Teens are taking a more and more active approach to their appearance. Many are wondering what they can do now to enhance their smiles. While some cosmetic dental procedures are for teens, others should wait until they are older for the best outcome.
Common Cosmetic Dental Procedures for Teens
Orthodontics – This is probably the most common practice for teens. Orthodontics consists of braces, retainers, and other tooth straightening appliances. These are common, safe procedures and can adjust teeth so they are straight with good alignment. If your child continues to wear a retainer, his or her teeth will stay straight for years to come.
Teeth Whitening – Many teens are concerned about the color of their teeth. A good idea is to start with a whitening toothpaste. Your family dentist can recommend safe toothpaste for teens. Many professionals don’t recommend tooth whitening until your child is at least 14 years old. All the teeth must be fully developed to prevent uneven tones during tooth whitening. Also, by this time, the pulp in the teeth will be fully developed and less sensitive.
Veneers – Veneers are an option to correct a misaligned or discolored tooth. Though this is a fairly non-invasive procedure, your teen will need to replace the veneers at some point. If you are considering this, it is important that your teen’s teeth are completely developed or the risk of nerve damage is increased. This option needs to be fully discussed with your cosmetic dentist to see if it is a viable one for your teen.
Tips for Great Smiles During Teenage Years
Teenagers should really not need serious cosmetic dentistry procedures unless there are special circumstances to consider. Normally, teenage teeth are still in good condition, and with good care, can remain damage-free. Here are some lifestyle tips for great smiles:
Stay away from soda. The high sweetener content can cause tooth damage and decay. Limit sodas to special occasions or just every now and then.
Make healthy food choices. Help your teen make healthy food choices and try to limit sticky and sweet foods.
Don’t smoke. Smoking can not only wreak havoc on your smile but on your overall health. Discourage your teen from smoking.
Visit the dentist on a regular basis. A twice-yearly checkup and cleaning will help maintain a healthy mouth and catch any decay or damage before it gets too bad.
Maintain good dental care at home. This means brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Sometimes teens will forget to floss or not think it’s important, but keep reminding them it is. These habits will last a lifetime so help your teen establish good ones.
With good dental care, your teen may not need cosmetic dentistry beyond braces or perhaps tooth whitening. However, if you are considering some other options, please contact us at Watkin Dental Associates. Our professional sta can go over cosmetic procedures with you and help decide what is best for your teen.