As teenagers increase in self-awareness, independence, and control of their own diet, it affects their dental health care.
As teens enter a new school or university, and become more responsible for themselves, we find that tooth decay appears more often, especially around the ages of 11-13 and 18-20 years of age.
Instilling the best possible habits is just so important; a sensible diet, most importantly with infrequent sugar consumption along with proper hygiene and maintenance will ensure that the child remains cavity-free through to adulthood. We generally find that patients who visit our hygienist / therapists at least twice a year seldom have a problem - this is true of our adult patients too!
Despite best efforts, some patients will inevitably need treatment; and this treatment may be straightforward, requiring the use of bonded sealants or tooth-coloured filling materials, or more advanced restorative treatments, having all the sophistication that may be needed when approaching treatment for an adult. The simplest bonded restoration becomes remarkably important; because failure of the simple restoration will lead to more destruction, a bigger filling or more elaborate dental restoration.
We see some teenagers who present with significant concerns regarding their appearance; teased at school or refusing to smile. We take care to give them the correct dental treatments to improve their appearance conservatively, without causing harm to their natural teeth, as we have a duty of care to provide the best possible treatment for this deserving group of patients while protecting their dentitions from unnecessary harm.
As a child moves from adolescence to young adulthood there is a great deal of change in the teeth, gums and jaws.