Let’s face it; teens today are busy, social and active. School work, sports, after school jobs, chores and more consume a teenager’s day, along with keeping up with social media. Most kids know that their smile is the first thing people notice about them, but they may not know important tips to keep their smile looking its best.
First things first, cavities are not just for little kids. Teens need to realize that now more than ever brushing and flossing is important. Remember to use fluoride toothpaste when brushing. Most teens have all or most of their permanent teeth at this time so neglecting to brush or floss can have lifelong negative consequences. Teens in general consume large amounts of sports drinks, sodas and sugary foods which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Make it a practice to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Drinking water throughout the day is the best thing your teen can do if they insist on eating and drinking the sweet stuff. Active teens should always wear a mouth guard when participating is sports and physical activities. It’s not worth losing a tooth or several teeth over a hard hit or sporting accident. Mouth guards or mouth protectors will cushion a blow or hit to the face and minimize the risk of breaking or losing teeth. In addition to protecting your teeth, they also help protect the tongue. Mouth guards should be considered an essential part of athletic gear in all sports.
It’s important to note that braces do more than just straighten teeth. If you have a crooked smile, getting braces will not only fix your smile, but braces can fix bad or misaligned bites. Bad breath is a common problem for many teens. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each brushing is the best way to avoid bad breath. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, stinky bacteria builds up on the tongue causing foul odor.
The American Dental Association recommends that teens do not smoke or pierce any part of their mouth including lips and or the tongue. Ask your dentist about teeth whitening if you would like to give your pearly whites a little boost in brightness. Whitening is safe for teens that have their adult teeth. It is also recommended that teens maintain regular dental visits for optimal dental health.