Once teenagers develop their full set of permanent teeth, preventative dental care and orthodontics are likely to take precedence in their dental care.
As your teenage child becomes more independent and more responsible for their own oral hygiene routine, it’s important to instill in them the importance of good dental care. At Arkansas Family Dental, we offer family dentistry services for teens in Little Rock that emphasizes the importance of oral hygiene and good nutrition for healthy teeth development.
Caring For Permanent Teeth and Forming Proper Oral Hygiene Habits
By the time they reach their teens, most children have almost all of their permanent adult teeth. Typically, a young teen has about 28 permanent teeth. The last four permanent teeth, known by most as wisdom teeth, erupt between the ages of 18 and 25. In order to prevent significant dental care issues down the line as well as other health care complications, work with your teen to create superior dental hygiene habits.
The care for a teenager’s adult teeth includes brushing at least twice per day to remove plaque, tartar and build-up from the crevices of the teeth. In addition, to remove excess bacteria, floss and scrape the tongue at least once daily.
Creating an Orthodontic Treatment Plan
You may notice that as your child’s adult teeth come in that they are crooked, overlapping, or spaced improperly within their mouth. This is extremely common, and most teen patients will need to have some type of orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatments are specialized dental procedures that improve the cosmetic appearance of the patient’s overall smile and teeth alignment. Braces, retainers, and other appliances can be recommended by a dentist or orthodontist to correct a number of issues:
- Braces are used specifically for straightening teeth and correcting overbites or under bites. This is the most common form of orthodontic treatment.
- Retainers can be used in order to straighten smaller areas of misalignment in some patients as well as maintain the new appearance of teeth after a patient has undergone an oral surgery or orthodontic treatment such as braces.
Understanding Cavities and Preventing Gum Disease in Your Teen
Many teens don’t give much thought to the fact that the dietary choices they make will impact their dental health and general health for the rest of their lives. To prevent tooth decay, cavities, and other dental issues, it’s best if teens minimize sugar intake in the form of soda, candy, and other high-carbohydrate snacks. By making good choices when it comes to meals and snacks and practicing good oral hygiene, teens might be able to prevent the formation of cavities and the need for fillings in the future.
In the event of a cavity, there are several dental filling treatment options available. Amalgam fillings, which are made of several metals, have been used for nearly a century to treat cavities. More commonly used to fill cavities today are composite fillings, which are tooth-colored fillings made of glass or resin. While cavities are not uncommon in children and adults, it is best to start healthy dental habits as soon as possible to avoid the pain and risk of other problems that cavities can cause.
Continue scheduling visits to the dentist at least twice per year in order to have your teenager’s teeth cleaned and examined by the dentist. It is during these visits that your teen’s teeth alignment and wisdom tooth growth can be monitored in case specialized treatment in the form of orthodontics are needed. To keep your teen’s smile healthy, contact Arkansas Family Dental for information about our family dentistry services for teens in Little Rock or call (501) 683-8886.