10 Nutritional Tips for Teens to Keep Teeth & Gums Healthy

Teens are really busy. School. Sports. Jobs. Clubs. Spending time with family and friends. And, while busy can be good, teens need to make sure they are taking care of their health. This includes their dental health.

If you are a teenager or have a teenager living with you, now is the time to start implementing these 10 tips for healthy teeth and gums.

01. Nutrition

With the abundance of fast and quick service food options coupled with busy teen life, often teens consume food that may not always provide the optimal nutritional value. An easy way to start healthy habits that can keep teen teeth and gums healthy is to limit sugar consumption.

Of course, if sugary treats are going to be consumed, try to eat them with a meal when you are going to produce more saliva which can reduce the amount of sugar that remains on the teeth.

By doing these things, you can help reduce the chance of developing cavities.

02. What to Eat

As important as it may be to limit sweet treats, it is equally important to encourage teens to consume healthy foods that can benefit their teeth and gums. Fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and lean proteins can not only help your teen’s overall health but their dental health as well.

A home stocked with foods that are beneficial for their teeth and gums can help a teen make good nutritional choices.

03. Dental Sealants

What if there was a type of dental insurance policy that could help prevent cavities in teenagers? Dental sealants are just that: a dental insurance policy.

A dentist can place a thin coating on a teenager’s teeth that will help protect the teeth from cavities. This is especially helpful for cavity-prone areas such as molars.

04. Braces

While many teens may want braces too fix crooked or misaligned teeth for appearance purposes, braces may serve a greater purpose when it comes to dental health.

Braces can also fix a teen’s crowded mouth, underbite, overbite, incorrect jaw position, or other jaw disorders.

A dentist or orthodontist will recommend when is the best time for a teenager to get braces to help with their teeth.

05. Wisdom Teeth

On average, wisdom teeth arrive between the ages of 17-21. While some teens experience no issues when it comes to wisdom teeth, others may find that they do not have space for these teeth or that the wisdom teeth come in crooked. This may require them to be surgically removed.

A dentist will make a recommendation based on each teenager’s mouth and how the wisdom teeth are situated.

06. Gum Disease

Because teenagers are so busy, they may not always take the best care of their teeth and gums. Poor oral hygiene may result in gum disease as it is the main cause for this dental problem.

In fact, 60% of 15-year-olds have gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease.

Gum disease can be reversed when detected early, and teenagers follow the recommendations of their dentist.

07. Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can also occur in teenagers. Stress can be one factor that contributes to tooth grinding. Symptoms of tooth grinding are a tired jaw in the morning, clicking in the jaw, sensitive teeth, or a noticeable wearing down of the teeth.

Teenagers can visit their dentist who may recommend a mouth splint to be worn at night to alleviate symptoms.

08. Drinking Soda

Soda is high in sugar along with containing acids that can erode away tooth enamel. Unfortunately, teenagers are often big consumers of this soda. While teenagers may like this beverage, in order to avoid cavities, teenagers should be encouraged to drink water.

By carrying a water bottle with them, teenagers will not only be drinking a healthier beverage but rinsing their mouths with water after a meal or snack can reduce their cavity risk.

09. Mouthguards

Teenagers who are active in sports or activities which have the potential to cause damage to teeth, such as skateboarding, should wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards can help protect teeth from chips, cracks, root and bone damage, or even the loss of a tooth.

A dentist can fit a mouthguard to make it more comfortable to wear during sports and activities.

10. Remove Oral Piercings

Oral piercings of the cheek, lip, or tongue should be removed. While teens may like the look of these piercings, they do come with risks to their oral health.

Piercings may chip or fracture teeth or damage otherwise healthy gums.

When it comes to helping teens with their dental health, these ten tips are a great place to start.

Along with these 10 tips, teens should be advised to maintain good dental health by brushing and flossing each day and visiting their dentist for regular checkups.

Article contributed by – York House Dentists, a Chesham Dental Practice having 30 years of experience in delivering optimum pain-free dental care with dental emergencies. To know more, visit www.yorkhousedentists.co.uk.


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