If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, today’s Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry post is for you. Today’s post discusses dental and oral health issues of special concern to adolescents. Risks to adolescent oral health in Fort Worth include both development and lifestyle-related factors.
Common Issues with Oral Health in Fort Worth
At Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we see tooth decay and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes and complicating factors include insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, a misaligned bite, smoking, hormonal changes, tooth grinding, mouth breathing, eating disorders, and side effects of medications.
As children become more independent, some get lax about brushing and flossing. Moreover, some teens’ diets become worse when they have more freedom to choose what to eat. Few parents let their four-year-old drink an energy drink, but they are consumed frequently by Fort Worth teens- presumably without their parents’ knowledge.
Other Challenges with Oral Health in Fort Worth
A misaligned bite can make proper brushing and flossing challenging, leaving even vigilant brushers with tooth decay from food particles that are almost impossible to remove. A misaligned bite can also trigger TMD (Temporomandibular disorder). If you suspect that your teen’s bite is not aligned properly, or if your teen hears a clicking sound in their jaw joint, call Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at 817-274-7875 to schedule an exam.
In spite of numerous Texas public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many youths take up the harmful habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth just as much as it wrecks your lungs.
Fort Worth parents are well aware 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 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 advise you if more frequent professional cleanings are necessary to preserve gum health.
“Duck!” SportsRelated Oral Health in Fort Worth
If you visit any soccer field or basketball courts in Texas, you will see that many young athletes fail to protect their teeth. If your adolescent participates in a contact sport, communicate with us about custom athletic mouth guards.
Removing Wisdom Teeth
One of the teen dental issues that impacts most 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 issues 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 oral health in Fort Worth. If problems worsen, chances are your youth won’t be near their regular dentist, they’ll 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, Stephen Ratcliff of Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry can examine your teen and evaluate X-rays to counsel you on the best course of action for his or her wisdom teeth.
If you are looking for a family dentist in the Fort Worth area, I invite you to schedule an appointment at Stephen Ratcliff Family & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling 817-274-7875. We have been providing quality dental care to Fort Worth families since 1990. For more information about teen oral health in Fort Worth or dental implants, dentures, or porcelain veneers, call today.
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