Your child has reached the turbulent teens – and likes to remind you that he, or she, is no longer a child. From the perspective of a dentist, we would agree and disagree. Either way, we’ll need to keep seeing them here at Summer Kids Dental in North Las Vegas.
Now that they are no longer young children, teenagers are facing dental challenges they didn’t have to worry about in those carefree, elementary school days. By about thirteen, most kids have lost all of their baby teeth and have new, permanent teeth growing in. Some of those teeth may be coming in crooked. This is the time to start thinking about orthodontics.
By the teen years, young athletes are bigger and have improved their skills on the field of play. That means contact sports are rougher, making them more vulnerable to injury. If your child has managed to get by without wearing a mouth guard, those days are over. For safety’s sake, make sure your child has a mouth guard, and wears it when they take the field.
Teenagers, as a group, are actually more susceptible to tooth decay, too. It doesn’t have anything to do with their adult teeth. It has everything to do with diet. Teens in general consumer more sugary drinks and more junk food than they did as younger children, if only because they not under the watchful eye of mom and dad as much as they used to be. Regular brushing and flossing are as essential to dental health as ever.
More ominously, teenagers are more likely to develop eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. What’s scary about eating disorders, aside from the impact on dental health, is that people who have them become very good at hiding them. Vigilance is essential.
Finally, teenagers often experiment with smoking and other tobacco products, as well as drugs. It’s important to discuss these issues openly. A parent’s job is never done.
At Summer Kids Dental in North Las Vegas, we want to be part of your teenager’s health care team. We offer a full range of pediatric dentistry services, including orthodontics. Schedule an appointment with us today.