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“Premature loss of tooth enamel and weakening of overall tooth structure are two devastating oral effects of teens’ poor diet that cannot be reversed later in life.” Jane Soxman, DDS, Academy of General Dentistry"

We all know teenagers need two things most for their growing bodies: food and sleep. But while nutritious food is what’s needed, many teenagers satisfy their hunger with fast food, really spicy chips and other foods and beverages that are calorie dense, but low on nutrition. These eating habits lead to one in seven American teens being at risk for diabetes. Replacing fresh fruits and vegetables with an overload of sugar and fat unfortunately leads to disastrous results. So tell your youngster that it’s not a smart phone that they need in their life — it’s a smart mouth. Let’s consider one important example of poor eating that’s easily remedied.

It’s About the Drinks and the Calcium

Drinks high in phosphoric and citric acid, like sodas and energy drinks, break down tooth enamel and sealants used to protect teeth. These acids also reduce calcium absorption in bones, which is especially dangerous for teenage girls. By age sixteen a teenage girl acquires over 90% of her lifetime bone mass, making her pre-adult diet very important. Yet, only a small fraction of teenage girls get the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium a day in their diet. And while it’s women who typical suffer from osteoporosis later in life, boys and young men also need significant dietary calcium for maintaining growth and proper development, especially between the ages of nine to thirteen. The same calcium that goes into bones, also goes into the mouth, in the form of stronger jawbones and teeth.

Help Your Teenager Have a Smart Mouth

To offset the negative effects of the typical teenage diet, encourage your teenager to do the following:

  • Stay hydrated with water instead of sugary beverages and caffeinated energy drinks. Sufficient hydration also reduces sugar cravings and contributes to better sleep quality.
  • Fruits and veggies should be the bulk of a teenager’s diet, with whole grains and legumes contributing the majority of calories, not processed foods.
  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day.
  • Do not get tongue or mouth piercings. These are guaranteed to create gum recession and greatly increase the risk of blood infections, cracked teeth and nerve damage.

The Case Dental Group is committed to giving you and your family the best dental care possible. Make your family’s dental health a priority and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly Elk Grove dentists by calling 916-683-2000.

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