A guide to pre-teen oral health challenges, recommendations

As your child gets older, there are undoubtedly more social, academic, sports, and other commitments competing for their time. At Orion Dental Specialties, our team in Cypress, Texas, strives to be the “guide star” for preteens when it comes to ensuring their oral health does not take a backseat to the flurry of activities filling increasingly packed schedules.

After all, your children cannot be their best on the field or in the classroom with an aching tooth or a broken smile that does not convey pride and confidence. Additionally, the need for dental care only becomes more apparent and important during this critical stage of development.

Studies have shown that one out of every five 10- to 13-year-olds has untreated dental (tooth) decay. Pre-teen patients are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease and other gum-related issues. A combination of hormones, rapid growth, and nutritional needs to promote sustained development are to blame. As adolescents begin to assert their independence, too, it is all the more important for professionals to continue to intervene and be engaged with their care. Only then will healthy habits persist through the challenging teen years and well into adulthood.

Recommendations for care to get ahead of problems

First and foremost, it is essential for your child to maintain “check-ups” at our office. As always, these check-ups will include a comprehensive exam conducted by one of our dentists, Drs. Farnam and Melanie Farzam. Our hygienists will continue to use their expertise and special tools to complete professional cleanings. These cleanings promote healthy, stain-free teeth and fresh breath. In addition to these all-important routine visits:

  • Our doctors may recommend that visits occur more frequently than once every six months, depending on new challenges to your child’s good oral health and hygiene. Recommendations account for changing and elevated risk factors.
  • Fluoride remains the most affordable and effective way to prevent cavities for adolescents well into their teenage years and early adulthood. Systemic and topical fluoride supplementation remains beneficial for preteens and comes in many different forms, including compounds prescribed and applied by our professional team. Such preventive measures can be easily and quickly incorporated into your child’s regular hygiene appointments.
  • Tailored guidance on everything from nutrition to custom-fitted preventative mouthguards becomes all the more important. Ideally, you must “feed” your child’s rapid growth with a nutritious, tooth-friendly diet. Depending on your child’s needs, a mouthguard may be on the horizon to protect the teeth and other tissues from injuries caused during sports.

There is also no time like the present to address any persistent and damaging behaviors or habits that may have lingered into the preteen years. Poor oral posture, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching are among those habits that require modification to prevent future damage and other complications that transcend the health and function of the oral cavity.

Is your child due for a check-up? If so, call Orion Dental Specialties at (832) 906-8313 to schedule an appointment. Our team in Cypress, TX, encourages visits before problems rear their ugly heads, but we also welcome any questions or concerns about changes associated with your or a family member’s teeth and oral health.