When children reach the age of 13, all of their adult teeth should be present, with the sole exception of their wisdom teeth. During this period, dental care focuses on ensuring that dental alignment is correct, free from overbite, underbite, crossbite, and unusual wear patterns on the rear molars. Cavities are a constant concern, and braces are often called for to manage any misalignment of teeth. In addition, a close eye is kept out for abscesses in the event that a root canal becomes necessary.
Braces are often called for during this stage of dental development to ensure that issues with gaps and alignment are addressed. At this point, the maxillofacial area is still developing and can easily be manipulated to make corrections. Multiple options exist for braces, including traditional metal braces, clear braces, lingual braces, and the increasingly popular and effective Invisalign system. Braces tend to take between 12 and 24 months to correct alignment concerns, with shorter treatment times being found in younger patients.
With so many teens getting involved in sports activities both in and out of school, this is a critical time to think about athletic mouth guards. These guards are made from a soft plastic material that protects the mouth from blows by absorbing energy from impacts. They are available in stock, boil-n-bite, and custom varieties, each offering a level of protection superior to the before. Stock mouthguards are a one-size/one-shape fit all style that offers limited protection and is not fitted to the patient’s teeth. Boil and Bite are made of a material that becomes malleable when heated in boiling water. While not a perfect fit, these still provide superior protection to stock mouthpieces. Custom mouthguards are perfectly fitted to the patient’s mouth and give the best protection of all the varieties available.
Dental Cleanings and a Consistent Oral Hygiene Routine
Patients falling between the ages of 13-17 are at a critical juncture for their dental development. Routine oral hygiene practices are essential to help keep decay from setting in and damaging their developing teeth. In addition to flossing, mouthwash, and twice a day brushing, your child should see Dr. Grewal for regular dental cleanings to ensure their teeth remain free from plaque, tartar, and cavities resulting from the same.
Cavities are prevalent in patients between the ages of 13 and 17. Catching them early helps to preserve their teeth through the use of composite fillings before decay hits the pulp of their tooth. These composite fillings are created from a unique material that can be matched to the color of their natural teeth, making them nearly impossible to detect.
If you want to get more information about helping your teen maintain their oral health, and develop good dental hygiene habits, call (661) 244-4036 for an appointment today. Our staff will arrange an appointment for you and your child at Skyline Smiles. During this appointment, Dr. Leena will perform an exam to determine your child’s dental health and how they can improve their hygiene practices. Call today to become part of the Skyline Smiles patient family!