Adolescents face a number of concerns when it comes to their oral health as many teenagers tend to place a low priority on their dental hygiene and health, avoid preventive care, and often have bad lifestyle habits. Therefore, it is important that parents remain aware of the oral health needs of teenagers. Here are some common oral health issues in teens: Tooth Decay Some teenagers have poor dietary habits that contribute towards the development of dental caries or cavities. Frequent snacking on sugar-rich and acid-containing food and beverage can proliferate plaque, take a toll on the enamel, and can result in bacterial infections. Hence, tooth decay is the most common oral health issue between children aged 6 to 19. Using fluoride toothpaste and brushing twice a day accompanied by daily flossing can help prevent tooth decay. Gingivits Teenagers are more likely to suffer from gingivitis as compared to preteens. One of the contributing factors may be sex hormones during puberty. Coupled with poor dietary habits and poor oral care regimen, bacteria plaque causes the gum to swell. With proper oral care, the affects of gingivitis are reversible. Trauma Dental injuries can occur while playing sports that involve falls, collisions, and impact. The risk of these injuries can be reduced by wearing age-appropriate custom-made mouthguards that provide protection to your mouth. Oral Cancer About 88% of American youth take up cigarette smoking by age 18. Any form of tobacco used is associated with oral cancer and cancers of the head and neck region. Alcohol abuse and exposure to the sun can also contribute towards oral cancer. Additionally, substance abuse is also linked to stained teeth, gingivitis, gingival recession, bone loss, and bad breath. Crowded Teeth Crooked, crowded, or lost teeth may make it difficult for teenagers to clean their teeth properly. They can also result in other issues like tooth decay, gum diseases, problems while chewing and speaking, accelerated wear of tooth enamel and jaw pain. Orthodontic treatment, including wearing braces, can be used to straighten teeth. Oral Piercing Oral piercings can have a negative impact on your tongue, lips, cheek, uvula, and the soft tissue surrounding the mouth. Problems associated with oral piercings include swallowed jewelry, chipped or fractured teeth, injured soft tissue, speech impairment, embedded jewels, and gingival recession. At Select Care Dental, Jared Anderson, DDS and Mark Nuttall, DMD can provide guidance about the potential hazards of oral piercings to help teenagers make safe choices. Many of these dental concerns may not be obvious to teenagers so it is important that parents schedule regular dental visits at Select Care Dental for them. This way, issues that cause dental concerns in teenager can be diagnosed in time. To schedule an appointment with us, call us at (541) 923-7633.