Cavities: According to the CDC, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting 25% of children ages 6 to 11 and 59% of adolescents aged 12 to 19. The sugary drinks and starchy snack foods that preteens love to eat can feed cavity-causing bacteria, and the acids from soda can cause permanent damage to tooth enamel.
Tooth Grinding: Often, children who grind their teeth will naturally stop doing so around age 12. If tooth grinding continues, talk to your dentist. Your preteen can be fitted with a special kind of night guard that will prevent their permanent teeth from being worn down.
Orthodontics: Almost half of preteens are in need of some kind of orthodontic treatment. Many orthodontic treatments begin in the later preteen years, when most of the adult teeth have come in. Your child should have their first orthodontic examination around 7 years of age, but many orthodontic treatments usually do not start until the preteen years, including braces.
Tooth Safety: Many preteens are beginning to get involved in sports. Using athletic mouth guards to protect the teeth and gums is extremely important during this time.
Preteens are at an important stage in their oral health. Because their new adult teeth will be with them for the rest of their lives, it is more important than ever to keep those pearly whites healthy and cavity free. The best way you can look after your preteen’s dental health is to bring them to the dentist on a regular basis.