The teenage years are a pivotal time for establishing good oral hygiene habits and adapting teeth-healthy lifestyle practices. Teens also must be careful to avoid dental problems like cavities and tooth wear due to their diet or habits.
Dr. Wayne Sutton welcomes teenagers and patients of all ages at his Rohnert Park dental practice. He is specially equipped to meet the specific needs of young adults. Here, Dr. Sutton discusses some of the common dental health issues facing today’s teenagers.
Preventing Dental Decay with Proper Nutrition
Teenagers love to consume lots of sugar by way of candy, soda, energy and sports drinks. In order to avoid dental decay, they must be cognizant of their diet and make smart nutritional choices, such as swapping out sugary snacks for fruits, vegetables and yogurt, and skipping soda, energy and sports drinks in favor of unsweetened fruit juice or water.
Teenagers are also susceptible to eating disorders, which can be detrimental to oral health. Dentists are often the first to detect signs of eating disorders like eroded tooth enamel during dental exams. Dr. Sutton is knowledgeable about these signs and, should he detect something, is prepared to refer patients to the appropriate healthcare professional.
Avoiding Sports-Related Injuries with Custom Mouth Guards
Any teenager involved in contact or collision sports like football, hockey or wrestling should be fitted for a protective mouth guard. These appliances help shield the mouth from sudden blows and minimize the risk of broken or knocked-out teeth and other injuries. Customized mouth guards are individually fitted and created for maximum comfort and protection.
Being Smart about Oral Piercings
Oral piercings are dangerous for several reasons: they can interfere with chewing, swallowing and speaking, crack or chip a tooth, or lead to swelling or infection. Dr. Sutton encourages teens that are considering a piercing to carefully think through all of the potential hazards and weigh the pros and cons.
Teenagers with existing piercings should be diligent about oral hygiene habits, and check the piercing site regularly, keeping it clean and free of debris and seeing a dentist every six months (or sooner if there are signs of infection or another problem).
Pursuing Orthodontic Treatment for Crooked or Crowded Teeth
Most teenagers are very aware of their appearance and want to look their best for senior pictures, prom and other big events. Teens that feel self-conscious of crooked or crowded teeth may want to explore their orthodontic treatment options, such as ClearCorrect or Six Month Smiles.
Contact Dr. Wayne Sutton
If you would like to speak with Dr. Sutton about your teen’s unique dental health issues, please call our office at (707) 585-2555 or send us an email today. We would be happy to schedule an appointment for you and your teen to meet with Dr. Sutton.
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(All photos of actual patients)