San Benito County

Health & Human Services Agency

Hollister, California

Adolescent Oral Health

You’re changing and so is your body. New hormones, new growths spurts and the start of independence.
Why is a healthy smile important?
A healthy smile will attract new friends, boost your confidence, and help you feel good about yourself.
If you don’t look after teeth, you could suffer from a number of different situations that will make you stand out from the crowd for all the wrong reasons. (Here are just a few)
Bad breath, stained teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss and dental erosion.
All of these conditions can be prevented with just good daily brushing, flossing, healthy eating, low sugar, no tobacco products, no erosive drinks, use of fluoridated toothpaste, regular checkups at the dentist, sugar free gum, and if you are not sure how to take care of your teeth, call your dentist or call the Oral Health Program to help find a provider.

Tips for Teens

Brush your teeth 2 times a day, for 2 minutes, floss at least once a day to get food out from in-between where cavities can start. Use toothpaste with fluoride and mouth rinse, like Act Fluoride Rinse, or toothpaste for sensitive teeth, if you have sensitive teeth , fluoride is safe and effective for your enamel against the bacteria that cause decay.
Limit sugary foods. Do you have sugary foods every day? Check labels and see how much sugar you’re really consuming. Watch the frequency of eating sugar. It is better to eat your foods with other foods then continually snacking or sipping on sugary drinks. 3 meals a day with water in between is ideal. Avoid acidy drinks that can erode your enamel like Gatorade, Monsters, and Red Bull. All of these can erode your enamel.
Don’t know what to snack on? Here are some ideas that won’t cause decay: plain popcorn, nuts (if not allergic), cheese, plain yogurt, rice cakes , plain bagels fresh soup, raw vegetables, whole pieces of fresh fruit, berries, bananas, and xylitol gum.
Thinking about a mouth piercing? Some common negative effects from these are: Infections, inflammation, chipping and breaking of teeth, difficulty talking eating and swallowing. It’s hard to keep the piercing clean, if the piercing was done incorrectly, it can cause tongue paralysis.
Wear sports guards for your mouth whenever you are involved with any sport that compromises your mouth. There are 3 kinds of guards, custom (from your dentist), and over the counter disposable. You will need to try several to get a comfortable fit.
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