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5 tips to improve the dental health of your teenage children

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The Australian Dental Association asserts that preventive oral care for children is the need of the hour in NSW, which performs poorly on dental health metrics. Nearly 16% of children aged 5-14 in NSW have never visited a dentist.

When preventive care is not prioritised, the consequences can be unfortunate. Tellingly, 35% of children aged 12 in NSW suffer from tooth decay in their permanent teeth. Teens are particularly susceptible to dental injury, and according to a reputed dentist in Liverpool, nearly 60% of the teens who visit have lost more than one tooth or needed filling.

The above findings may disturb you, especially if you are a parent. Read on to inform yourself about risk factors that can lead to dental issues in teenagers:

  1. Consumption of high sugar drinks:

A recent study revealed that 8% – 16% of teens in NSW consume high energy drinks regularly. Young boys are more prone to drinking non-alcoholic, high sugar content drinks.

As diet-induced tooth decay is rampant in Australia, the Australian Dental Association (NSW) has been pitching for a National Tax on sugary drinks.

Teach your children the importance of restricting indirect sugar consumption. Tell them to look for sugar, honey, rice and corn syrup on the labels of beverages.

  1. Playing sports:

40% of all dental injuries in Australia are due to sports. However, mouthguards are not as frequently worn as they should be – nearly 65% of sports players admit to not wearing them.

If your child starts playing a sport, it is important to get them a custom-made mouthguard.

If your child has just lost a tooth, hold it by the crown, and place it in milk or saliva to transport it to the dentist within half an hour. Sometimes, a knocked-out tooth can be saved up to 3 hours after the injury.

  1. Stress-induced dental problems :

Australian youth are subjected to an incredible amount of stress and anxiety – 1 in every five children aged 11-17 suffer from high psychological distress. Mental stress often manifests itself in the act of teeth-grinding, known as bruxism. It can cause severe pain in the jaws, neck, or even the ears. In the worst cases, it can lead to chipping of the teeth. In most cases, it leads to wearing down of the teeth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity. If you can hear your child grinding their teeth – especially at night, you may need to take a holistic approach to the problem. Consult a mental health practitioner, and additionally, a dentist. The dentist can evaluate damages and prescribe a custom-made mouthguard to prevent teeth from rubbing against each other unconsciously.

  1. Take advantage of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS):

If your family receives Family Tax Benefit Part A, your children aged 2-17 can avail of basic dental services under this scheme of the Australian government. The services include examination, X-rays, fillings, and even root canals. You can claim up to $1013 over a span of two years. Visit your dentist to find out if and how you can qualify.

In conclusion

Do not wait for a dental issue to crop up before taking your child to visit a dentist in Liverpool. With regular examinations and timely interventions, children can enjoy the benefits of good oral health for the rest of their lives. Consider it a long-term investment with compounding benefits.

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