Dental Care for Teens

Tips & Information About Dental Care for Teenagers

Ah, the teenage years.  So many things in teens’ lives are competing for their attention and dental health is sometimes towards the bottom of the list.  Here are key considerations for meeting the dental needs of teenagers:

  1. Regular dental visits: Continue scheduling regular dental check-ups, usually every six months. These visits help monitor oral health, identify any issues early, and provide preventive care.  At these visits, allow your teen to independently interact with the dentist and learn to advocate for his or her health.  
  2. Orthodontic treatment: Many teenagers undergo orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, to address misalignment issues. Follow the orthodontist's recommendations for care and maintenance.
  3. Good home care: Reinforce the importance of proper brushing and flossing. Teenagers should continue brushing their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily.  Some teens become night owls and forget brushing before bed.  Encourage your teen to brush once they are finished eating for the day; that way, brushing is off the to-do list when your teen eventually goes to bed in the wee hours of the morning.  
  4. Healthy eating habits: Teens may not make the healthiest food choices at this stage.  Guide your teen towards having scheduled meals and a snack or two in between; discourage frequent snacking, as the frequency of eating can lead to development of cavities.
  5. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and diet drinks: Discourage the frequent consumption of sugary, carbonated or energy drinks. Even drinks without sugar may be acidic and damage teeth.  Water is the best choice for staying hydrated and maintaining oral health.
  6. Mouthguards: If your teenager is involved in contact sports such as hockey, lacrosse or football, we strongly recommend they use a mouthguard to protect their teeth.  Custom mouthguards are available at our office.
  7. Wisdom teeth: Monitor the eruption of wisdom teeth and consult with the dentist if there are any concerns. Wisdom teeth may require removal if they cause pain and infection, or if there is inadequate space for them to erupt.
  8. Oral piercings: Discuss the potential risks associated with oral piercings. Piercings in the mouth can lead to complications such as infection, gum recession and tooth fractures. 
  9. Tobacco, vaping and substance use: Educate teenagers about the harmful effects of tobacco and substance use on oral health. Smoking and tobacco products can contribute to gum disease and other oral issues.
  10. Fluoride treatment: Every patient can benefit from frequent exposure to fluoride to strengthen enamel and prevent progression of early cavities.  If your teen is at high risk for cavities, we may prescribe a strong fluoride toothpaste to be used daily as a preventive measure.
  11. Dental sealants: Sealants are coatings placed on the chewing surfaces of molars to protect from cavities.  They form a physical barrier to prevent food and germs from getting stuck in the grooves of the teeth.  There are two sets of molars that receive sealants.  At this age, we seal the second molars and touch-up the first molars that were likely sealed around age 6 – 8 years. 
  12. Tooth whitening:  Teens may become self-conscious about the shade of their teeth and may want to use whitening products.  Whitening toothpastes and whitening strips are perfectly safe to use according to the package directions.  Should your teen want more dramatic results, call our office to discuss the possibility of professional whitening.    
  13. Lead by example: Continue to set a positive example by demonstrating good oral hygiene habits, good food choices, and attending dental visits regularly.  
  14. Emergency preparedness: Ensure that teenagers are aware of what to do in case of a dental emergency. Have contact information for our office readily available.

Time for an appointment? We love meeting new smiles!

Our Office Address

1110 Crosspointe Lane

Suite D

Webster, NY 14580

Our Front Desk Phone Number

(585) 872-0150

Our Office Fax Number

(585) 872-6183

Our Office Hours

Monday: 7:30 AM - 5 PM

Tuesday: 7:30 AM - 5 PM

Wednesday: 7:30 AM - 5 PM

Thursday: 7:30 AM - 5 PM

Friday - Sunday: Closed