Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
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As adolescents transition into teenagers and young adults, new oral health risks come into play.
Some teens begin experimenting with cigarettes and alcohol in high school. Smoking or drinking at a young age can turn into habits that are difficult to quit as they reach adulthood.
The following are common concerns among teens and young adults:
These factors can negatively impact oral health in the long run.
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in:
Nicotine use is also one of the leading causes of disease and death in the United States.
Every day, about 2,000 teens under 18 years of age try their first cigarette. Around 300 of those teens become regular cigarette smokers.6
If the smoking rate among teens younger than 18 years of age continues, they are more likely to die prematurely from a smoking-related disease.
Long-term smoking is also linked to:
Physical appearance is typically very important for most teens. However, getting “thin enough” can become an obsession for many teenage girls and boys.
This obsession may be a short phase. However, a serious eating disorder can develop over time.
For example, common eating disorders that affect young adults include:
These disorders negatively impact a teen’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
They can also lead to the development of common oral conditions, including:
Many teens and young adults get oral piercings. As a result, mouth jewelry can lead to nerve damage and excessive drooling.
Mouth jewelry can also block x-rays during dental exams.
Oral piercings are commonly placed on the tongue or lips.
This placement may result in serious oral health complications, including:
Many teenagers begin experimenting with alcohol and drugs.
Teens are also more likely to binge drink than adults. Binge drinking can lead to alcohol addiction later on.
Alcoholism can result in serious oral health conditions, such as:
Here are some of the common dental treatments and procedures for teens and young adults:
Once all permanent teeth grow in, many teens develop malocclusions (bad bites) and crooked teeth.
Braces are the most common type of orthodontic treatment used to fix a patient’s smile.
An orthodontist typically places braces when a patient is between 10 and 15 years of age. Older teens and young adults are also candidates for treatment.
Traditional metal braces are the most effective and affordable option.
Over an 18 month to three year period, traditional metal braces:
Clear aligners are also called invisible aligners. Invisible aligners correct misaligned or crooked teeth.
They are a custom, removable, and “invisible” alternative to braces.
A new set of aligners is needed every one to two weeks. They must be worn for about 22 hours a day to correct misalignment.
Many teens and young adults choose clear aligners over braces because they are more aesthetically pleasing and removable.
Wisdom teeth (third molars) erupt behind the 12-year-molars (second molars) about five to nine years later.
However, a patient’s jaw is typically not large enough for third molars to erupt naturally. Wisdom teeth are usually removed between 16 and 20 years of age to prevent irregular eruption and misalignment.
Puberty and menstruation can cause increased inflammation and gum sensitivity.
As a result, teens are commonly diagnosed with gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease.
Common symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are:
Treatment for gingivitis includes visiting a dentist for professional teeth cleanings. It also involves practicing good oral health at home.
If gingivitis is left untreated, periodontal disease can form later on.
There are some considerations to make when choosing a dentist for your teenager. These include:
Most dentists are happy to schedule consultations. During a consultation, you and your teen can meet the dentist in their office and learn more about what they do. During this first meeting, no dental work will be done.
A consultation allows you and your teenager to speak with the dentist and staff. You can also get an overall feel of the practice.
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