Dental Mistakes That Teens Can Make

Posted on: 9 September 2015

Oftentimes teenagers might think they are invincible, which makes them prime candidates to pick up bad habits. Some of these bad habits and actions can affect your teen's dental health. Here are five things that your teen might be inadvertently doing to harm his or her teeth.

1. Using Teeth as Tools

Teenage boys especially might use their teeth to open plastic bags and even bottles. While this might be a cool party trick, it can wear down enamel and lead to chipping. This can leave your child with worn down or cracked teeth, which can cause cavities or sensitivity. Make sure that your teenager understands the dangers of using teeth as tools.

2. Tongue and Mouth Piercings

While piercings might be in style, veering away from ones that come in contact with your teen's teeth is important. Oral piercings can be bitten on accident, causing teeth to crack. Oral piercings can also lead to infections to one's gums from a foreign object and are just overall a bad idea that no dentist would recommend.

3. Grinding Teeth at Night

Teens can be stressed out, and teeth grinding might begin at a young age and turn into a lifelong habit. If you child's dentist notices worn-down teeth, having your child wear a mouth guard at night will cut down on damage in the short term. In the long term, this will hopefully break the grinding cycle before it becomes a hard-to-break habit.

4. Unapproved Whitening Products

There are so many teeth-whitening products on the market these days, and your teenager might want to try a cheap, over-the-counter product. Sometimes these can wear down enamel and cause teeth to have small cracks that can lead to cavities. If your son or daughter is serious about trying a whitening product, start with your dentist's recommendations first.

5. Rough Cleaning

It is important to make regular appointments for your teenager with a family or pediatric dentist that will take the time to go through proper care techniques. Making sure that your teen is using a soft-bristled toothbrush can cut back on gum damage and bleeding. Even if your teen is flossing, he or she might not be doing this correctly. Rough flossing can do more damage to one's gums than good and can derail your teen's dental care.

If you are worried that your teenager is picking bad dental habits, make sure to have him or her sit down with a dentist, like Ann L Ortega DDS, and go over the risks. Sometimes teenagers won't listen to their parents but might listen to professionals. Once they are set up with the facts, the hope is that your son or daughter will be able to make better dental-related choices in the future.