Teen Teeth: Adolescent Oral Health

 adolescent dental issues

If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager in the Flushing area, today’s Parsons Smile Center post is for you. Dental risks for teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related factors.

At our practice, we see dental caries and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes include:

insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, malocclusion (misaligned bite), smoking, hormonal changes, tooth grinding, mouth breathing, eating disorders, and side effects of medications.

Children may get lax about brushing and flossing as they get older. Furthermore, some teens’ diets become worse when they have more freedom to choose what to eat. Few parents let their four year-old have an energy drink, but some teens will drink them when out of their parents’ sight.

Malocclusion makes proper brushing and flossing challenging, leaving even vigilant brushers with decay from difficult-to-remove food particles. Malocclusion can also trigger TMD (Temporomandibular disorder). If you suspect that your teen’s bite is not aligned properly, or if your teen sees a clicking sound in the jaw joint, call Parsons Smile Center at 718-939-0862 to schedule an exam.

In spite of numerous public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many adolescents take up the habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.

Parents of teenagers know that puberty has a significant impact on physical and emotional health. Puberty causes all sorts of changes in the body, and the mouth is no exception. Increased hormone levels (especially in females) can cause the body to react to a very small amount of plaque, triggering inflammation of gum tissue and increased risk of the more advanced form of gum disease (known as periodontitis). Your dentist can counsel you if more frequent professional cleanings are necessary to preserve gum health.

If you visit any soccer field or basketball court in New York, you will see that many young athletes fail to protect their teeth. If your adolescent participates in a contact sport, meet with us about custom athletic mouthguards.

One of the teen dental issues affecting many young men and women is wisdom teeth. It’s best to start monitoring your teen’s wisdom teeth early so they can be treated before they bring about troubles with the jaw or surrounding teeth. And you certainly don’t want to send your high-school grad to an out-of-state college without addressing his or her third molars. If problems emerge, your youth won’t be near their regular dentist, will probably miss class, and will either need to come home or use an out-of-network dentist or oral surgeon. If you don’t have a family dentist, Fady Salha of Parsons Smile Center can examine your teen and evaluate X-rays to guide you on the best course of action for his or her wisdom teeth.

This article is by no means exhaustive on the essential subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.

If you are looking for a family dentist in the Flushing area, I invite you to schedule an appointment at Parsons Smile Center by calling 718-939-0862. We have been providing trusted dental care to Flushing families since 1990.  For more details about teen dental health; or cosmetic dentistry, restorative dentistry, or dental implants, call today.


Contact Parsons Smile Center: 718-939-0862

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

26-15 Parsons Blvd
Flushing, New York