  • Damage to gums, teeth and fillings.
  • Hypersensitivity to metals.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Dental appointment difficulties.

If you already have piercings: contact your dentist or GP immediately if you have any signs of infection – swelling, pain, fever, chills, shaking or a red-streaked appearance around the site of the piercing.

  • Keep the piercing site clean and free of any food matter.
  • Try to avoid clicking the jewelry against teeth and avoid stress on the piercing.
  • Check the tightness of your jewelry regularly to make sure it doesn’t become dislodged.
  • When taking part in sports, remove the jewelry and protect your mouth with a mouthguard.
  • See your dentist regularly, and remember to brush twice a day and floss daily.

Of course, the best option is to consider removing mouth jewelry before it causes a problem. Don’t pierce on a whim. The piercing will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep. Talk to your dentist for more information.

Eating disorders

Eating disorders arise from a variety of complex physical, emotional and social issues. They can also be devastating to your oral health without the proper nutrition, gums and other soft tissue inside the mouth may bleed easily. The glands that produce saliva may swell and individuals may experience chronic dry mouth. Throwing up frequently can affect teeth too. That’s because when strong stomach acid repeatedly flows over teeth, the tooth’s enamel can be lost to the point that the teeth change in color, shape and length. The edges of teeth become thin and break off easily. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to seek support from your GP.

Bad breath

Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, happens to everyone at some point in their lives. Please watch the following film for advice and tips on preventing and treating bad breath:

For more information about Oral Health please visit:

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/teens

https://www.dentalhealth.org/