How can you make sure your high school student makes the most of their most important asset? It’s back to school time, and here are the top tips to make sure your teen gets an A+ in smiling, too.
1. Oral Hygiene
Cavity prevention is still important! Use an ADA approved toothbrush and floss, and brush for 2 minutes twice a day. Floss daily. (Skipping floss leaves 35% of your teeth un-cleaned — Yuck!) Hygiene is especially important if you have braces. Allowing plaque to sit around orthodontic brackets can cause permanent staining in addition to cavities.
2. Snack Smart
Sugary and starchy foods are the prime culprits when it comes to cavities. When the hunger pangs hit, opt for healthy snacks and water. If you have to cave to your carb craving, then pay attention to how you’re snacking. Sugary drinks and snacks are particularly harmful if consumed a little bit at a time throughout the day. Every time you eat or drink sugar, your mouth becomes an acidic cavity-haven for about 20 minutes. That’s not usually a big problem if you do it once, then follow with water to rinse. But, if you eat a small amount of sugar every 20 minutes all day long, your teeth will be constantly under attack. Bottom line: Avoid grazing.
3. Mouthguards Save Teeth
Wear your mouthguard during sports and any other time you’re active. It only takes one misplaced blow to the mouth to break or avulse (knock out) a tooth. A properly fitting mouthguard can save you a lifetime of dental issues. At Bizeau Dental, we custom-make athletic mouthguards.
4. No Smoking
Smoking is rough on your mouth (not to mention the rest of you!) The American Dental Association lists the following ways that smoking can impact your oral health:
•Stained teeth and tongue
•Dulled sense of taste and smell
•Slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery
•Difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
5. If You Have to Pierce, Pierce Something Else.
You know how you accidentally bite your tongue every once in a while? Imagine if you pulled that stunt with a tongue or lip piercing, in just the right spot. We’ve seen it happen. Even if you’re not so unlucky as to crack your tooth outright on your piercing, there are other problems that result from oral piercings. There aren’t many people who can resist fiddling with their mouth bauble. Clicking and playing with your piercing — and normal swallowing and chewing — causes damage as your piercing rubs against your teeth and gums. There’s a very distinct pattern of wear that we see even after a few years — on both your teeth and your gums.
6. Schedule that Appointment!
Regular dental checkups are just as important for teens. At Bizeau Dental, we screen for cavities, orthodontic problems, and gum disease. Catch problems early, before they turn into something else.