Like it or not, preteens and teens are forced to do something uncomfortable for their mouths as soon as puberty and peer pressure prevail. Perforations in the tongue, tobacco, drugs, oral sex, and much more contribute to the degrading dental health of today’s teens. Many psychologists and some arrogant parents would call this a “natural” phase of their children’s lives. We would like to dissuade these opinions.

Diminished oral health at an early age can mean frightening consequences for children as they grow older. Bad teeth are likely to cause dissociative problems with family and peers. As children grow and become adults, they become more and more aware of their oral health, especially with their teeth. Many children who have been teased at school often have discolored and disfigured teeth. As parents, we must act on our children’s oral health as soon as we see problems.

The human psyche is a fascinating concept. Psychologists have suggested that people tend to ignore imperfections within their bodies as long as they do not cause any pain. The same goes for teeth. People are more likely to ignore the worsening of their dental conditions until any pain appears. Teenagers, as they grow older, feel the guilt of not having their dental condition at an early age when it was treatable. More and more people are getting dentures over the years, and a staggering number is that people in their 20s and 30s are the most active group having their teeth pulled out.

This is what we call a domino effect on people’s confidence. Whiter teeth drastically increase an individual’s sense of self-esteem and, more importantly, their self-confidence. People with healthy white teeth, at an early age and even in their teens, tend to do better in school and socialize better. However, people with horrible teeth are more likely to be dissociative and don’t like to go to school. They also tend to form a pseudo-“rotten apples” faction with people who share their own imperfections. Letting our children’s dental health rot will make them despise us even more. We must intervene if we see a problem. As parents, we must know that our finances must be focused on building a better future for our children. Correcting teeth at an early age means they are ready for the future. A good set of teeth and a good education correlate with long-term success.

We also advise teens to be open regarding their health, particularly regarding the condition of their teeth and gums. Toothaches should not be ignored, as they can result in endodontics or unwanted tooth extraction if not treated in time. Our advice is that, regardless of family wealth, teenagers should not be shy about asking for money, especially if it is a dental condition. Parents should also be willing to teach their children how family finances work and what type of insurance their children are enrolled in.

Categories: Oral Health

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