As your child grows into the teen years, you'll want to take certain steps to care for his or her overall health. This also includes protecting your teen's teeth and oral health. Here are some things you can do to make sure your teen's smile stays looking it's best throughout high school and beyond.
If your teenager participates in school sports, it's a good idea to talk to your dentist about getting fitted for a mouth guard. A custom mouth guard can help defend against chops, breakage, and even loss in a wide range of sports. Baseball, football, and basketball are all sports you might already think about when you think about mouth guards, but they can also be useful during tennis matches, volleyball games, and even gymnastics meets. Be sure to purchase a case for the guard, and consider having a backup just in case the original gets damaged during a game.
You already know that wearing braces can be a long process for your teen, but keeping those teeth straight after the braces comes off is still an important job. If your child's orthodontist has recommended a retainer for wear during the day or at night, you'll want to be vigilant about making sure it is worn. Talk to your child about the importance of wearing the retainers, or schedule an appointment with the orthodontist to review the basics of wearing the retainers and why it's so important.
During the teen years, your child should have lost the last of his or her baby teeth. This means that the teeth that remain are permanent. Caring for these teeth is a lifelong commitment, and focusing on good nutrition now can have lasting benefits. Discuss eating healthy foods and limiting sugar intake with your child, and be sure he or she knows which healthy foods are also high in sugar. For example, fruits and fruit juices can be very high in sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation. If you are concerned that your teen may be developing an eating disorder, discuss this with your pediatrician and your dentist. Some eating disorders, such as bulimia, can impact oral health. If you aren't sure how to create a nutrition plan that addresses both your child's overall wellness needs and oral health needs, consider scheduling a consultation with a pediatric nutritionist. Together, you can create a diet plan filled with health-smart foods your teen might actually love to eat.
For more information, contact Silverstone Family Dental.