About Your Teeth Teenager specific dental concerns - About Your Teeth

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Teenager specific dental concerns


Your smile is one of the first things that people see and it is the one thing most teenagers are concerned about. Teeth are designed to last for life – provided we look after them. Cavities can occur at any age but the earlier we control and prevent them the more likely we are to keep our teeth for life.

Always brush your teeth twice a day and spend the most time on brushing at night before you go to bed. Floss your teeth daily and only the teeth you want to keep. Don’t snack between meals and avoid sugary and sticky snacks. Wear a mouthguard for all sport activities. Most of the dental problems teenagers experience today are the result of sporting accidents and injuries. Don’t smoke and avoid oral piercings. I know it sounds boring – but you will be glad later in life.


If you have crooked teeth and are not happy with the appearaTnce and position of your teeth, you could benefit from braces (orthodontic treatment). Braces help to improve your smile, your bite by straightening and aligning crooked teeth. Braces can also make it easier for you to look after your teeth and help to avoid dental decay and gum disease.  Crooked teeth are harder to clean and this can increase your chances of developing dental decay and other dental problems.Today braces come in many different styles and types from tooth coloured ceramic and traditional metal braces to multicoloured braces and elastics. In some cases clear removable retainers may be an option.

Get your teeth assessed by an orthodontist and find out what choice is best for you.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are also called third molars and generally do not appear in your mouth until  early adulthood. All of your other adult teeth are have completed development by age 13. Third molars appear in your mouth between the ages of 17 and 21. They are often called wisdom teeth because they appear at a time of maturity or “wisdom”. There are normally four ‘wisdom’ teeth however some adults may have fewer than four and in some cases be missing their wisdom teeth altogether.

Often, adults may not have enough room for their wisdom teeth and this is referred to as ‘impaction’. You should have your wisdom teeth monitored by your general dentist on a regular basis. Everyone is different so see your Dentist to discuss your particular case. In general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed if there is evidence of: pain, cysts, infection or gum related problems, damage neighbouring teeth or if the tooth is decayed and cannot be filled.

The removal of wisdom teeth, like braces, can make it easier for you to look after the rest of your teeth.

Piercings and oral jewellery

Teenagers today may consider getting oral piercings or other decorative procedures in order to make them ‘different’ or ‘cool’. These kinds of procedures can be dangerous to your health and may also damage your teeth and mouth in the long term. The mouth is full of bacteria and contains millions of different bacteria that live in harmony with us. Some bacteria, however, can be dangerous and may cause serious infection. Piercing allow the bacteria an entry port into our body. These bacteria can cause local problems (localised tongue or lip swellings and infection) or can affect our general health (endocarditis – inflammation of the heart and hepatitis). They may also cause damage to the teeth and gums as a result of constant rubbing or accidentally biting on the hardware.

Speak to your dentist and remember to monitor any piercings closely to reduce the risk associated with having oral jewellery.

Eating Disorder (Bulimia and Anorexia)

Eating disorders are a complex and difficult condition to manage and are best managed by specialists in the field. These conditions unfortunately can affect your oral health and can cause serious damage to tooth enamel. They can also affect the sufferers gums and oral tissues in the mouth. Both conditions are characterised by repeated and frequent vomiting. Stomach contents and in particular the stomach acid are regurgitated and coat the teeth and tissues of the mouth. This highly concentrated acid dissolves the protective enamel layer of the tooth making it more prone to wear. Sufferers also tend to mask the taste and odour of the vomit by brushing aggressively immediately after throwing up. This habit accelerates the wear of the already weakened teeth. Teeth appear thin, translucent, shortened and may demonstrate chipping on the biting edges. If you suffer from these conditions, it important you seek medical treatment and counselling from you medical expert.


We all know smoking is bad for us and can cause serious health problems in later life. Smoking can also cause dental problems and in particular can cause bad breath, tooth staining and gum problems. Quitting is the only way to avoid the problems smoking can cause. If you are a smoker consider more regular dental checks and professional cleans to ensure you don’t develop dental problems. Remember, most of the dental problems are invisible and by the time you can see the effects it is often too late.

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