According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of American teenagers of tooth decay. Teenagers face the highest risk for tooth decay, mouth injuries, and other dental issues due to a multitude of different reasons– hormones, poor eating habits, peer pressure, sports, different priorities, and much more.
– More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness
– Teenagers have an average of .54 missing or decayed permanent teeth
– 59% of teenagers have had tooth decay in their permanent teeth
– 20% of teenagers have untreated tooth decay
– 50% of teenagers suffer at least one traumatic tooth injury by the time they graduate high school
–Basketball, biking, and hockey are the three leading sports that cause dental injuries
These alarming statistics make the teenage years the most prevalent time for managing your child’s oral health. As your teen’s independence grows, it’s common for them to neglect their oral home care while also consuming foods and beverages that are less healthy and higher in sugar.
Preventative visits, that include in-depth cleaning and comprehensive examination, is highly recommended every six months. These visits provide our team with the opportunity to properly coach your teen regarding the importance of oral health. Ivonne Castro Family Dentistry is highly experienced in working with teens, providing positive reinforcement and delivering the foundation for great adulthood oral health.
How to Help Your Teen Protect Their Dental Health
We understand that teenagers have a tendency not to listen– your efforts may seem futile currently, but consistency can really make a huge difference for your teenager’s dental future. Here are some tips that can help protect your teen’s dental health:
– Limiting sugar in your teen’s diet is vital for great dental health and overall health— Sodas, energy drinks, and other sugary beverages are highly popular among teenagers but are so detrimental to health.
– Make sure your teen doesn’t brush their teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming or drinking anything acidic— this can deteriorate their enamel.
– Encouraging brushing every night prior to bedtime is vital— Bacteria tend to flourish while the mouth dries out, creating a perfect opportunity for tooth decay.
– Teenagers love sharing everything— make sure your teen doesn’t share their toothbrush with their friends or significant other. Sharing toothbrushes promote the sharing of gum disease-causing bacteria.
– Encouraging your teen to chew xylitol-based— no sugar gum after meals and making sure they have floss and toothbrushes for every sleepover can really make a difference.
For more information regarding teen’s dentistry or to schedule an appointment for your teen, please contact us!