Posted on: 23 December 2015
Good dental health throughout life is important for everyone. Not only is it painful and a potential health issue when teeth are decayed or broken, but it can even affect the opportunity for employment. Every parent wants the best for their child, so ensuring they maintain a healthy smile needs to be a priority. Unfortunately, there is more to teach them than just brushing and flossing. There are a number of ways many children are unwittingly causing harm to their teeth.
Smiles Too Brightly
Tooth whitening products are everywhere, and used correctly they are perfectly safe. The problem begins when people overuse these products in an attempt to have the whitest, flashiest smile. Many teenagers are at risk for this because of their constant need to compete with each other. Using these products more than is recommended can damage tooth enamel, irritate the gums and cause pain. Insist that they only attempt whitening under the supervision of their dentist.
Dangerous Diet Habits
Bottled water lacks the fluoride of tap water, sports drinks and fruit juices are full of enamel-damaging acids and binging on sugary foods is common for most teens. Encourage teens to carry tap water in a refillable container to expose them to the fluoride their teeth need. If they insist on acidic drinks, help them to develop the habit of rinsing out their mouths afterwards. As for snacks, start them early on healthier options like cheese, hummus and pita chips or plain yogurt. Apples and raw carrots are not just good for their body, but can even help the teeth by cleaning off plaque while they are being eaten.
Piercings Near Teeth
Facial piercings like those in the cheeks and around the mouth present a great deal of danger to teeth. The jewelry can damage the teeth over time causing abrasions and chips. The most risky of all are tongue piercings. It is not uncommon for people to develop the habit of chewing on the barbell used for these piercings. Over time this metal wears down the enamel of the teeth. It can also irritate the gums too and potentially lead to gum disease. Even though many parents are willing to allow children a lot of freedom for self-expression, this is one method that should be forbidden.
Homemade Dental Solutions
A recent teen trend has been to create homemade braces to reduce the gaps between their front teeth. They do this by using rubber bands to bind the teeth tightly in an effort to pull them closer together. The problem is that this can destroy the teeth, and even cause damage to the underlying bone. If a teen is so troubled by their appearance, make an appointment for them to see a dentist. There are a range of options for braces that are often not nearly as expensive as some parents fear, and financing options are almost always available.
The teenage years are difficult, both for the teen and the parents. Every adult can understand the desire to want to look great, but as a parent the priority needs to be about health and safety too. Help teens to make good choices so that they can avoid the pain and embarrassment later on that comes from damaged teeth.
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