Wisdom Teeth

Be wise. Play it safe…

Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 22. Your dentist can track the development of your teen’s wisdom teeth using panoramic x-rays. If your teen is getting regular dental exams, the dentist will be monitoring the wisdom teeth and will know when it is necessary to surgically removed them. By the way, removal is not always recommended.

Wisdom teeth must be removed if

  • There are signs of serious infection.
  • The areas around the teeth are tough to keep clean.
  • There is pain and swelling.
  • Partially erupted wisdom teeth crowd other teeth.
  • Teeth cannot fully erupt because there is no room in the mouth.

Detecting Teen Tooth Problem

The 6-year molars
Parents must be watchful. There’s no “small decay” in a teen’s 6-year molars because the nerves are so large. The treatment for extensive decay is root canal with a crown or extraction.

Decay-prone
If your child is decay-prone, you have to ask yourself why. Your best bet may be to get saliva test done to determine whether your teen has an overgrowth of the bacteria that causes decay.

Canker sores
These can be untimely, arriving right before a special date or prom night. They can be triggered by stress, certain foods (chocolate, acidic foods, or hard, rough food, for example) or due to some type of injury to the mouth.

Cold sores
These fever blisters can be triggered by fever, physical or emotional stress, or excessive exposure to the sun. There are ways to boost the immune system. And drinking eight glasses of water a day and eating wholesome foods will hasten the healing process. There are also anti-viral treatments for fever blisters that your dentist can prescribe. Oral medication and topical ointments are available. The dentist can determine the proper prescription.

Bulimia
If your teenager has been diagnosed with bulimia, the nest appointment you need to schedule is with the dentist. Stomach acid from frequent vomiting can be toxic to teeth and can lead to severe erosion of the enamel. Your dentist can diagnose bulimia (and in some cases, the dentist may be the first to spot the condition) and recommend treatment for the deteriorating tooth enamel. However, only a physician and/or psychologist can treat the actual eating disorder.

Piercing
Tongue piercing and lip piercing are fairly common among today’s teens. Reported complications of tongue piercing include chipped and damaged teeth, gum injury, prolonged bleeding, numbness, loss of taste and interference with speech. Harboring food and bacteria, the metal stud becomes a cleaning challenge.

Play it Safe

  • Do be watchful for decay and gum disease because teens are so susceptible. Dental check-ups every six months, diligent mouth care, and a good diet will be a tremendous help.
  • Do set an example for your teenagers. Go to your regular dental check-ups and do your daily mouth care routine.
  • Do check to make sure that your teenager shows up for his or her regular cleaning and/or dental and orthodontic appointments.
  • Do keep in touch with your teen’s dentist and dental team. Stay involved with your teen’s dental care.
  • Don’t stock the refrigerator with sodas and ice cream or have candy and sweets readily available.
  • Do encourage mouth guards for your active teenagers.
  • Do get rid of toothbrushes every one or two months, or sooner if frayed.
  • Do stock up on dental floss.

Original Article