By age 13, most everyone will have 28 permanent adult teeth. These new adult teeth will need to last for many years to come, and so it is very important to keep them healthy and cavity-free. Here are some common dental concerns that teenagers face:
- · Cavities: From pizza parties to vending machines, teens have chances every day to eat cavity-causing junk food. Add that to the fact that many teens forget to brush and floss, and you have a recipe for tooth decay.
- · Orthodontics: Almost 75% of teens have some kind of orthodontic problem. At least half of teens have some kind of orthodontic hardware, like braces. If you think your teen’s smile is getting a little crooked, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will send your teen to an orthodontist if needed.
- · Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth usually come in between the ages of 17-21, but they can be seen on X-rays as early as age 12. Most of the time, wisdom teeth cause problems and should be taken out. Ask the dentist about your teen’s wisdom teeth at their next appointment.
- · Tooth Safety: 75% of teens are involved in team sports, and injuries to the teeth and gums is common. The use of mouth guards is very important, because once a permanent tooth is knocked out, it is hard to save.
- · Piercings: Some older teens choose to get piercings in their lips or tongue. Piercings can cause chips in the teeth, infections, and can even hurt the gums. They also leave holes behind that might never go away. If your teen wants a piercing, make sure they know the risks first.