Shelby Township, MI Dentist Discusses Teens' Dental HealthThere are nearly endless reasons why you would want to have a healthy smile. A gorgeous and healthy smile not only enhances your beauty but also boosts your confidence especially when you are looking to meet new people.

If you fail to take good care of your pearly whites, both your teeth and gums could potentially suffer from a variety of health problems, ranging from bad breath, stained teeth, gum disease to dental erosion, tooth decay as well as tooth loss.

So, why is a healthy diet essential to my dental health?

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that your diet plays a crucial role in your overall health, including your dental health. When you either consume or drink anything sugary food, your teeth are at risk of acid attack for nearly an hour. This is due to the fact that sugar reacts with the harmful bacteria in plaque, resulting in the production of unwanted acids. In case you didn’t know, plaque is the accumulation of bacteria that forms on your teeth. Dentists highly recommend cutting lots of snacks off your menu.

So, what is dental erosion?

Dental erosion simply refers to the gradual loss of tooth enamel due to acid invasion. Enamel is the tough protective coating of a tooth. If it’s damaged, the dentine underneath becomes immediately exposed, making your teeth feel sensitive and discolored.

Acidic foods, as well as fizzy, can all trigger dental erosion. Water and milk remain your best option when it comes to your choice of drinks. Also, sugarless tea can be good for your teeth, as it features fluoride. It’s best to drink fruit juice only during mealtimes. And if you have to drink them between meals, make sure the juice is adequately diluted with water.

You should also keep off sugary snacks. And if you have to consume something between your meals you can go with foods such as nuts, plain popcorn, plain yogurt, breadsticks, rice cakes, unsweetened cereal, fresh soup, cheese, raw vegetable pieces as well as fresh fruit.

So, how does smoking, drinking alcohol, or drug use impact my dental health?

Smoking can potentially lead to tooth discoloration, gum infection, and tooth loss. In extreme scenarios, it can cause mouth cancer. In case you didn’t know, smoking is also a leading cause of mouth odor.

On the other hand, alcoholic beverages can also cause cancer of the mouth. If you combine smoking with alcohol consumption, your chances of mouth cancer become even greater. What’s more, alcohol can enhance your risk of dental erosion and tooth decay. Certain alcohol drinks feature lots of sugar, and some mixed drinks may feature acids as well. This implies that if you consume them in larger amounts, you are highly likely to suffer dental erosion or decay.

Research also shows that illegal drugs can potentially result in a plethora of health issues. In this regard, smoking cannabis can have similar effects to tobacco smoking. Other illegal drugs can potentially lead to a dry mouth and enhance your risk of erosion, gum infection, tooth decay as well as bad breath. What’s more, drugs can cause you to grind your teeth, leading to headaches as well as other problems.

How is my appearance?

People with dental issues are usually unhappy about their teeth’ appearance and may feel self-conscious smiling in photos and social gatherings. Thankfully, treatments are available to help correct any dental issues.

How can I restore my smile?

An orthopedic device, also known as a dental brace can help either straighten or align your teeth to boost their overall appearance as well as how they function. What’s more, this device can help the long-term health of your pearly whites, jaw joints, or even gums by distributing the biting pressure over all your teeth. There are numerous types of braces, and your dentist can always guide you toward choosing the best one that suits your preference.

So, how long will you wear braces?

This will largely depend on the severity of your dental issue. However, it usually takes between a few months to 2.5 years.

Is it advisable to use over-the-counter tooth whitening kits?

While home-based tooth whitening kits are relatively affordable, it is important to note that they are not assessed for safety and tend to feature lots of acids. And this simply implies that these products could cause significant damage to your gums and teeth! Bearing in mind that tooth whitening is a complex procedure, you are strongly advised to consult your local dentist before you sign up for any dental treatment.

It is worth noting that regulations that govern the use of home dental kits are diverse and vary from one nation to another. Those sold in European countries won’t legally feature more than 0.1% peroxide and this is too little to be effective. In some countries where the use of stronger peroxide is permitted, home whitening kits are more common. However, you should need to be careful with these products, as some kits available online may feature mild acids as well as abrasives. Tooth whitening is also not recommended for patients aged 18 and below.

So, what is tooth jewelry?

Tooth jewelry simply involves fixing small jewels onto your teeth using dental cement. Also, they should only be fitted by a qualified dentist, who has the expertise to remove them as well. It is crucial to keep the area around the jewel as clean as possible, bearing in mind that plaque buildup can easily occur around it, increasing your risk of tooth decay.

So, what are the potential dangers of mouth piercing?

Tooth piercing can cause lots of health issues, including infection, difficulty keeping your mouth clean, difficulty to talk, eat, or swallow, breaking or chipping teeth, blood infections, inflammation of the adjacent tissues. It may also make dental treatments more difficult.

How can you protect your teeth when engaging in sports?

A mouthguard offers protection against damaged or broken teeth, or even dislocated or broken jaw. You should put on a professionally-crafted mouthguard anytime you are playing a sport that involves either moving objects or contact.

Proven, practical tips for teens!

  • Brush your teeth at night and at least once during the day using fluoride toothpaste. Your toothbrush should have a small-to-medium-sized head, soft bristles. Make sure you brush for at least 2 minutes.
  • Thoroughly clean in between your teeth using interdental brushes at least once per day. This will help eliminate plaque as well as any food stuck between your teeth.
  • Use a mouthwash not only to kill bacteria but to improve your breath.
  • If you a fan of fizzy drinks, always use a straw while drinking those drinks to ensure the drink goes to the back of your mouth, significantly minimizing the number of acids on your teeth.
  • Only take sugary foods only during mealtimes. What’s more, schedule an appointment with your dentist at least once annually.
  • Chew sugarless gum after eating to help generate more saliva and cancel out the acids which accumulate in your mouth after eating.
  • Wait for at least one hour after either drinking or eating anything that has acid before brushing your teeth.

If you are looking for a dentist, HPS Advanced Dental Care would love to see you.  Dr. Heather is gladly accepting new patients.

We are located at 4741 24 Mile Rd. Shelby Township, MI 48316, and we can be reached at  (248) 652-0024.  We look forward to meeting you!