If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, today’s Expressions Dental Care post is for you. Today’s post discusses dental issues of special concern to adolescents. Dental risks for Reston teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related factors.
At Expressions Dental Care, we see tooth decay and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes and complicating factors include insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, malocclusion (misaligned bite), smoking, hormonal changes, teeth grinding (bruxism), mouth breathing, eating disorders, and side effects of medications.
As children become more independent, some get lax about brushing and flossing. Moreover, some teens’ diets become worse when they have more freedom to choose what to eat. Few parents let their four year-old drink an energy drink, but they are consumed frequently by Reston youth – presumably without their parents’ knowledge.
Malocclusion can make proper brushing and flossing problematic, leaving even vigilant brushers with decay from food particles that are almost impossible to remove. Malocclusion can also trigger TMD (Temporomandibular disorder). If you suspect that your teen’s bite is not aligned properly, or if your teen sees a clicking sound in the jaw joint, call Expressions Dental Care at 703-757-6453 to schedule an exam.
In spite of numerous Virginia public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many teenagers take up the detrimental habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.
Reston parents of teenagers are well aware that puberty has a significant impact on physical and emotional health. Puberty causes all sorts of changes in the body, and the mouth is no exception. Increased hormone levels (especially in females) can cause the body to react to a very small amount of plaque, triggering inflammation of gum tissue and increased risk of the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Your dentist can advise you if more frequent professional cleanings are needed to preserve gum health.
If you visit any soccer field or basketball court in Virginia, you will see that many young athletes fail to protect their teeth. If your adolescent participates in a contact sport, communicate with us about custom athletic mouthguards.
One of the teen dental issues that impacts most young men and women is wisdom teeth. It’s best to start monitoring your teen’s wisdom teeth early so they can be treated before they cause troubles with the jaw or surrounding teeth. And you certainly don’t want to send your high-school grad to an out-of-state college without addressing his or her third molars. If problems arise, your youth won’t be near their regular dentist, will probably miss class, and will either need to come home or use an out-of-network dentist or oral surgeon. If you don’t have a family dentist, Dr. John Han of Expressions Dental Care can examine your teen and evaluate X-rays to advise you on the best course of action for his or her wisdom teeth.
This article is by no means exhaustive on the essential subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.
If you are looking for a family dentist in the Reston area, I invite you to schedule an appointment at Expressions Dental Care by calling 703-757-6453. We have been providing unmatched dental care to Reston families since 2015. For more information about teen dental health or cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, or sleep apnea/snoring treatment, call today.
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