Dentistry for Teenagers (Age 12-18)

As a parent, you can find comfort in knowing that these years ahead may pose various challenges.

Even if your child is well-behaved, parenting remains a challenge! While dental health might not be your top priority during these years, it remains crucial.

Here are some tips from Flossophie Children’s Dentistry on maintaining your child’s dental health during this phase:

As a teenager, self-esteem and a beautiful smile are often significant concerns. These years are crucial for developing habits that can impact your life long-term. It is essential to establish positive dental habits to avoid harmful effects. If you reside in or around the Duluth, GA area and seek guidance in dental care, your pediatric dentist at Flossophie Children’s Dentistry is here to support you.

The following are common dental issues we encounter in teenage dentistry:

Oral Piercings

In modern times, it’s not uncommon to spot teenagers with pierced lips, cheeks, or tongues, and many find the appeal enticing without fully understanding the associated dangers. What may seem like a trendy decision can have significant consequences. Oral piercings can result in chipped or fractured teeth, leading to potential treatments like fillings, crowns, or even root canals. Additionally, the mouth is naturally filled with bacteria, making oral piercings risky and potentially causing blood clots, nerve damage, heart infections, brain abscesses, and various other complications. Moreover, loose jewelry can pose a choking hazard.

If you are still considering oral piercings, we strongly urge you to seek a consultation with us. It’s essential to fully comprehend the potential risks and make informed decisions about your dental and overall health.

Smoking / Chewing Tobacco

Smoking or chewing tobacco represents one of the gravest health hazards, making it essential to be well-informed about the dangers to avoid starting this habit. The repercussions of tobacco use vary from minor issues like stained teeth and bad breath to far more serious concerns, such as oral cancer and periodontal disease (gum disease). If you are currently a tobacco user, it’s vital to inform your dentist about your habit and any oral problems you may be experiencing, such as unusual pain or swelling. For those who do not smoke or chew tobacco, we strongly advise against starting!

*A common misconception among teenagers is that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking. However, this is not true. In fact, one can of chewing tobacco is equivalent to about 60 cigarettes.

Eating Disorders

Two prevalent disorders are anorexia, characterized by avoiding eating due to an irrational fear of weight gain, often leading to vomiting, and bulimia, which involves binge-eating followed by intentional vomiting. Apart from causing a range of health issues and potentially life-threatening situations, eating disorders directly contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel due to increased exposure to acids. We offer various treatment options, such as dental crowns and fillings, to restore damaged teeth. While we cannot address the disorder itself, we can guide you towards seeking appropriate help. If you, a friend, or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact us immediately.

Dietary Habits

Teenagers often consume carbonated beverages and snack foods that are high in sugar, starches, and acidic flavorings. These unhealthy choices can lead to increased plaque formation, resulting in the erosion of tooth enamel and, ultimately, tooth decay. To prevent these dental issues, we recommend maintaining a balanced diet from the five major food groups and opting for healthier snacks like raw fruits and vegetables, cheese or yogurt, nuts, etc. Additionally, choosing water over soda can significantly reduce the risk of potential dental problems. If you have any questions about promoting better oral health through your diet, discussing it with us would be a wise decision.

Stress Related to School

Academic stress is a prevalent problem among teenagers, and it can result in involuntary teeth grinding during sleep. If you notice symptoms such as difficulty moving your jaw, a clicking sound when doing so, or tooth and jaw sensitivity, these might be early signs of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) – a painful condition that restricts jaw movement. In such cases, we advise you to visit our office promptly for evaluation. We may recommend a night guard to prevent teeth grinding and alleviate the symptoms of TMJ. Early intervention can help manage the condition effectively and protect your dental health.

Mouth Guards

Considering that teenagers frequently engage in sports, it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential impact on their oral health. Participating in sports can lead to various issues, including cut lips, chipped or broken teeth, missing teeth, and damage to the roots and bone.

If you play sports and don’t have a mouth guard, we strongly advise you to visit us as soon as possible. We can create a custom mouth guard that fits over your upper teeth, even if you have braces or other fixed dental devices. This custom mouth guard will offer excellent protection against the potential hazards associated with sports activities, ensuring your oral health remains safeguarded during play.


Many children and teenagers often encounter dental problems like crooked or crowded teeth, as well as misaligned jaws. Besides potentially impacting self-esteem and causing social anxiety, these issues can pose risks to the proper functioning of teeth and overall dental health.

To determine the most suitable treatment options for your needs, we encourage you to reach out to us for a proper recommendation. Our team will guide you in choosing the best orthodontic solution to achieve a beautiful and healthy smile.

Teeth Whitening

If you’re a teenager considering teeth whitening, we highly recommend reaching out to us for guidance in selecting the most suitable option. With the wide range of whitening products available today, improper usage can potentially lead to serious damage to your teeth. In some cases, you might not even require teeth whitening if you regularly visit your dentist for thorough cleanings, as this takes care of surface stains and other issues.

For surface stains, using whitening toothpastes can be a safe option. However, if stubborn staining persists, professional whitening may be necessary. To make an informed decision about teeth whitening, it’s essential to speak with us beforehand. Our team will assist you in finding the right approach to achieve the bright smile you desire while ensuring your dental health remains protected.

Tooth Decay

We understand that getting your child to prioritize their oral health and be concerned about tooth decay can be challenging at this age. However, it is crucial to emphasize its importance. Significant tooth decay during their teen years can lead to lifelong dental issues.

While you cannot control every aspect of your child’s choices, we encourage you to promote healthy eating habits as a family. Making wholesome food choices together can substantially limit the consumption of junk food, which is one of the primary causes of tooth decay. By fostering a supportive and health-conscious environment, you can positively influence your child’s oral health and overall well-being.

Maintaining Fresh Breath

As a parent, you can encourage your teenager to take excellent care of their teeth by highlighting the importance of fresh breath. No teenager wants bad breath, and by emphasizing this aspect, they may be more motivated to maintain proper oral hygiene.

In addition to regular oral care practices, like brushing and flossing, your teenager can also incorporate some helpful habits. Chewing sugar-free gum and using mouthwash daily can aid in preventing bad breath. Investing in a tongue scraper can also be beneficial for maintaining oral freshness.

However, if you notice that your child experiences persistent bad breath despite good hygiene practices, it may be related to other factors such as allergies or acid reflux. In such cases, we recommend consulting your primary care provider for further evaluation and appropriate management.

Book an Appointment With Our Dentist Near You Today!