Adolescent years can be a wild and exciting time filled with many new experiences. The teen years bring numerous changes from starting high school and experiencing puberty, to driving and gaining more freedom. What some parents and teens don’t always realize, however, is that all of these changes also impact dental health. In some circumstances, dental issues in teens could cause problems for years to come.
As a teen’s body changes, so too do their teeth and jaw. Adolescents can face many oral health challenges that might require them to see a dentist or another oral health care professional. With teeth growth and jaw lines changing, crooked teeth and overbites often require the help of an orthodontist. Other problems from wisdom teeth to cavities also tend to plague adolescents. Let’s take a look at three common teenage dental problems and how they can be addressed.
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A very common dental issue for teens is new teeth that grow crooked or misaligned. This occurs when there is not enough room in the mouth to accommodate “adult teeth” and results in crowding. Additionally, there could be too much room in the mouth and could result in spacing or gapped teeth. Aside from the cosmetic concerned with misalignment, it can also cause teeth to be worn down prematurely, create problems with an overbite, or result in a painful condition called temporomandibular joint (TMJ). An orthodontist can correct problems with misalignment.
Treatment options for teeth alignment include traditional braces or Invisalign treatment. An experienced orthodontist can provide a consultation and outline a dental treatment plan that will work best for your teen. To help restore a beautiful smile and take care of any discomfort that may stem from misaligned teeth, you’ll need to do some research to weigh the benefits of traditional branches versus Invisalign. Aside from the orthodontics benefits, you should also consider payment options and costs as braces can be expensive. The cost of braces vs Invisalign will vary as traditional braces can cost up to $8,000 and Invisalign will depend on the number of trays needed. Whatever treatment plan you choose for your teen, be sure to seek help from an orthodontist to help take care of misaligned teeth as soon as possible.
The third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the last teeth to come in, usually appearing around the ages of 15 to 25. If the wisdom teeth come in without affecting other teeth, they won’t need attention. The teeth are probably impacted and will need to be removed if there is pain, facial swelling, infection, or gum-line swelling. Damage to the second molars and other teeth can occur when wisdom teeth are impacted. Various gum and jaw conditions can also result from impacted wisdom teeth.
If wisdom teeth are impacted, it might require a simple extraction or oral surgery. Usually, a general dentist can perform wisdom tooth surgery right in the dental office. If you suspect that your teen’s wisdom teeth need dental care, it would be a good idea to seek out a dentist that can remove them. As an example, you can search for a dentist in Centennial, CO, and then check to be sure that they are experienced, caring, and able to handle your needs.
Probably the thing that teens and adults both dread about oral health are cavities. Estimates are that a little over 50 percent of adolescents have experienced tooth decay. Cavities can lead to infections, pain, and tooth loss if not treated. Tooth decay is preventable, however, with appropriate oral hygiene. A dentist can provide fluoride treatments and sealants to help prevent cavities as well. A tooth may require a filling or even a root canal to be saved if tooth decay does occur.
Teenagers can face several dental health challenges as they grow up. From teeth alignment and impacted wisdom teeth to tooth decay, teens must take care of their oral health.