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Dental Tips for Teens

Parents are largely responsible for their kids’ dental care, whether it’s brushing their infants’ gums, teaching their toddlers to hold a brush, or booking appointments for their tweens. By the time they get to the teenage stage and start thinking about dental care, Maroubra teens are relying less on their parents for their dental hygiene.

That said, teenagers are busier than we give them credit for. So if we want them to maintain good dental hygiene (lowering their dental bills in the process), we have to make their dental training as simple as possible. Smaller kids may be content to listen to playful podcasts as they brush, but teenagers need a little more inspiration. Here are some tips they can follow.

 

Protect your teeth

The Australian Dental Association lists more than twenty sports that require a mouth guard. These include bicycling, skating, and water polo. Get a mouth guard personally fitted by a Maroubra dentist. Over-the-counter mouth guards aren’t as effective against concussions.

You should also protect your teeth from ‘overnight attacks’ by brushing and flossing after dinner. A lot of us prioritise the morning brush, to wake us up and get rid of bad breath. But the night-time brush is more important, because it gets rid of food residue from the day. During the night, bacteria can feast on these food bits undisturbed, so be sure to brush before bed.

 

Watch your food

We’ve always been told sugar causes cavities, but it’s not that simple. Our mouths are filled with teeth, saliva, and bacteria. They eat leftover food bits and secrete acids that kill any toxins in our mouths. But when these bacteria over-eat, they release excess acid, which then corrode teeth, causing cavities.

It’s part of saliva’s job to wash away excess acid and prevent cavities. But when you eat a lot of sugar and sticky bits of junk food, your bacteria will binge and the extra acid will ruin your teeth. Snacking between meals is a problem too – it’s those in-between-times when saliva washes off the acid. So if you’re eating constantly, you’re interfering with your mouth’s natural cleaners.

 

Get a pro clean

Avoid over-processed foods, instead eat crunchy foods like apples, celery, carrots, or bony meat. The ‘crunching’ action scrapes off food bits that may be stuck to your teeth, and the physical biting movement strengthens your jaw while promoting saliva production. Exercising your jaw from a young age could prevent spacing problems and impaction in your later teens.

Hopefully, you’re brushing and flossing twice a day. But even then, there are bits of dirt your toothbrush and flossing fork can’t get rid of. You already know you should visit your dentist twice a year for a check-up. When you do, ask for a professional cleaning. Dental tools can get rid of stubborn residue like tartar, especially in the gaps between your teeth and gums.

For more teen dental tips, call Dental Avenue Maroubra on 02 9344 8822 and book your appointment today.

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