Dentistry designed with your teen’s smile in mind.
As your child goes from childhood to adolescence, they will experience many changes. By helping your child establish positive associations with dentistry and oral hygiene, you can help your child live a healthier life. Although GoSmiles Dentistry aims to provide the best possible care, there are many outside factors that parents should be aware of to help the child avoid dangerous situations and habits. Here, you can learn more about topics that parents should be aware of regarding oral health care for adolescent kids.
Tongue Piercing — Is It Really That Cool?
Although it is fairly common to see people in popular culture sporting facial and oral piercings, you may be surprised to know that those piercings come with a dangerous cost. The following includes information about the dangers of tongue, lip and cheek piercings.
Oral piercings can lead to a myriad of health and dental concerns, including:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Blood clots
- Blood poisoning
- Heart infections
- Brain abscesses
- Nerve disorders
- Receding gums
- Scar tissue
The mouth contains bacteria by the millions. Infections are a common complication of oral piercings. Infection and bacteria can cause the tongue to swell large enough to close the airway. Common after-piercing side effects include pain, swelling, infection, increased flow of saliva and injuries to the gum tissue. It is also possible to have nerve damage or severe bleeding if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is in the needle’s path.
Our dentists and team recommend that your child follow the advice of the American Dental Association® and avoid getting oral piercings.
Tobacco — Bad News in Any Form
In any of its forms, tobacco can cause incurable damage to your child’s overall health, including their oral health. Although many young people believe that smokeless tobacco, called spit, chew or snuff, is safer than smoking, this is actually a serious misconception. Studies have shown that smokeless tobacco is more addictive than cigarettes.
Consider these facts to share with your child: one can of snuff delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes. In as little as three to four months of use, those using smokeless tobacco can develop periodontal disease and precancerous lesions called leukoplakia.
If Your Child Uses Tobacco, Watch for the Following Signs of Oral Cancer:
- A sore that will not heal
- Patches of white or leathery red on the lips or tongue
- Pain, tenderness and numbness in the mouth or lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- Changes in the way the teeth fit together
Early signs of oral cancer typically are not painful, which is why many people ignore the symptoms. Left untreated, oral cancer can cause extensive damage that may require disfiguring surgery. Worse yet, oral cancer can be deadly.
Our team offers adolescent dentistry in Herndon, Virginia, to help your child establish a lifetime of good oral health. If you are ready to set up an appointment with our dentists and team, call 703-689-3900.