Ensuring Beautiful, Healthy Smiles with Dental Care for Teens
Dental damage can strike at any age, even during the teen years. Teens who do not practice proper dental care are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. Fortunately, there are a variety of restorative dentistry treatments available to repair dental damage and get oral health back on track. However, preventing teen dental damage is preferable and possible with good dental care. Learn more about dental care for teens, including tips and treatments, in this overview from San Diego, CA dentist Peter Hellwig.
Teens Can Protect Their Smiles with Proper Dental Care
Practicing good dental care is one of the best ways for teens to combat oral health issues, helping them to maintain healthy and happy smiles for years to come. Teens should make the following dental care habits a part of their daily routine to protect their oral health and reduce the risk of dental damage.
- Practice good oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene is essential for oral health. Proper brushing and flossing habits can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Teens should brush their teeth for a full two minutes at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugary foods and drinks greatly increase the risk of tooth decay. Soft drinks in particular are dangerous to teen oral health because these are usually high in sugar and acids, both of which lead to enamel erosion and eventually decay. Teens should limit eating and drinking foods high in sugar to protect oral health.
- Wear a mouth guard during sports: Teens who play sports are more vulnerable to dental injuries, like fractured or chipped teeth. Wearing a mouth guard while playing sports can help protect the smile from injuries or accidents.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: Regular dental exams and cleanings are key to protecting oral health and preventing dental damage. Teens should see their dentist at least once every six months for an exam and cleaning.
- Take extra precautions if wearing braces: Teens who are receiving orthodontic treatment need to be extra diligent about their oral health to prevent decay or staining around their braces. Teens with braces should brush their teeth after every meal and avoid chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods, all of which can damage the braces.
Treatments to Improve Teen Smiles
Fortunately, there are many treatments available to address the unique needs of teen patients. Teens may benefit from such treatments as:
- Tooth-colored fillings: Teens who suffer from dental cavities often benefit from tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings are customized to match the surrounding tooth for a seamless finish. Even old metal fillings can be replaced with tooth-colored fillings to restore the appearance of the smile.
- Porcelain veneers: Teens who have suffered minor damage, like a chip or fracture, to the front facing teeth may be suitable candidates for porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped prosthetics that fit over the front of the teeth to mask flaws and prevent further damage.
- Dental crowns: For more severe dental damage, whether from decay or as a result of an injury or accident, dental crowns are generally a good treatment choice. Dental crowns are custom-made, tooth-shaped restorations that surround a damaged tooth, restoring the appearance and structure of damaged teeth.
- Orthodontics: Orthodontic treatment is highly effective at addressing the alignment issues faced by many teens, allowing teens to enjoy the confidence of a beautifully straight smile.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about dental care for teens, or to receive your personalized treatment plan, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hellwig.