At the onset of puberty, your body will be going through a lot of physical and emotional changes. What you may not realize is that in addition to these changes, you are also experiencing changes to your oral and dental health.
Learn more about some of the changes you will experience during the onset of puberty.
Healthy Gums May Start to Bleed or Become Extremely Sensitive
Before puberty, your gums may have been a nice, healthy pink color and they will rarely bleed. That all changes once puberty starts.
Once puberty begins, you may start to experience symptoms of gum disease. When you brush or floss, you may start to notice your gums bleed and you may experience some pain, sensitivity, and discomfort. You may also notice that your nice, healthy pink gums now have a bright red, swollen appearance.
These gum problems happen as a result of the hormonal changes you are experiencing. The increase of very specific types of hormones to the body results in the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease.
Permanent Teeth Have Usually Fully Developed
The start of puberty often coincides with when your permanent teeth fully grow in. If your permanent teeth are properly aligned and don’t appear overcrowded, you may not experience a problem. However, if the teeth grew in crooked or misaligned, it can cause a number of problems.
Some problems that can develop as a result include:
- Issues with confidence and self-esteem – you may feel self-conscious if your teeth do not appear “normal” and they look like they are shifted, misaligned, or crooked.
- Issues with speaking – misaligned teeth or improper jaw alignment can cause you to experience difficulty pronouncing words or speaking.
- Problems with eating or chewing – this can cause you to experience problems if you need to eat around friends or other people as you may be self-conscious about the problems you have biting.
- Oral health problems – cavities, bad breath, or missing teeth can all happen as a result of food becoming stuck between misaligned teeth. Even if you get all the food unstuck from between your teeth, overlapped or crooked teeth can make it difficult for you to properly clean your teeth. This can result in dental problems forming, even if you brush and floss regularly.
How to Prevent Dental Problems from Occurring During Puberty
Most of the dental problems you start to experience during puberty can be corrected. Some of the ways you can prevent these dental problems from occurring include:
- Brushing your teeth at least three times a day
- Flossing daily
- Learning proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques
- Using the right toothbrush – a soft bristled toothbrush
- Scheduling regular dental checkups every three to six months
- Following through with any recommended dental treatments
- Getting a professional dental cleaning three to six months
- Mentioning any current dental problems to your dentist
- Scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist to see if there are any development problems that could be corrected with orthodontic treatment
- Using a toothpaste that is designed for tooth sensitivity can help with any issues caused by hormonal changes
Some in-office treatment options that may be recommended to help with any dental issues caused by puberty include:
- Fluoride treatments
- Fillings of any cavities that formed
- Professional dental cleanings
- Deep cleanings
- Orthodontic treatment to correct bite and tooth alignment or placement
Schedule a Consultation with Valderrama Orthodontics
Scheduling a consultation with an orthodontist right around the time your child starts puberty is a great idea. This consultation will allow you to see how their teeth and jaw are growing and developing, and help you gain a better understanding of any treatment that may be needed.
Scheduling a consultation during this time can also help make treatment easier as many orthodontic problems are easier to correct in their early stages.
Call the office of Valderrama Orthodontics to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation. Our orthodontist will assess how your teeth and jaw are growing and provide you with treatment recommendations.