Does Your Teen Have Unique Dental Challenges?

Categories: Family Dentistry

adolescent dental health

Let’s face it, parents. Some teens don’t always practice healthy dental hygiene or eating habits. They may not be happy or comfortable with their adult teeth, leading you both to consider braces. At Arbor Lakes Dental, we want to keep your teen’s smile healthy for life. In addition to scheduling regular dental checkups and orthodontic consultations, it’s wise to make sure they’re also practicing health eating habits. Here are a few issues to look out for:

Eating disorders

Eating disorders affect everyone, but generally this behavior begins in adolescence. Eating disorders such as  bulimia can cause enamel erosion, decay, and even complete tooth loss. We strongly advise you to talk to your child immediately and provide appropriate medical care and counseling.

The importance of diet cannot be overstated. Many teenagers decrease their calcium intake–a danger to tooth and bone health–in favor of sodas and energy drinks. Make sure they’re drinking milk or taking calcium supplements, if necessary. Our experienced staff can help you spot these problems, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at 763-494-4443 if you have any questions.

Tobacco use, as well as the abuse of some illegal drugs, carries an increased risk of tooth decay and oral cancer. Oral piercings can be extremely detrimental. The health risks include tooth and gum damage, infection, allergic reactions, nerve damage, and excessive swelling that can block airways.

Teens who are undergoing orthodontic treatment often have a difficult time properly cleaning their teeth. It is a challenge to fit toothbrush bristles and floss under dental hardware. Toothbrushes and flossing devices that squirt water can help teens with braces adequately clean their teeth and gums.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following  guidelines for adolescent oral health:

Teens should drink fluoridated water.
Fluoride supplementation is recommended for high risk teens that don’t have access to fluoridated water (up to age 16).
Teens should use fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.
Teens should floss daily.1

Your teenager should come in for twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings. Call us at 763-494-4443 to schedule an appointment. We’re dedicated to oral health for patients of all ages.


Contact Arbor Lakes Dental: 763-494-4443

Arbor Lakes Dental
12000 Elm Creek Blvd, Ste 230
Maple Grove, Minnesota 55369


1“Protecting All Children’s Teeth, Oral Health in Adolescence,”, accessed September 17,  2014