Help keep your teen’s smile healthy.
As your child matures into an adolescent, they will benefit from good oral hygiene practices, both for their smile and continued overall health and wellness. It is important to instill in them good habits early on. Our GoSmiles Dentistry team offers excellent in-house preventative care, and it is up to you to help your adolescent understand the dangers of peer-influenced habits. For more information on adolescent dentistry in Gainesville and Herndon, Virginia, contact our office at (703) 753-3346 or (703) 689-3900.
Tongue Piercing … Dangerous or Cool?
While it is common today to see people sporting piercings on their tongues, lips and cheeks, it is important to understand that these can be dangerous to your teen’s oral health.
Your adolescent should be aware of the following potential health risks from oral piercings:
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Blood clots
- Blood poisoning
- Heart infections
- Brain abscess
- Nerve disorders (trigeminal neuralgia)
- Receding gums
- Scar tissue
Common complications arising from an oral piercing may include pain, swelling, infection, increased saliva production and injuries to the gums. To illustrate this point, infections are common after a piercing because the mouth hosts millions of bacteria, and if the tongue swells enough to close off the airway, your teen could risk suffocation. Excessive bleeding can also occur after a piercing, as can nerve damage if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is injured by the needle. Our dentists and team supports the advice of the American Dental Association®. Encourage your teen to skip the mouth jewelry altogether!
Tobacco — Bad News in Any Form
Tobacco’s various forms can damage your child’s health and result in irreparable harm. Your child needs to understand the potential dangers if their peers are encouraging tobacco use, even if it is smokeless. Known as spit, chew or snuff, this method of using tobacco is common among teens who think it is safer than smoking cigarettes.
However, studies have shown that spit tobacco is even more addictive than cigarettes, making it harder to quit the habit. By teaching your teen that even one can of snuff chewed a day delivers as much nicotine as smoking 60 cigarettes, they may think twice. Let them know that smokeless tobacco only takes three or four months to cause periodontal disease and pre-cancerous lesions like leukoplakia.