4 Things Every Parent Should Know About Their Teen’s Oral Health

Aug 01, 2023
4 Things Every Parent Should Know About Their Teen’s Oral Health
As your teen transitions from childhood to adulthood, you might be concerned about a myriad of things, from bad breath to braces. We fill you in on what you need to know about your teen’s oral health here.

By the time your child turns 12 and starts their adolescent years, they should have lost all of their baby teeth and gotten most or alll of their permanent teeth. In order to ensure that their new adult teeth stay healthy, it’s important that you know how to encourage your teen to take care of them.

At First Dental Associates in Reading, Massachusetts, our team, led by Nasrin Sadeghi, DMD, and Medha Singh, DMD, BDS, MS, want to tell you everything you need to know about your teen’s oral health. 

1. Oral hygiene matters

Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your teen’s oral health is to remind them that their oral hygiene matters. Even when their schedule is jam-packed with activities, there’s always time to care for their smile.

They can take care of their teeth by brushing for two minutes and flossing twice a day. You want to make sure they have a soft-bristled toothbrush and use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride. Your teen also needs to limit snacking between meals — especially snacks with high sugar content.

All of these things can prevent the development of tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis (or bad breath).

2. When to consider braces

As your teen’s permanent teeth come into place, you might notice problems with their bite or that their teeth are crooked or overcrowded. If this is the case, they probably need braces. 

Braces straighten out smiles and give your teen confidence. And, straight teeth increase the effectiveness of brushings and the health of gums.

3. What about wisdom teeth?

Many teens’ wisdom teeth start to come in around the age of 17. However, in many cases, wisdom teeth stay trapped in the gums or jawbone, or the mouth doesn’t have enough room for them. Most of the time, this third row of molars needs to be removed. 

If this is the case, know that recovery from wisdom tooth removal typically takes a week or two and is more intense than a simple tooth extraction.

4. Make time for dental visits

Last, but certainly not least, make the time for your teen to come see us for regular check-ups. Our team can examine your teen’s mouth for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease, along with giving them a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar.

We can also put a protective coat called a sealant over your teen’s teeth in order to seal out bacteria and protect their teeth against cavities.

If you’d like more tips on how to help with your teen’s oral health or to schedule a dental visit for them, you can give us a call at 781-438-1312 or use our online booking tool today.