Teen Oral Health Guide: Give Your Teenager a Smile That Lasts a Lifetime

As a parent, you want the very best for your child no matter their age. This can be especially true if you’re the parent of a teenager. As your child transitions into adulthood, you want to ensure that they remember everything you taught them, including how to protect their oral health.dentist near me

Giving your teenager a smile that lasts a lifetime is built on the basics of oral health. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are a must, as well as eating healthily and avoiding tobacco. However, if your teenager requires a procedure that goes beyond basic maintenance, My Family Dentistry is here to help. Orthodontics, enamel microabrasion, and whitening can all help your teenager have a smile that they are confident to show off. 

Mastering the Basics of Teen Oral Health

The best thing parents can do for their teens’ oral health is to continue reinforcing the basics from childhood. This includes:

  • Brushing and flossing daily
  • Regular dental cleanings and checkups
  • Avoiding having too much junk food in the house
  • Avoiding smoking and oral piercings

Brushing and Flossing Daily

As Kyleigh, one of our dental assistants explains, “The first place to start is definitely making sure they’re brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Brushing twice a day and flossing once per day, making sure that we’re keeping gum disease at bay and not developing any cavities.” Make sure they brush their tongue to avoid bad breath, as well.

Regular Dental Cleanings and Checkups

Dental cleanings and checkups every six months are essential for maintaining good oral health at any age. This gives you an opportunity to talk to your dentist about your teen’s oral health and ensure they get the dental healthcare that they need. Their dental visit also gives Dr. Mullins and Dr. Owen the opportunity to catch developing issues such as impacted wisdom teeth.

Avoid Having Junk Food in the House

Nutrition plays a big role in your entire family’s oral health. You can help keep you and your teen’s oral health in top condition by replacing sugary food with healthier options, such as fruit. Sugar is one of the main contributors to cavities it’s important to eat it in moderation. This combined with brushing your teeth and seeing the dentist regularly is essential for preventing tooth decay as well as maintaining healthy gums. 

Avoid Smoking and Oral Piercings

13 is the average age of new smokers, so it’s important to teach your teenager about how this habit can affect their teeth, gums, and overall health. The long-term effects of smoking can include:

  • Tooth stains
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth loss
  • Mouth cancer

You can help your child avoid these issues by educating them about the effects of tobacco on their oral health.

Oral piercings present their own set of problems to your teen’s oral health. The mouth is a moist environment which can greatly increase the risk of a piercing becoming infected. Piercings can also injure your child’s teeth, gums, and fillings if accidentally bitten down on.

Click here to learn what to expect from your child’s oral health from infancy to adulthood!

What Dental Treatments Are Available for My Teen in Knoxville?

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There are times when teenagers may need treatments beyond standard dental care. The most common types of treatments that we get asked about by teenagers and their parents are:

  • Orthodontics
  • Enamel microabrasion
  • Whitening


Parents and teenagers alike can become concerned about the look and alignment of their teeth. Known as malocclusions, these alignment issues can lead to difficulty chewing, talking, and swallowing as well as increase the risk of cavities and gum disease. Many teenagers may be interested in Invisalign, but dental hygienist Taylor cautions against that.

According to Taylor:

We are selective in who we recommend for Invisalign treatment in teenagers due to their responsibility level. Frequently, traditional braces are the ideal treatment for teens in our office, however, in some cases, Invisalign is still the recommended treatment. 

To learn more about Invisalign, click here!

Enamel Microabrasion

Exposure to too much fluoride during early childhood can actually leave white spots on teeth later on. While it doesn’t hurt their teeth, it can make your teenager feel self-conscious later on. In cases like these, Kyleigh recommends using enamel microabrasion to remove those unappealing stains. This helps give the teeth a more solid and even color.

Dental microabrasion works by gently scrubbing stained enamel from the tooth, resulting in more evenly colored teeth. This occurs at the micro-level of the tooth so you don’t have to worry about your teenager losing too much enamel. This removes the need for harsh chemicals that come with at-home whitening treatments and usually only requires one appointment in our office. 

Teeth Whitening 

Whitening is popular for teens when their braces are removed. This is usually reserved for older teenagers who have all their adult teeth. According to dental hygienist Jordan, “They’re always super-impressed and excited because the whitening we do is incredible. To watch that transformation from braces to actually transforming that smile is pretty cool.”

Click here to learn the secret to whiter teeth in Knoxville, TN!

We recommend KöR Deep Bleaching for the best whitening experience possible. This in-office treatment removes deep-set stains to deliver the most natural and dramatic results. It’s also part of our White Teeth for Life program. With this program, your teen will receive a syringe of KöR whitening gel to use for touch-ups along with their custom-fit trays.

Do you want to provide your teen with a smile that lasts a lifetime? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Providing your teenager with a smile that lasts a lifetime is easier than you think. Teen oral health depends on the basics of brushing and flossing as well as regular dental cleanings and checkups. For the perfect smile, talk to us about treatments for your teenager such as orthodontics, enamel microabrasion, and teeth whitening.

My Family Dentistry is open Monday through Thursday. Give us a call at (865) 947-6453 or you can schedule an appointment online.

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