Dental decay is the most common chronic disease in youth between ages 5 and 17, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In September’s column, we highlighted the importance of instilling good oral health habits with kids early on, including seeing a dentist every six months. As kids head into their teens and start to become more independent, there are other dental health considerations that your employees and their families should be aware of:
Tackling sports — Since more than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw happen annually, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard during play. Get a mouthguard custom-fitted by a dentist or buy one off the shelf. Mouthguard care includes frequent rinsing and storage in a ventilated container.
Discouraging oral piercings — Chipped teeth are a common risk from oral piercing. If the fracture from the chip is limited to the tooth enamel, a filling could be required. A deeper fracture could require a root canal or tooth extraction.
Keeping tabs on teeth whitening — Teens are a sizable part of the $600 million teeth whitening market. Teens should consult a dentist before trying teeth whitening, as recommended by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). The AGD advises that teens wait to whiten their teeth until at least age 14, when the tooth’s pulp is fully formed. Then, there will be less sensitivity from the procedure.
Maintaining healthy habits on the go — Busy teens should have nutritious snacks, like apples, carrot sticks or cheese, and low or no-sugar drinks like water, organic tea and coconut water. Having a toothbrush and toothpaste handy will make it easy for them to brush after every meal and snack.
While your teens might feel grownup, it’s helpful to stay vigilant about their dental care.
Visit deltadentalins.com/oral_health for more guidance on dental health and wellness.