Back to School: Dental Health Tips for Teens

Plus a 5th bonus remedy for good measure

Dental care tips for teens before heading off to class! 

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, so maintaining good oral hygiene during your pre-teen and teenage years is very important.

The Takeaway:

  • Brush and floss your teeth twice a day
  • Avoid sugary drinks and snacks
  • Wear a mouth guard when you’re active
  • Don’t smoke or use other Tobacco products
  • Don’t pierce your lips or any part of your mouth
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleaning

Mouth Guards Help Prevent Injuries 
If you play a sport or participate in other physical activities, you may want to consider wearing a mouth guard. They can protect your teeth from getting broken or knocked out and keep your lips, face and jaw bone from injury. There are many different kinds of mouth guards, so consult with your dentist about the right one for you.

  • Store and transport the mouth guard in a durable container with vents so it can dry and keep bacteria from growing.
  • Regularly clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly.
  • During your dental checkups, bring your mouth guard for an evaluation. Your dentist will tell you when it's time to replace it.

Smoking Causes Oral Problems
It's no surprise that all forms of Tobacco are harmful to your dental health and overall well-being. Here's a list of the possible health concerns that may occur due to smoking:

  • Bad breath
  • Stained teeth and tongue
  • Gum disease and tooth loss
  • Oral cancer

If you already smoke, make a plan to quit immediately and start living a healthier life. Find someone to support you during this time, get rid of your smoking supplies and keep in mind why you are quitting. Also, surround yourself with healthy foods, exercise and drink lots of water. 

Mouth Jewelry Dental Dangers

Tongue and lip piercings may be trending, but they can be dangerous to your dental health.

  • Oral piercings are easily infected and inflamed due to the amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth. 
  • Jewelry that repeatedly clicks against teeth can crack, chip or damage your pearly whites.
  • You may experience numbness after a piercing caused by the piercing which can be permanent. 
  • A tongue piercing can increase saliva production and result in excess drooling.

Here are some tips if you already have mouth piercings:

  • Keep the piercing site clean by using a mouth rinse after snacks and meals.
  • Make sure jewelry is secure to avoid choking or swallowing if it becomes dislodged. 
  • Be aware of jewelry movement when talking and chewing so it doesn't hit against your teeth.

Remember that brushing and flossing twice a day, using an alcohol-free mouthwash and visiting your dentist for regular checkups will ensure you the best results for a happy and healthy smile.