Keeping Up With Your Teen’s Teeth

Our Salem, OR dental office knows that the teen years can be a tough time for your child. So much is changing in their lives and they’re becoming an adult. You’re left trying to strike the right balance of protecting them and giving them their freedom. Dr. Hanson advises that you pay particular attention to your teen’s teeth during these years. You want to send them off to college with a healthy, bright smile – some people begin losing their teeth as early as 20 years old!
Protect your family’s smiles. To schedule your family’s next set of appointments for teeth cleanings and dental exams, call Oregon Smile Care Center at 503-837-2718.
The teen years are a common time to take on crooked teeth. It’s often easier to get the results you want at this stage in life than at an older age. Many teens are hesitant about getting braces because they’re afraid a mouth full of metal will harm their social standing. This concern makes Invisalign® a popular choice. Dr. Hanson is an Invisalign Premier provider. Invisalign uses clear trays to shift teeth into place. Your teen will be able to remove their Invisalign braces during activities like sports, band practice, and, most importantly, yearbook photos!
Your teen may not remember to thank you, but when they’re an adult, the gift you’ve given them of a straight smile can help improve their quality of life and confidence.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth generally make an appearance during the late-teen or early twenties years. Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, but your teen might if:

  • They’ll cause overcrowding
  • They only partially erupt
  • They try to come in beneath other teeth
  • They come in crooked
  • They’re causing pain or discomfort

During your teen’s next exam, Dr. Hanson can check and let you know if you should consider having their wisdom teeth removed.
Athletic Mouthguards
High school can be one of the most physically active eras of your child’s life. Be sure you protect their teeth from harm. A custom-fitted athletic mouthguard from Oregon Smile Care Center comfortably fits over your child’s teeth and gums and defends their smile against unexpected collisions. While it may be obvious that mouthguards are a must for sports like football and hockey, they’re also important for sports like cheerleading, skateboarding, and gymnastics.
Dental Emergencies
If your teen gets caught without their mouthguard or has an unexpected incident off the field, you can turn to Dr. Hanson and his dental team during a dental emergency. Current patients experiencing a true dental emergency will be seen immediately. Not sure if your teen is experiencing a dental emergency? Call us and we can help you decide whether or not you should bring them in to be seen right away.
Puberty & Gum Disease
Hormonal fluctuations can increase the risk of gum disease. Keep a careful eye on your teen’s gums during puberty. Make sure your teen talks to you if they experience bleeding gums when they brush their teeth or while they’re flossing. Gum disease is preventable through routine care at home and at our dental office.
Maintaining Good Habits
Your children will become increasingly independent as they age. During their teen years, you’ll want to make sure the habits you established during their childhood don’t fall to the wayside. Teens keep erratic hours, so it can become easy to skip toothbrushing sessions or to give up flossing entirely. Stay vigilant or gum disease can set in, your teen’s teeth could become discolored, and cavities can take hold – or become even costlier root canals.
You’ll also want to make sure you continue to bring your teen in every six months for a professional teeth cleaning and a dental exam. Just to stay on top of their dental health. You wouldn’t want them to struggle through dental health issues as an adult that could have been prevented in their youth.
Soda. Junk food. Candy bars.
Sugar can make a mess of your teen’s smile. Make sure they enjoy their favorite snacks and treats in moderation. And help them make good choices and include teeth-friendly nutritional foods into their diet like:

  • Yogurt – Calcium and probiotics
  • Carrots – Rich in fiber
  • Fish – Omega-3s
  • Water – Helps with natural saliva production

Diet goes a long way toward protecting the health and beauty of your family’s smiles.
Help your teen treat their teeth right.  To schedule you or your child’s next appointment with Dr. Hanson, call Oregon Smile Care Center at (503) 809-4784.

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