Teenagers – Snacking without Brushing and Flossing…
Teenagers are notorious for rebelling against their parents’ advice. I have 3 teenagers and should know.
One way they rebel is by skipping the brushing and flossing their parents may have demanded when they
were younger. Now, since the teenager takes care of his own personal hygiene, the parents generally
forget to ask, “Did you brush?” or “Are you flossing every day?” Of course, he has much more pressing
Another common trait in teenagers is excessive snacking. They are hungry, and growing. They have more
choice as they get older and are not choosing the healthiest foods, but perhaps the sweet and sticky ones,
or the constant soft drinks.
…Can Lead to Tooth Decay!
These traits will often lead to cavities in a teenager’s teeth. The decay starts in between the teeth where it
is not easily detected. We need x-rays to find these cavities. I remember when my 16 year old brother
came home one day and told my Mom, “I have 10 cavities!” That is exactly how it works. The decay
quietly grows and if it is allowed to grow over a period of years, the cavity may extend all the way to the
nerve. Waiting for this to happen will result in expensive root canals and crowns.
I recommend you make sure that your teenager, and even your 18 or 19 year old, has a checkup every
year. If we see areas of decay just starting, we can help to educate your child more. There is actually
evidence that the enamel repairs itself when hygiene is improved. Some people will have to work harder
than others because of hereditary factors, but with proper hygiene and diet, your child should be able to be