Good nutrition and oral hygiene care practiced at home are particularly important during the teen years. Proper diet,
Numerous complications are associated with oral piercing, tattoos, and decorative grills. As these things become more popular, it is important to visit your dental hygienist so they may explain risks and complications associated with “mouth art” before you or your child decide to pursue it. Many body art studios where the procedures are performed are not as sanitary as they should be. Piercing that
Those interested in piercing should be aware of current regulations that govern local body art studios.
This way they will know whether or not the proper procedures take place before and after the piercing.
Virtually all contact sports should require a mouthguard. Many orofacial injuries can be prevented simply by wearing a mouthguard. The mouthguard is designed to absorb energy during an impact, thus decreasing the likelihood of trauma to the oral cavity and brain. There are typically three types of mouthguards: stock, boil-n-bite, and custom-made. Stock mouthguards are available in different sizes, but cannot be customized and therefore may have a poor fit. Boil-n-bite mouthguards are heated in water and placed in the mouth to mold to the shape of the mouth and teeth. These tend to be more comfortable to wear. Custom-made mouthguards are made on study-models with a vacuum-forming machine, either in a dental office or at an off-site laboratory. While this mouthguard is the most comfortable and effective, it is also the most expensive. Mouthguards should be considered a necessity when engaging in any contact sports because
Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa (starving oneself), bulimia nervosa (binging and purging via vomiting, laxatives, diuretics or excessive exercise), and binge eating disorder (eating a larger amount of food than normal during a short period of time)1. While patients will tend to keep these disorders secret, they are especially difficult to keep hidden from an oral health care professional. Orofacial complications that may arise from eating disorders include tooth enamel erosion, dental cavities, enlargement of the glands that produce saliva, sensitive teeth, a fungal or bacterial infection of the outside of the mouth, dry mouth due to lack of saliva, and trauma to the roof of the mouth.
The damages to the mouth that are caused by smoking have long been recognized; however, it is important to have a dialogue with adolescents about them as soon as possible. Smoking’s oral effects include bad breath, stained teeth, loss of taste and smell, canker sores, failure of dental implants, oral cancer, and the gum recession, bone loss and tooth loss associated with gum disease. According to the Centers
Because soda is a beverage, it is not always part of the nutrition discussion. The reality is, however, that most sodas are sweetened with pure sugar that can have strong detriments to oral health. Soda typically contains phosphoric acid and large amounts of sugar, among other ingredients. Refined sugar in these sodas not only offers no nutritional
Caries and Periodontal Disease
Current research suggests that the overall cavities rate is declining, yet remains highest during adolescence6. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the following for treatment and prevention of adolescent caries: fluoridation, oral hygiene, diet management and sealants. Adolescence can also be a critical period affecting an individual’s periodontal status. Current data
Since many oral health issues that can become serious in adulthood are preventable in adolescence, this is an ideal time to begin a dialogue with teens about the importance of regular and thorough care.
1. American Psychiatric Association. Eating Disorders. Diagnostic and
DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p.583-97.
2. Liburd JDA: Eating disorder: anorexia. eMedicine Journal, 2001:2(9):1-13.
3. American Cancer Society: Smokeless tobacco.
4. Shulman JD, Beach MM, Rivera-Hidalgo F: The prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in U.S. adults: Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988- 1994. Journal of the American Dental Association 2004:135:1279-1286.
5. Oral Pathology for the Dental Hygienist. Fourth Edition, Ibsen, Phelan, p. 260. Elsevier, 2004.
6. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: Guideline on Adolescent Oral Health Care, p.72-79. Updated 2005.
7. Guideline on Adolescent Oral Health Care, p 73.