Helping a teenager avoid the need for dental fillings

Helping a teenager avoid the need for dental fillings

As teenagers begin the journey into adulthood and graduate from adolescence, a struggle for independence begins in the household. The teen may brush his or her teeth once a day, but may not practice proper dental hygiene on a regular basis. The parents try to help guide the teen, but end up arguing more often than not. The teen needs to understand why cavities and dental fillings are something one will want to avoid.

What’s the worst that can happen?

A large dental health issue that children, teenagers, and even adults can struggle with is tooth decay, also known as cavities. Mouthhealthy.org explains that cavities involve “the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth.” According to mouthhealthy.org, causes of the cavities can include:

  • Consuming sugary food or beverages
  • Not brushing or eliminating the food particles on the teeth
  • Infection from other areas in the mouth

Without proper dental care, “The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down,” mouthhealthy.org explains. From this, the cavity will form a hole in the tooth and lead to further infection.

Parents spend most of the child’s adolescent years teaching them to brush and having to keep an eye on it. Once the child reaches the teen years, though, the teen seems to become distant and more independent. In some cases, the teen may not bother to take the best care of his or her teeth, not thinking of the consequences or who will have to pay for them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, found that 17.5 percent of children from ages 5 to 19 had untreated dental caries (tooth decay) from 2011 to 2012. Within the same year, 27 percent of adults from ages 20 to 44 had untreated dental caries. Teenagers may not realize that poor dental hygiene habits in the present can lead to more cavities as an adult.

Dental fillings treatment

The best way to treat cavities that are fully-formed involves removing the damaged enamel and filling the hole. Fortunately, dental fillings can come in a variety of different materials instead of just metal. Patients have “the right to decide, after consultation with your dentist, what treatments and materials are used for your dental care,” mouthhealthy.org states.

A dental filling will protect the parts of the tooth left after the procedure, but will also be susceptible to damage as like the other natural teeth. This is why a teen's level of personal dental hygiene is crucial for his or her oral health. If a teen is not taking care of his or her teeth, try to sit down with the teen and go over what can result from a lack of dental hygiene.

Explain that poor dental hygiene can lead to needing braces or extensive dental work as an adult. The best method of prevention for all dental diseases starts with proper dental hygiene and regular cleanings at the dentist. A dental filling is an effective treatment toward cavities, but will not be invincible against all dental issues.

By helping to instill proper dental hygiene in teens, parents can help ensure a future of oral health for the patient. If you or your teenager has a dental filling, it is important to keep it clean and have a dentist check it out during the visit. A dentist can make sure that everything is functioning smoothly and spot signs of any other dental issues.

Sonoran Desert Dentistry

At Sonoran Desert Dentistry in Scottsdale, AZ, we will customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule. Our professional staff creates a calm atmosphere for you during the appointment and treatment process. If you have any questions or are unsure of what is causing the pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to call us.

We will answer any questions and make sure you get all of the necessary information. We can help prevent damage to your teeth and set you on track for a lifetime of pristine oral health. At Sonoran Desert Dentistry, your experience with us and your dental health are our prime concern.

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