Preteens are ages 10 to 12. About half of their teeth are baby teeth, and half are adult teeth. A 10-year-old preteen will usually lose the rest of their baby teeth and get all new adult teeth by age 12 or 13. Preteens are going through many changes, which means that their dental care might need to change too. Below are some things that preteens should keep in mind as they take care of their new adult teeth:
As preteens get more adult teeth, their mouth can get crowded and teeth can become crooked. If this happens, your preteen might need to see an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a special kind of dentist that straightens teeth with braces. Orthodontists also fix other problems caused by an uneven bite.
Eating for Healthy Teeth
Sugary snacks, sodas, and starchy foods like crackers and chips make acid in the mouth. This acid eats away at the teeth and causes cavities. Parents can’t always keep their preteen from eating junk food, but they can make sure there is healthy food to eat at home! Tooth-friendly snacks include crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots.
Protect Your Preteen’s Teeth
If your preteen plays sports, they should use a mouthguard to protect their teeth. Once you lose an adult tooth, you can’t get it back, so make sure your teen plays it safe!
Brush and Floss Daily
Preteens might forget to brush and floss, so parents should remind them. A good way to make sure your preteen is brushing and flossing is to do it with them. Also, put some dental floss in their bookbag to use at school after lunch.
See the Dentist Twice Per Year
Your preteen should see the dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning. During the exam, the dentist can find and fix cavities. Cleanings will get teeth extra clean, making it harder for cavities to grow in the first place. If it has been more than six months since your preteen has seen the dentist, make an appointment today!
Preteens will soon have all adult teeth. These teeth will be with them for the rest of their lives, so it is super important to take care of them now. Here’s to growing up, and a lifetime of healthy smiles!