As your children become high schoolers, they grow to be more independent and want more privacy and time away from the family. Creating a healthy balance of your teen having their own life while continuing to maintain your family values can be challenging. You can’t be everywhere with your teen at all times or always trust them to be completely honest about what’s going on in their lives, but sometimes your teen’s teeth can be a warning sign that things are going awry. Dr. Memmott and Texas Dental Group can help you read the signs.
What’s Common For Your Family Dentist To See In Your Teen
It’s normal for your teen’s mouth to go through quite a few changes in the years between childhood and adulthood. As a parent, you want to make sure you keep up with dental exams and cleanings and maintain a close relationship with a family dentist who can answer any questions that might come up. One or more of the needs below might have you bringing your teen to see us at Texas Dental Group:
- Teeth that have come in every which way and need to be moved into correct position with braces. We offer Invisalign, so your teen can get treatment without embarrassment.
- Pain and swelling caused by wisdom teeth. These teeth tend to become a nuisance when your child is 17-21 years of age. We can remove them for your teen if needed.
- Sometimes parents ask us to apply sealants to their teens’ teeth to add an additional layer of protection against sugary soft drinks that can damage the enamel of their teeth or too-frequent trips to coffee shops for overly sweet lattes.
- Even with regular dental cleanings and exams, your teen could be insecure about the natural color of their teeth and want a whitening treatment leading up to a milestone photo occasion like prom, senior yearbook photos, or graduation. We offer whitening treatments for older teens and adults.
- Body odors become more prevalent during the teen years and your teen should make personal hygiene a priority. If your teen suffers from halitosis, or what’s commonly referred to as bad breath, it could lead to teasing at school and shunning. Bring your teen in to get advice on oral hygiene and cross any concerns of underlying health issues off the list.
- Field hockey, football, soccer, basketball, even track and field can all put your teen’s teeth in the path of danger. To protect their teeth from trips, falls, teeth grinding, and sudden impact, get them fitted for an athletic mouthguard at our office.
- Teens are accident prone. If your teen suffers a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to call us right away. Every minute could be the difference between saving a tooth and losing one.
What’s Uncommon For Your Family Dentist To See In Your Teen
Your teen is spending a lot of time holed up in their room. They aren’t talking as much at family dinners, and you’ve noticed that when you do see them smile, their smile isn’t as vibrant as it used to be. Your teen’s teeth could be trying to tell you something. There are many things your child can get into in high school that can damage their teeth.
- You may have said no to piercings, but if your child sneaks off and gets one anyway, should you demand they remove it? Oral piercings such as lip and tongue rings bring increased risk of infection to your teen’s mouth, and your teen could crack a tooth on their jewelry.
- It might shock you to learn that most smokers start at 13, and the vast majority of smokers pick up the habit before the age of 18. Not only does smoking increase your child’s risk of various cancers, but it also can take their teeth from a healthy white to a dingy yellow. Smokers have increased harmful bacteria in their mouths, which can lead to bad breath and gum disease. If you suspect your teen is smoking, it’s important you get them to quit.
- Even more severe than smoking is meth use, which can lead to “meth mouth.” Schools circulate photos of meth mouth to keep kids from using meth, but don’t leave all the work up to your school. Talk to your child about the importance of saying no to drugs. If your child becomes a meth user, their teeth could crumble right out of their mouth. If you suspect your child is using drugs, get them help right away.
- Eating disorders are hard on your teen’s developing body and can affect their teeth in several ways. When your teen isn’t getting three healthy meals a day, their gums and teeth can suffer from the lack of nutrients and become highly susceptible to bleeding. Teeth were never intended to withstand the effects of stomach acid. If your teen is forcing their meals back up, stomach acid can ruin their tooth enamel and thin their teeth. Teeth damaged by stomach acid can change in shape and chip or break easily. Teeth also become more susceptible to tooth decay and are often discolored.
As your family dentist, we care about the health and well-being of your family. If think your teen’s teeth are trying to tell you something, schedule them an appointment with us by calling 832-791-1706.