Creating Dental Habits for a Bright Future.
Pediatric dentistry is not only for infants and young children. Our experienced pediatric dentists can also care for adolescents to ensure that your teenager can benefit from a healthy, beautiful smile throughout their life. While adolescent dentistry incorporates routine preventive care and other dental treatments (including orthodontics), two of the biggest concerns for adolescents are tobacco usage and tongue piercings.
While adolescent dentistry incorporates routine preventive care and other dental treatments (including orthodontics), two of the biggest concerns for adolescents are tobacco usage and tongue piercings. Many people begin smoking or using other tobacco products during their teenage years or get tongue piercings. Tobacco usage and tongue piercings can be incredibly damaging to your child’s oral health, and both have even been known to be life-threatening in some cases. We have provided some basic information about the risks of tobacco and tongue piercings, and we encourage you to review them below.
Tobacco use can lead to a wide range of problems, including many that are life-threatening. In fact, smoking and chewing tobacco are among the leading causes of death. It is also, however, one of the most preventable.
Some of the problems caused by or contributed to by tobacco use include:
- Oral cancer
- Increased risk of periodontal disease
- Reduced or compromised ability to heal following oral surgery or other procedures
- Diminished ability to smell and taste
- Stained teeth
While many people consider smokeless tobacco products a “safer” option, smokeless tobacco actually delivers a greater concentration of harmful agents into the body and is much more addictive than regular tobacco.
Our pediatric dentists and team recommend that you encourage pre-adolescent and adolescent children to avoid using any type of tobacco products. There are several ways in which you can do this, including speaking to your child about the dangers of tobacco use, leading by example by not using tobacco products yourself, and monitoring your child closely. You can also ask Dr. Mark Nelson and Dr. Treagan White to speak with your child about tobacco use and oral health.
Teenagers often view tongue piercings as a way to express their individuality. While parents may view such piercings as temporary and less visible, tongue piercings can actually be incredibly dangerous. Our pediatric dentists, along with the American Dental Association (ADA), strongly advise against any type of oral piercing.
Tongue piercings could have a severe effect on your oral and overall health. One of the first dangers associated with piercings is the many unlicensed piercing parlors. If your child visits an unlicensed piercing parlor, it greatly increases their risk of tetanus, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. There is also a wide range of complications that may occur as a result of getting the piercing. These complications include:
- Bacterial infections
- Blood clots
- Blood poisoning
- Brain abscesses
- Chronic pain
- Damaged nerves
- Fractured or cracked teeth
- Heart infections
- Hypersensitivity due to the metal bar
- Periodontal disease
- Gum recession
- Difficulty enunciating and speaking normally
Long-term problems caused by tongue piercing include increased risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease and infection, as well as the possibility of the piercing tangling around the tongue or teeth and ripping out of the tongue.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentists, call us today at 801-295-8322.
Healthy Smiles Start Here!
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about your child’s first visit or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nelson, Dr. White, or Dr. Hiné.