Posted .

College applications, driver’s license exam, prom, friends, my crush, popularity, summer job, math test, and trying to get this locker open. These are a few concerns that may run through the mind of your average teenager every day. But another concern that should join this list is the health of teeth. Here are a few common oral health concerns that teenagers need to keep in mind.

  1. Skipping out on brushing and flossing is a common habit for busy teens, but this is a big no that can result in tooth decay and gum disease.
  2. Your diet isn’t just important to maintain a healthy weight, but to maintain a healthy smile. Teens on the go should avoid sports drinks, sodas, energy drinks, and sugary snacks if they want healthy teeth.
  3. Adolescents, especially girls, are more susceptible to gum disease because of the hormone changes that occur during puberty. This makes oral hygiene practices even more important for teens.
  4. Smoking tobacco doesn’t just affect the health of the body. Tobacco can dull your sense of taste, stain teeth, and increase your risk for tooth decay.
  5. Keep regular, six month visits with your dentist. They will not only keep an eye on the health of your smile, but on incoming wisdom teeth which may soon require removal.
  6. Oral piercings are a new fad, but this fashion statement can harm the health of your mouth. If you do not want cracked teeth, swelling, and infection, then do not get oral piercings.
  7. Teens interested in having their teeth whitened should not consider this procedure until their permanent teeth are fully grown in (lest they receive a two tone effect).
  8. Don’t be embarrassed by braces, they will help improve the health and appearance of your pearly whites. There are also several options for less visible braces such as those with tooth-colored brackets, clear aligners, or orthodontia that fastens to the back of your teeth.
  9. If you have an eating disorder, then tell your family and contact a physician for help. Eating disorders harm physical and emotional health as well as oral health because the acids from purging can stain and decay teeth.
  10. Protect your smile while playing your favorite sports. Wear a mouthguard to cushion impact forces on your teeth, especially if you have braces.