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How Often Should Teens Have a Dental Check-Up?
The recommended frequency of dental check-ups for anyone (be they adults, young children or teens) is typically twice a year. However, if you have a teen, there is a good chance that you have been to the dentist far more often.
The fact is, teens have a number of concerns that are either unique to them or just occur more frequently for their age group. Your teen should keep these twice-a-year check-ups, but they may have to go to the dentist more often for the following common concerns.
The parents and the teen should be on the lookout for these issues in order to prevent them before they occur.
While wisdom teeth have no exact date of birth, they tend to grow (and thus become problematic) most commonly during the adolescent and teen years. And while many people never have a problem with their wisdom teeth, a good chunk of the populace can suffer complications.
When the pain and the swelling occur, it is important to take your teen to the dentist. The dentist can then determine what needs to be done and estimate when the other wisdom teeth may be due (and if they will be a problem).
The nightmare of tweens and teens everywhere, braces are simply a fact of life for many young people. The permanent teeth are growing in, every part of the body around them is growing, and there is sometimes a mismatch. This is most often genetic.
If you notice your teen’s teeth are crooked or if they often complain about their teeth, it may be time to visit the orthodontist for a dental check-up. And try to reassure them: There are plenty of invisible and more subtle correction devices available now than in the past.
If your teen ends up with braces, dental check-ups will likely be even more frequent, as they adjust, repair, clean and tune the braces to the patient’s mouth.
Teens often experiment with more extreme piercings like tongue, cheek and lip piercings. While this is perfectly normal, your dentist may not be enthusiastic to see them. Piercings tends to create the perfect little nooks and crannies for bacteria to form, which can cause gum disease and tooth decay. The jewelry can also physically crack or damage teeth, which can mean more dental work.
If your teen has mouth piercings, a more frequent dental visit schedule may be advised.
More dangerous habits
It is unfortunate, but many teens do engage in risky behavior like smoking or drug use. These behaviors can stain the teeth or even outright destroy teeth over time. The dentist can help with these issues, be they ongoing or in the past.
Eating disorders are, sadly, another factor in dental health. Bulimia and anorexia can both do massive damage to the enamel and other parts of the teeth. Patients suffering from these disorders should make sure to visit the dentist regularly.
Frequent dental check-ups
There is no one-size-fits-all rule for teen dental check-ups. Keep these common issues in mind, and decide for yourself how frequently they warrant a trip to the dentist.
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