Adolescence is a time of change for your child. They are no longer a child, but they are not yet an adult. At this stage in life, your child is becoming more and more independent and has many more concerns than they once had. High on the list of priorities are self-esteem, as well as the factors that influence it. Your child is developing habits that will often follow them throughout the rest of their life. During this time, it is still just as important for your child to maintain their oral health, and develop oral care habits that will ensure their mouth remains happy and healthy. At Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry, we can provide your adolescent with the professional oral health care they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy and prevent serious issues from occurring.
As with anyone, cleanings and exams are an important part of your adolescent’s oral care regimen. Cleanings involve scraping the surfaces of your child’s teeth, effectively removing plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), bacteria, and other debris. We can reach areas that your child may have missed, helping to reduce their risk of cavities and gum disease (both of which can affect the appearance of your child’s smile as well as harm their oral health). If necessary, a fluoride treatment can be provided.
After their cleaning, we closely examine their mouth, checking for signs of any damage, decay, and infection. If anything is noticed, we take action immediately. We will also take the time to discuss your child’s home oral care habits as well as any other habits they may have that can affect the health of their teeth and gums.
Crooked teeth can significantly affect the confidence of your adolescent, as well as be detrimental to their oral health. They can throw off your child’s bite, causing uneven tooth wear, as well as jaw pain. They increase your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Moreover, they can impact your child’s confidence, leading them to avoid smiling. Orthodontic treatment (braces) can help to properly align your child’s teeth, restoring the health of their mouth as well as the beauty of their smile, giving them a major boost of confidence.
Sports are common among adolescents, whether through school or some other organization. While they are a great way to keep your child healthy and involved, they can also put your child at risk for injury. Making sure your child has the proper safety gear is important. This includes a mouthguard. We can provide your child with a custom fit mouthguard that will help to protect the teeth, and the soft tissues, from damage. Mouthguards can also protect the jaw from fracture and dislocation as well as help to avoid a concussion in the event of an impact.
The Academy of General Dentistry does not recommend teeth whitening for children under the age of 14, due to the increased risk of developing tooth sensitivity. If your child is seeking a brighter, whiter smile, we can help them to choose an option that will work best for them. For some individuals, regular cleanings and exams, as well as a proper at-home care routine can be enough to remove surface stains and restore a beautiful smile. For others, whitening toothpaste, which contains abrasives, can help. If your child is experiencing persistent staining, be sure to contact us before using any whitening products.
For more information on how we can help your adolescent maintain the health of their mouth, or to schedule their appointment, contact Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141.