Dental Patient Education

 

Adolescent Care

 
 


Once your adolescent reaches the teen years, he or she should have all of his permanent teeth except for the four wisdom teeth (which appear around age 16.) A good appearance is especially important to pre-teens and teens, so it can be easy to motivate them to practice good oral care habits to insure a healthy and beautiful smile.

Some pre-teens and teenagers may wear braces (orthodontic appliances) on their teeth. Orthodontics is the area of dentistry that involves the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of teeth that are twisted, overlapping or do not fit together properly.

Unless your teen continues to have problems with cavities, he or she will not require continued use of fluoride supplements after his or her permanent teeth completely appear as the teeth should be well protected from decay.kids02b.jpg (42217 bytes)

Frequently Asked Questions

When will my teen have all of his permanent teeth?

Your teen will begin to replace his baby teeth with permanent teeth from around age six until age 12 or 13. At this time he or she will have a complete set of 32 permanent teeth. The wisdom teeth are the last to appear at around age 16.

Should my teen be receiving additional fluoride?

Unless your teen continues to have problems with cavities, he or she will not require continued use of fluoride supplements after his or her permanent teeth completely appear as the teeth should be well protected from decay.

My teen's teeth are crooked and overlap. At what age should he begin wearing braces?

Orthodontic treatment (wearing braces) usually begins around age 10 although braces can be worn at any age.

Made of metal or plastic, braces include brackets attached to the teeth and wires that connect them. Pressure to move the teeth is caused by adjusting the wires regularly.

The length of time a person wears braces depends on age, the severity of the problem and the condition of the mouth. However, the average teen wears braces for 18-30 months. After the braces are removed, a removable retainer must be worn for several months to hold the teeth in their proper position until they're more secure.

What is the proper way for my teen to brush and floss?

Your teen should brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and with a toothbrush that has soft bristles and a small head for those hard-to-reach back teeth. A thorough job of brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of his/her teeth.

Every teen should floss once a day to remove plaque from between teeth and under the gumline where a toothbrush cannot reach.


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