Most of us remember those awkward teenage years all too well, having spent a great deal of time feeling self-conscious about our appearance. Teeth are easily one of the most noticeable aspects of our appearance and an unattractive smile can have a severely detrimental effect on your teen’s confidence and self-esteem.
However, it isn’t just the appearance of your teenagers’ teeth you need to think about. Whilst it might be their primary concern about their smile, as parents, you also want to ensure that your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible as they enter adulthood. After all, their second set of teeth need to last them for the remainder of their lifetime. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to ensure that your teenager’s teeth are healthy and fill them with confidence now and in the future.
We are pleased to be able to offer a comprehensive range of teen dentistry services at our offices in Covington, LA that include the following:
Our preventative care for teenagers is not dissimilar to that which is offered for children and adults. In addition to regular visits so that we can assess the health and condition of your child’s teeth, and professional cleans which go above and beyond what your teen can achieve with his toothbrush, we can also offer various other treatments including:
Fluoride varnish. This process involves painting a fluoride solution directly onto the teeth approximately once every six months. The varnish helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, making them more resistant to decay and damage.
Dental sealants. These are plastic coatings that are applied over the chewing surfaces of molars and pre-molars so that tiny food particles and bacteria cannot become trapped in the natural pits and grooves that form on these teeth. This can prevent cavities from forming. Sealants typically last up to 5 years before they require replacing.
Sports guards. Lots of teenagers participate in sports. If your child is involved in contact sports, we will recommend that he considers a custom mouthguard. This device sits over the top of the teeth and will help to protect against injury, trauma and tooth loss.
Despite every effort being made to protect teeth from decay, cavities do still develop. If your teenager is found to have a dental cavity, we will likely recommend that it is treated using a filling. This is when the decay is drilled out and special, artificial material is used to fill the gap left to prevent further bacteria and food particles from becoming trapped inside the hole and causing more damage to your teen’s tooth.
In the past, all fillings were made from silver amalgam. However, today it is possible to opt for white fillings which are much more discreet and do not have a detrimental impact on the appearance of your smile
Many people associated braces with teenagers since adolescence tends to be the most common time when people undergo orthodontic treatment. Braces are used to correct teeth that are crooked, twisted, overlapping or gapped. They can also be used to correct bit problems, which are characterized by the teeth not coming together perfectly when your teen closes their mouth.
The design of braces has evolved over the last few decades and they are now slimmer and more discreet than before. Patients can choose from metal or ceramic brackets, with metal brackets often being made available in multiple colors so that your teen can personalize their look. Exactly how long he will need to wear his braces will depend, but most treatments last between 12 and 24 months. During this time, he will need to take extra special care of his teeth, particularly when eating and brushing them.
Invisalign is another orthodontic solution, but unlike braces, it does not use brackets and wires. Instead, your teenager will wear a series of custom-designed transparent plastic aligners over their teeth. Each exerts gentle pressure onto the teeth to guide them into their new and improved position. They must be worn for at least 22 hours each day, and in order for the treatment to be successful. However, they can be removed for eating and cleaning your teeth, meaning that patients need to make fewer compromises with regards to their meal choices and they will find it much easier to maintain great oral health. The invisibility of the aligners also means that your teen will not feel self-conscious about the appearance of their smile while undergoing treatment.
Teeth whitening is the single most sough-after cosmetic dental treatment in the world. If your teenager has teeth that are stained or discolored, he may be interested in professional whitening which can transform the appearance of his smile in just a few short sessions. Professional whitening is carried out in the comfort of our offices using the highest concentrations of whitening agent. This means much faster, brighter and long-lasting results, along with greater consistency across his smile.
If you live in Covington, Mandeville, Folsom, Abita Springs, Madisonville and Slidell and are interested in learning more about any of our dentistry services, including teen dentistry, we would be happy to help. Please contact us today by visiting our family dentistry offices in Covington, LA or calling us on 985-412-3293.