A Healthier Smile for 2023

Children are highly impressionable at a young age

Going into a new year is always a good time to find new reasons to smile. However, it is also the perfect time to revisit a few tips for adolescence and oral care. The age between 12 and 17 brings about so many physical changes, including in terms of oral health. Take a look at a few important pointers to keep in mind as a parent of a growing teen. 

Cavities Are Still a Concern During Adolescence 

While dental caries is usually thought to primarily affect younger children, older children can still be at risk of cavities. In some cases, teens and young adults can actually be more vulnerable because of more control over dietary intake than as a child. For example, a teen may spend more time out of the house where they consume a lot of candy or soft drinks. Therefore, it is always important to maintain oral hygiene practices at home and visit the dentist periodically for check-ups and cleanings. 

Rapid Growth Can Change Jaw Positioning 

One reason children don’t usually get braces or other orthodontic treatments until adolescence is the fact that the jaw shape changes drastically during rapid periods of growth during adolescence. During the time frame, the dentist will be able to determine if problems like malocclusion (misaligned bite), impacted wisdom teeth, or other issues need to be addressed. With this in mind, it is highly important to make sure your teen gets the proper evaluations, so issues can be addressed before adulthood.

Oral Health Habits Are More Firmly Established During Adolescence 

Children are highly impressionable at a young age. This is why it is important for parents to follow good oral health routines early on. However, the habits established during adolescence are more likely to follow the child into adulthood. For example, if a teen stops flossing as they should or avoids the dentist, and a parent does not intervene, those same tendencies may remain when the child becomes an adult. Therefore, it is ever-important to remain vigilant about encouraging good oral health habits even with older children. 

Schedule a Dental Appointment for Your Adolescent 

As the New Year’s festivities come to a close and those resolutions are made, be sure to schedule your child for a checkup, hygiene appointment, or otherwise, so they have a healthy smile to share for the year ahead. Reach out to the team to pick an appointment date that works for you.