No one wants to be embarrassed by gross teeth or bad breath – that's why excellent oral hygiene habits are so important! With proper brushing and flossing, you'll be able to joke, laugh and talk with your friends without feeling self-conscious!
We want to eliminate some common myths about dental health. Check it out:
- MYTH #1 – Once you're a teenager, you've outgrown cavities.
Actually, anyone at any age can get a cavity, so be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
- MYTH #2 – Periodontal (gum) disease only affects elderly people.
False! Gum disease ranges from mild (gingivitis), to moderate, to severe (periodontitis). It causes receding gums, exposed tooth roots that are sensitive to heat and cold, inflamed gums and sometimes bleeding gums.
- MYTH #3 – Except your wisdom teeth, you will keep all your permanent teeth.
Depending on your bite pattern, jaw alignment and allotted space for your teeth, this may not be true. As you grow, these features will change and an orthodontic evaluation will determine whether or not you need to have any permanent teeth pulled or if you'll need orthodontic treatment.
Tips on How to Maintain a Healthy, Beautiful Smile
Your daily home care regimen is the most important part of your dental health. Here are some guidelines to help you keep that dazzling smile!
- Be conscious of your food choices! As a teen, you're busy with school and extracurricular activities. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limit your intake of junk food, fast food and sugary foods like candy.
- Always brush and floss! These daily habits are the best way to prevent tooth decay. Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day to reach the spaces your toothbrush can't.
- Stay on track with your regular dental appointments! Annual teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants will help you keep tooth decay and gum disease away.
- Just say, “No!” to smoking and chewing tobacco! Everything you've heard about tobacco is true – it causes a number of health problems, and it's nasty! And did you know tobacco can cause oral cancer? Not cool.
- If you play sports, always wear a mouthguard to protect your pearly whites! We can make you a custom mouthguard that will fit much better than one bought at a sports store.
Since hopefully you've been seeing your pediatric dentist since you were young, we hope you will feel comfortable to talk to us about your smile. We can help correct a number of things you might not like about your teeth – discoloration, gaps or crowding. We can also evaluate the remaining space in your mouth to see if your wisdom teeth will have room to erupt. Please feel free to discuss any concerns you have about your oral health!