One thing’s certain, American teenagers are growing in numbers by the year. In 2017 alone, U.S. Census Bureau estimates there is over 41,919,114 youth between ages 10-19 in America. That was about 13% of the total population then. Now, those numbers are even higher. That’s telling everyone, teenagers are certainly a force to contend with.
But as overwhelming as their numbers may sound, American youth today has a lot of things to contend with. They may not realize it yet but chief among these things is their teeth. If they don’t put a premium on oral health, they could suffer for the rest of their lives.
Certainly, ignorance is no bliss when it comes to oral health. This is why we’re enumerating one by one the things that a healthy American teenager should watch out for to keep his oral health as sparkling as possible.
Young and Restless: Things that Get in the Way
A lot of the things that will put a damper on oral health have to do with youth itself. As kids grow up and become teenagers, all that youthful energy can translate to a lot of experimentation and restlessness. Oft-times this is the period when teenagers test the waters and slowly break themselves loose from their parent’s supervision.
The thing is oral health can be the last thing a hyper-energized teener may look into. And this can usher in untold danger.
Top of the list is poor diet. Simply put, an unhealthy diet is bad news for mouth health. Not only does it weaken the teeth’s enamel, but it also causes it to look bad and discolored. Everyday examples of these not-so-healthy foods are potato chips and soda. Worse, alcohol is also part of the list.
Now, if you take a closer look, these foods are items that are taken by teens in large amounts on a regular basis. Alcohol, for one, causes dry mouth. Without an ample amount of saliva, our mouth will have a hard time protecting itself from the onset of tooth decay or gum disease.
Aside from food, there are also things that teenagers do that can have a negative effect on oral health. Contact sports is one. While sports such as basketball and football are a good way to exercise and have fun, they can put the teeth in immediate danger.
Then, there’s the case for smoking and vaping. At the onset, these habits may seem casual and without risk. But the more you smoke, the more your teeth and gums become discolored, not to mention increase your risk of oral cancer.
Many young ones turn to vape and e-cigarettes to rid themselves of the bad repercussions of smoking. But studies show these habits can be hard on your teeth as much as a traditional puff.
What to Do for Best Oral Health
First up, follow a routine. Good oral hygiene isn’t really tall order if you follow good dental hygiene habits. Brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss regularly.
Additionally, you should drop your dentist a visit regularly. Doing so will allow you to be in the know of your teeth’s condition and of the things that need to be done to keep your set of ivory all shiny and bright.
To note, it’s when teens are entering adulthood that they will have to deal with wisdom teeth. Emerging from ages between 17 and 25, wisdom teeth can be a painful experience for many teenagers, albeit not all. Seeing a dentist regularly allows the proper management of impacted teeth and other key oral health issues. This allows teenagers to catch seemingly small teeth issues before they become big to blow up in the face.
Plus, a smoke-free active lifestyle should be pursued at great lengths. You may not appreciate it now. But strong, healthy white teeth that last through your senior years is simply a blessing too wonderful to ignore.