Today, we’re going to continue to talk about teen health.

How Teen Teeth Differ From Child Teeth

Believe it or not, teens have different issues than adults, or infants, or children. So, teens and adolescents, we look at a few different things that are kind of really, different. But when we’re talking about adolescent and teen teeth, we’re talking about kids who may have some adult teeth. And then some may have all adult teeth in a baby kind of mouth. And then we’re talking about kids who may have some baby teeth, older teenagers who may have baby teeth. And so that transitionary period is important, because we look more at what teams are doing.

In other words, we want to look at their gums, think about the hormones, remember teens, or adolescents are getting grown the most other than when they’re babies. This is the time when they grow and mature both emotionally and physically. And so, this is a time where their teeth are important because there are a lot of things that are going on.

How Teen Teeth Are Affected By Diet

One of the things that is quite different for teens is their diets. So last time, we talked about how we need to make sure that they’re increasing their vegetables and fruits, and things like that. Because with teens being on the run, they need more brain food. With them being with them having a lot more adult teeth, they need to be careful because these are not disposable teeth anymore. Because remember, there’s some adult teeth in there, we got to remember to take care of those. So, we got to make sure that they do that.

And then we got to think about the teens who may be working who may have after school jobs. And so, teens do more fast food, when they’re running and when they’re going to sports. And when they’re when they’re when they have practice and after school jobs and things like that. So, they eat more fast food or more rushed foods, more snacks. So, we must make sure that your teen has healthy snacks. And then there are two other things that we must think about when we’re talking about a teens diet.

Number one, going to talk about sports drinks. When I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot of sports drinks, it was Gatorade, and it was nasty. But now kids have the option of doing blue Gatorade, orange Gatorade, red Gatorade, and so it’s important that we kind of monitor that because most of those will stain their teeth, which is something that you never thought about.

The other thing that stains teeth bad is coffee. Now more teenagers and adolescents are doing Starbucks and things like that, because that market is for them. And so, your teen is or adolescent. They’re doing the Frappuccino’s or mocha Frappuccino’s or whatever. Remember that those have coffee in them, and coffee still stains their teeth.

Does Your Teen Need Braces?

So, we got to consider that diets are different, their makeup is different. Today we’re going to talk about the probably the number one question that all parents asked me, which is, are you ready? Drumroll, “Does my Kid need Braces?”  That is the number one question that I get from parents of adolescents and teens.

And I always must answer it in this way. Remember that kids don’t get braces just because their teeth are crooked. There are some children who need braces for functional reasons. In other words, your teeth should fit together like a machine and your jaws and your teeth and your ligaments and the joint that goes from you. Your bottom jaw to your top jaw and hooks in and hinges it is supposed to work efficiently just like a machine.

And so, when that function isn’t there, like when your child isn’t chewing efficiently or when other things are preventing them from closing and opening, like they should, it could be pain, it could be muscle pain, then you must think about braces, because braces help with the function of teeth as well. And so, there’s some kids who you’ll see when they’re eight or nine, and they’ll have braces, those are the kids that need braces for functional reasons.

So that’s my first thing I always tell parents, well, could be a functional thing. But the second thing is, of course, aesthetics. And if you’re anything, if you’re anywhere around any teenager, you know now it’s extremely popular to have braces. And everybody wants braces, there aren’t any teenagers who don’t want braces.

And so, the thing that I always tell parents, you know, your teen or adolescent, they want braces, because they want the color, they want the rubber bands and all that kind of thing. But remember, you’re putting a big responsibility in their mouth. So, they got to be ready to brush and floss like everything. Because once you put those braces on, is going to be especially important that they keep their teeth clean. You can’t go behind them and fuss at them and things like that. It only gives you a headache.

So those are the three things. Does your child need braces for function? Does your child need braces because of aesthetics? Or because of cosmetic reasons? And is your child ready for braces? Are they ready for that responsibility?

Well, after you consider those questions, I urge you to talk with your dentist or your pediatric dentist and they’ll be able to help you and refer you to an orthodontist, or to a program that may help your children. So, we are blessed to have great orthodontists that work with us. And so, I encourage you if you have those questions to ask your dentist, they will know.

Well. That’s all I have for right now. And I’m going to get off here. I hope that you guys stay warm. I hope that you stay safe. I want to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day. And I hope that you enjoyed everything. If you ever have any questions, just give me a holler. I appreciate you guys joining me. Thanks for your time. And y’all take care bye.