Oral Health Tips for Teenagers’ Teeth

School’s out, and Park Ridge teens are on a mission to make this their best summer yet. Most haven’t given much thought to the upcoming school year, save for the excitement of prom, graduation, and social functions. During these years, it’s essential to maintain excellent oral health. At Park Ridge Dental, Dr. Loukas understands the unique needs of teens’ teeth and gums.

First, a few statistics about teens’ oral health:

  • 13% of teenagers (12-19 years old) have at least one untreated dental cavity
  • Just over half of teens have had at least one restorative dental procedure, such as a root canal treatment, dental crown, or filling
  • Teens from lower-income families are more likely to have several cavities

Encourage Smarter Snacking

Of course, this is summer, so some snacking is to be expected. Even so, teens should make smart decisions about what they eat. When you consider the shocking upward trend of obesity in children and teenagers, it’s disturbing to see that so many schools continue to offer vending machines stocked with soda, chips, and candy. It becomes even more unsettling when you consider the potential effects of these unhealthy offerings on your teen’s teeth. Even sports drinks, now readily available in most beverage vending machines, are more harmful than they might seem. Loaded with sugar and highly acidic, these drinks attack tooth enamel within minutes, making teeth more prone to decay and stains. Energy drinks, which are also popular among teenagers, are just as destructive.

Teens Smile With Confidence

A few years ago, teens who desired straighter teeth had limited options. Either they could suffer the indignity of wearing traditional metal braces, or they could do nothing. Today Dr. Loukas is pleased to offer Invisalign, a subtle alternative to heavy metal orthodontic appliances. Unlike metal braces, the plastic aligners are virtually invisible during wear. Teens needn’t worry about having food caught between brackets, nor will they suffer the embarrassment that comes with removing a retainer to eat. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign does not interfere with oral hygiene. Simply remove the aligners before brushing and flossing—no need for special brushes, orthodontic wax, or orthodontic floss.

A healthy smile is ageless. To learn more about preventive dentistry, or to request an appointment with Drs. Thanasi and Maria Loukas, contact Park Ridge Dental at 847.696.1919. We welcome patients living in Chicago, Park Ridge, and the surrounding areas.

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