Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

Two Tips for Parents Who Want to Help Their Teenagers Maintain Excellent Dental Health

When your child reaches their teenage years, it can be more difficult to monitor their dental health and ensure that they don't develop any serious tooth- or gum-related conditions. However, there are still steps that you can take to help your teenager maintain excellent dental health. Read on to find out a bit more about these steps.

Remind them to wash their mouthguard if they wear this device whilst playing contact sports

If your teenager plays any kind of sport that involves direct contact with other participants and their dentist has given them a mouthguard to protect their teeth whilst they play, then it's vital to remind them to wash this dental device after every use. Teenagers can sometimes be quite careless and, as such, can easily forget to carry out this type of small but important hygiene activity. However, this error could have serious repercussions for their dental health.

This is because each time your teenage son or daughter removes their mouthguard after wearing it for a few hours, it will end up covered in bacteria and saliva. If it is not promptly washed, the moistened mouthguard could encourage the germination of these bacterial microbes.

If your teenager then puts on this mouthguard again and they happen to have a small mouth ulcer or a cut on their gum tissue, the bacteria on their mouthguard could be transferred onto this wounded area and could cause them to develop a serious infection that may require them to be prescribed antibiotics by their dentist.

As such, it's important to remind them to sanitise their mouthguard within a few hours of having removed it from their mouth.

Nip cigarette-smoking in the bud by having their family dentist talk to them about the dangers of this activity

It is very common for teenagers to go through a rebellious phase, during which they misbehave and act impulsively. This can lead to them doing things like experimenting with smoking cigarettes.

If you have caught your teenager doing this and are worried about the effect this habit could potentially have on both their dental health and their overall wellbeing, it's worth arranging for your family dentist to speak to them about this issue. When organising this, you may want to ask the dentist to not only explain how smoking can destroy a person's teeth but also to show your teen some photographs of the damaged teeth of long-term smokers.

This is because teenagers often feel invincible and thus won't usually be deterred from smoking by discussions about how this habit can lead to lung cancer and heart disease. They are, however, often quite image-conscious and might, therefore, be more inclined to give up this activity if they understand the havoc it could wreak on their appearance.

If your family dentist explains, in great detail, how smoking can lead to severe, brownish tooth stains and can cause gum disease (and subsequently, tooth loss), your teenager might be willing to consider giving up this particular act of rebellion. This, in turn, should help them to avoid all of the unpleasant health issues associated with smoking.

Call a family dentist today for more information about how they can help.