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Understanding the Dental Care Needs of Teenagers

By Dr. Everett Heringer on February 05, 2016


A teenager at the dentist's officeThe team at Heringer Dentistry believes in providing advanced family dentistry to people throughout Bismarck, helping people have healthy smiles that last a lifetime. Part of this means tailoring dental treatments to the needs of a the patient, which often means considering a patient's age.

We pay special attention to the dental care needs of teens since having a healthy smile early on means a greater chance of good dental health into adulthood. Let's consider these matters right now.

Orthodontic Care for Teenagers

The teenage years tend to be optimal years for orthodontic treatment. By a young man or woman's teens, all of their permanent teeth should be in place. Since a teen patient has not yet reached adulthood, he or she is still growing, and it's easier to shift and reposition the teeth at this time. Adult orthodontics tends to be much more challenging than orthodontics with teenage patients.

As such, many teenagers wind up wearing braces, which use tension applied by brackets and wires to gradually shift the teeth into a more ideal and properly aligned position along the dental arch.

As an alternative to traditional braces, many teens consider Invisalign, which uses clear plastic aligners to shift the position of the teeth. Patients wear the trays at all times save for when eating, drinking, and cleaning their teeth. When Invisalign trays are in place, no one notices them.

Sports Dentistry and Teen Athletes

Many teens who play contact sports or engage in fast-paced and competitive sports run a risk of injury to their mouth. This includes chipped teeth, cracked teeth, periodontal damage, and injuries to their tongue. This is where sports dentistry for teenagers comes in handy. There are preventative and restorative measures that can be taken.

On the preventative side, teen athletes can get a custom mouth guard made. Mouth guards are protective retainers worn during competition that help prevent injuries to the teeth, gums, and tongue, or reduce their severity. These custom mouth guards from a dentist are more comfortable than stock mouth guards available at the store.

On the restorative side, teen athletes who experience a mouth injury can visit their dentist for emergency care. This means repairing tooth damage and even putting a knocked out tooth back in place.

Planning for Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth are an extra set of molars that emerge in a person's early twenties. These extra molars are not necessary for regular biting and chewing, and they can actually cause a few problems. For once, wisdom teeth can come in crooked, leading to painful impaction that affects the adjacent teeth. In addition, wisdom teeth can make basic oral hygiene (i.e., brushing and flossing) more difficult in the back of the mouth.

Dentists can monitor the development and growth of wisdom teeth during a patient's teenage years, determining if wisdom tooth extraction is necessary and when it should be performed.

General Dental Care Needs

The basics are always needed no matter what age you are, which is why regular dental checkups and routine cleanings are an important component of teenage dental care. Dentists will fight cavities, take x-rays, and provide tips for lasting dental wellness whenever a patient is in the practice.

Contact the Team at Heringer Dentistry

For more information about advanced dental care treatment and how we can help you have the healthiest smile possible, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. The team at Heringer Dentistry looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best dental health possible.

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1839 E Capitol Ave
Bismarck, ND 58501

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