In this blog from Hallock Family Dental, we discuss the dental milestones to expect for your teenager, continued from our earlier blog of dental milestones for babies and children.
Dental Milestones For The Teen Years
Dental care holds significant importance for teenagers due to several reasons. Firstly, during adolescence, permanent teeth have fully emerged, making it crucial to maintain their health and integrity for a lifetime. Good dental hygiene habits, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can prevent tooth decay, gum diseases, and other oral health issues.
Secondly, teenagers often face specific dental challenges, such as orthodontic problems like overcrowding or misalignment. Timely intervention through orthodontic treatments, like braces or retainers, can help correct these issues and enhance both dental aesthetics and functionality.
Furthermore, teenagers tend to have dietary habits that can negatively impact their dental health. Increased consumption of sugary foods, carbonated drinks, and acidic beverages can lead to tooth decay and erosion. Encouraging healthy eating habits and limiting the intake of these harmful substances can significantly contribute to maintaining strong and healthy teeth.
Lastly, dental care is closely linked to overall health. Poor oral hygiene can contribute to various systemic health issues, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is vital for teenagers to understand the connection between their oral health and overall well-being, motivating them to prioritize dental care as an integral part of their daily routine.
Overall, by practicing good dental hygiene, seeking appropriate treatments when needed, and understanding the broader impact on their health, teenagers can establish a foundation for lifelong dental well-being.
Molar Eruption (Age 12-13)
By the time your child reaches around 12 or 13 years old and their molars emerge, all of their permanent adult teeth will have grown in. However, depending on their dental structure, there may be specific concerns like overlapping, overcrowding, or an incorrect bite that could require braces for correction. Typically, braces are recommended for children in the age range of 12 to 13, although some dentists may advise an orthodontic consultation as early as seven years old. Adolescents often have unhealthy dietary habits, so it is crucial for parents to educate them about the important link between dental health and overall well-being.
Keep Up The Regular, Twice-A-Year Check-Ups
During the pre-teen and teen years, adolescents begin to embrace independence and make their own decisions regarding their dietary choices and daily routines. Despite their inclination towards soda, snacks, and unhealthy food, it is vital for them to prioritize dental care by brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Furthermore, it is crucial for these young individuals to undergo orthodontic screenings to detect any potential concerns that may require braces or other oral appliances. Regular visits to the dentist, scheduled biannually, play a significant role in maintaining optimal oral health for your child. These appointments allow the dentist to assess the overall condition of their teeth and develop a personalized plan if necessary.
Time For Orthodontic Treatment
If your child experiences jaw issues, crooked teeth, or misalignments, braces could potentially benefit them. The good news is that if orthodontic treatment is necessary, the adolescent years are an ideal time to pursue it. During this stage, the jawbone is still developing, making it easier to adjust teeth and address bite problems compared to treating adults. While your child’s age is an important factor to consider, it’s worth noting that each child matures at their own pace, including the emergence of their permanent teeth. Generally, orthodontists recommend beginning orthodontic treatment when a child is at least 7 years old, with the optimal age range typically falling between 11 and 14 years old. Ultimately, the decision of whether your child requires orthodontic treatment rests with a dentist, and the Hallock Family Dental team would be delighted to address any inquiries or concerns you may have.
Wisdom Teeth (Late Teens)
As your child enters their late teens, most of their adult teeth should have already emerged. However, this is also the time when the third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, begin to erupt. To avoid complications such as overcrowding and jaw discomfort, it is generally advisable for adolescents to undergo wisdom teeth extraction. We recommend including x-rays as part of their routine biannual dental cleanings to monitor the progress of their wisdom teeth. If any problematic growth or issues arise, we will propose the removal of the wisdom teeth as a solution.
Trust Your Smile In The Hands Of Hallock Family Dental
The team at Hallock Family Dental looks forward to helping your family maintain healthy teeth, gums, and mouths through every stage of life. Call our Allen location at 972-390-7200 or our McKinney location at 972-547-1775 to learn more about how we can help you and your family have the healthiest, brightest smiles possible.