Keeping Your Teenage Smile Bright

While oral hygiene and health will continue to be important throughout your entire life, there are certain aspects of dental care that become more important during the teenage years. Teens often have an increased awareness of their overall appearance, and can become concerned if their teeth aren’t straight or white enough. During this time it can also be tempting to slack off on oral hygiene, but it’s important that teens maintain the proper habits they learned as younger children so they can carry them into adulthood. Here are some tips for keeping teenage teeth bright:cheese-greenspoint-dental

  • Brush twice a day, once before bed and once when you wake up in the morning, for two minutes each time. Use a soft bristled toothbrush, and turn it at a 45 degree angle, facing up towards the gums. Brush in small circular motions and very gently. Remember to not only brush you teeth but your gums too (this is where food and bacteria are most likely to become trapped). Brushing your tongue can help prevent halitosis. Use a toothpaste that has received the ADA’s stamp of approval that contains fluoride.

  • You should floss once everyday. What type of floss you use is up to you, although a waxed, minty floss is always a safe bet. Some people find using floss threaders of individual “flossers” that hold the floss taut between a pick are easier for them to use. Whichever works! Be sure to floss in between each tooth in a “C” motion so that the floss very gently pushes under the gum. This way you’re sure to loosen any food or bacteria that is caught there. Follow the curve of each individual tooth. Plaque that builds up between teeth can harden into tartar within three days.

  • Many teenagers require braces to correct a crowded mouth or crooked teeth. During orthodontic treatment oral hygiene becomes even more important. The wires and brackets braces are made up of can all the more easily catch food and bacteria. Speak with your orthodontist about tips for keeping teeth extra clean while in braces.

  • Many teenagers engage in organized sports. These can be a lot of fun and also good for your overall health! Be sure to wear some sort of protective mouthguard if your sport is contact or you feel there is a possibility you could injure your teeth. There are several different types of mouthguards you can buy in stores, or even ones you can have personally fitted to your mouth that your dentist or orthodontist can provide.

  • This is the most commonly the age smokers will begin experimenting with tobacco products. While not everyone who has a cigarette during these years will become addicted to tobacco products, the risk is much higher than people who try one later on as an adult. Be careful and conscience of the choices you make. While cigarettes may not appear life-threatening they are much more harmful than they seem and are not worth the eventual risks involved. On top of that they stain teeth and give you bad breath!

Call Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental and schedule an appointment for your teen today!