How Often Should You Take Your Teenager for Oral Health Checkup
Take Your Teenager for Oral Health Checkup
A regular oral health checkup is a must for people of all age groups: toddlers, teens, adults and seniors. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends dental checkups every six months or as often as your dentist suggests. However, we must understand that each age group has its respective needs which require special attention.
Here are some reasons why teenagers need to visit a dentist more often:
- Frequent snacking: Teenagers are more likely to eat processed foods than any other age group. The sugar contained in soda and energy drinks promote cavities. What is more, soda has acids which damage the teeth enamel, making them prone to an even more rapid decay.
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products: Getting into the habit of smoking or chewing tobacco usually starts in the teenage years. These habits may eventually lead to cavities, gum diseases, receding gum problems, and even oral cancer later on in life.
- Oral Jewelry: Oral piercings and jewelry cause problems like bacterial infections, cracked teeth and receding gums.
- Eating disorders: Eating disorders like Bulimia and Anorexia also tend to develop in the vulnerable stages of adolescence. These problems impact teeth and gums, and even cause tooth loss.
- Sports: Sports, and any physical activity, in general, can make one prone to an injury to the mouth. A dentist can guide and encourage teens to use protective head gear and a mouthguard while playing.
- Other problems: A great smile is a huge asset, and the teenage years can be tough when your teeth are plaque-ridden, crooked, crowded, etc. These problems can have a huge impact on a teenager’s self-esteem.
To prevent these problems, and find solutions to their specific issues, it is important to visit a dentist regularly. A dentist can also guide teenagers on how to maintain good oral health, and will reinforce these tips at every visit.