Teen Teeth

Teen Vaping is on the Rise – and It’s Terrible for Teeth

February 14th, 2019

Teen use of e-cigarettes and nicotine vaporizing devices is on the rise, with nearly 4 in 10 high-school aged children reporting that they regularly use the devices. Unfortunately, these electronic cigarettes and vaporizers contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance that is terrible for teeth, and the entire body. 

First: Tobacco Hurts Teeth & Overall Health 

Tobacco use harms teeth and health in many ways. It can lead to oral cancer, periodontal disease, delayed healing after oral procedure, bad breath, stained teeth and gums and damage the ability to smell and taste. The health risks related to tobacco use are serious, and negative oral side effects are chilling. 

E-cigarettes & Vaporizers 

In 2013, the Center for Disease Control reported that 1.78 million students in middle and high school reported trying e-cigarettes, and that their main reason was to be socially accepted and appear cool. In 2018, it was reported that teen e-cigarette use is steadily rising as more products are marketed at young people, and make it easier to vape on the go.

Most young people begin using tobacco after first trying an e-cigarette or vaporizer as a “safe” alternative to smoking cigarettes. In fact, teens that experiment with e-cigarettes are far more likely to try traditional cigarettes than those who did not try an e-cigarette. However, no amount or medium by which tobacco is consumed is ever safe – tobacco use in any fashion is unsafe. Make sure your child does not experiment with vaporizers or e-cigarettes, since they are basically an entry-point to normal, habitual tobacco use.

Chewing Tobacco Presents Real Risks, Too 

According to the AAPD, nearly 15% of high school teens use chewing tobacco. Unfortunately, smokeless tobacco can lead to periodontal disease, oral cancer, cavities, and tooth abrasion. It can cause bone degradation and increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

The Center for Disease Control reports that smokeless tobacco use has steadily risen in the United States since 2000. If your child uses chewing tobacco, then urge them to quit for the consideration of their long-term health.

Talk to Your Teen about the Dangers of Tobacco Use 

You can help your child avoid tobacco use by discussing the dangers of nicotine, and how e-cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and smoking traditional cigarettes. Most studies find that teens that are actively discouraged from smoking, or that live in an environment where smoking is not normalized, are less likely to use tobacco as an adult.

All About Wisdom Teeth

June 4th, 2018

Tales of wisdom teeth often sound like horror stories, but that’s not the whole story. In fact, wisdom teeth were once useful tools that helped ancient people chew and eat. Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth.

What are Wisdom Teeth? 

Wisdom teeth are the back most molars on each row of teeth, and they usually erupt between ages 17 and 25. They are the third molars, and ancient humans used wisdom teeth to grind up hard foods that were difficult to digest. Since cooking meals arrived, humans have outgrown wisdom teeth and most can be removed before they erupt without any effect on a person’s natural chewing pattern. 

Wisdom Teeth Don’t Always Need to be Removed 

Most people assume that wisdom teeth always need to be removed, but that’s not always the case. In fact, some people have wisdom teeth grow perfectly into their smile without crowding or issue. However, most wisdom teeth need to be removed before they erupt to prevent potential crowding problems. 

When Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed? 

There are many reasons to have wisdom teeth removed before they arrive, but they can only be discovered by a dentist using advanced imaging to assess the position and health of an incoming wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth need to be removed when they will negatively affect the health of surrounding teeth or the mouth. Most people that need their wisdom teeth removed have it done between the ages of 16 and 18.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed? 

If there is not enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted, which causes them to grow in sideways and is a reason for removal. Wisdom teeth can also push against second molars, pushing them out of alignment and making them more difficult to clean and susceptible to decay. Additionally, narrow spaces between molars can become more easily infected with bacteria, which raise the risk of periodontal disease, inflammation and decay.

Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Painful? 

Wisdom teeth removal is usually done under anesthetic, so the procedure itself is not painful at all. However, the recovery period after a wisdom tooth removal can be uncomfortable. Soreness, swelling and limited mouth opening can last anywhere between 1 and 4 days. A typical recovery period is dependent upon how impacted the incoming wisdom teeth are, how large the teeth are, and how deep they are when they are extracted. 

Is Your Teen Experiencing Wisdom Tooth Pain? 

If your teen is experiencing pain in the very back of their mouth, then it may be time to evaluate how their wisdom teeth are growing. Visit our office so we can evaluate their smile, and provide a treatment plan that will improve their smile and avoid any wisdom tooth pain down the road.