Does it seem like your teenager is always hungry? It’s a normal part of puberty! Growth spurts equal increased need for calories. Ask the average teenager what their idea of a perfect meal is and my guess is you will get an answer that includes pizza, cheeseburgers, French fries, and soda. Teenagers are known for skipping meals- most often breakfast and/ or lunch and snacking. The diets of teens can be difficult to regulate. Good nutrition is especially important to growing teenagers.
We suggest keeping healthy snacks on hand that are easy to grab quickly and travel well. Some examples include carrots, apples, and yogurt.
Remind your teen to brush and floss daily. We recommend brushing with an ADA approved toothpaste 2 x a day for 2 full minutes. The toothbrush should be size appropriate and can either be a manual toothbrush or an electric brush. Flossing is recommended 2 x a day with either string floss or disposable flossers. Finally, rinse with a fluoridated mouth rinse to decrease bacteria and help fight cavities.
Your teen’s permanent teeth erupt at the average age of 12….keeping in mind that number varies for each individual. This is not only a time to focus on good home care habits and diet, but also to evaluate for crowding and the need for orthodontics. Orthodontic treatment is recommended for patients with crowded or “crooked teeth”, overbites, under bites, incorrect jaw position, and disorders of the jaw joint. If left untreated problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, headaches, earaches, speaking, biting, and chewing problems can occur. There are several orthodontic options available including ClearCorrect available here at Lima Dental Associates.
Until next time,