Dental Habits for Teens

Brushing and Cleaning Between your Teeth

Want to avoid cavities? Proper dental habits for teens will set the tone for care in adulthood. Brushing twice a day with toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day, and limiting sugary snacks and beverages is how you do it. It’s simple but sometimes life gets busy and you might be tempted to skip it but don’t. A bright smile makes you feel good inside and out. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, too.

The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth daily with an interdental cleaner (like floss). Cleaning between your teeth may help prevent cavities and gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities.

Plaque that is not removed by brushing and cleaning between your teeth can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar. Tartar collects along your gum line and can lead to gum disease. Once tartar forms, only your dentist can remove it.

A bright smile makes you feel good inside and out. Make sure to see your dentist regularly, too.

Wear Mouthguards

If you play a sport or are active in things like skateboarding, football, or hockey it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard. Mouthguards are the best thing you can do to protect your teeth from getting broken or knocked out. They cushion blows that would otherwise cause injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. There are different kinds of mouthguards; ask your dentist which one is right for you.

Be Careful with Mouth Jewelry

Oral piercings may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. An infected oral piercing can also lead to more serious systemic infections, including hepatitis or endocarditis. Oral piercings can also cause irreversible and permanent damage like gum recession, bone loss, and broken teeth. 

Products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance have been proven to be safe and effective. If you have any other questions talk to your dentist or hygienist. They are here to help you achieve the smile you’re looking for. 

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