Dentistry for Teens – Katy, TX
Improving Smiles for Greater Independence
If you have a teenager in your home, you understand that their time is now devoted to spending time with friends, engaging in extracurricular activities, and maybe even forgoing their oral hygiene routine. At this age, it is still just as important that regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing occur as well as seeing us at Happy Chompers Pediatric Dentistry every six months. Offering dentistry for teens in Katy, Dr. A and his qualified team will continue to provide valuable patient education and administer thorough checkups and cleanings to help your teen maintain a happier, healthier smile as they transition into adulthood. To schedule an appointment or find out more about how we can help your teen, contact us today.
Dental Checkups and Cleanings
Even if schedules are hectic and days begin to blend together, it’s important that you help your teen maintain a healthy smile. One way to do this is by making sure they keep their regular dental checkup and cleaning appointments every six months. These visits will allow our team to examine their smile for any abnormalities or problem areas that can lead to decay, cavities, or gum disease. We will also clear away and remove any plaque and tartar accumulations on their teeth and around the gum line. This will ensure your teen leaves our office with a healthy smile that is sure to capture the attention of family and friends.
Oral Cancer Screening
Although we’d like to assume that oral cancer only affects those who are of the older demographic, this is simply not true. This life-changing disease knows no age, which is why it is necessary for us to perform an oral cancer screening during your teen’s six-month visit. Early detection is key, so this quick and easy process includes Dr. A performing a visual exam of their oral and facial structures, being careful to check the lips, tongue, gums, throat, and neck for any lumps or other abnormalities that can be a sign of oral cancer. The best part is that your teen may not even realize the screening is happening!
While your teen is likely to have mastered the proper technique for brushing and flossing, back teeth (molars) have so many pits and grooves that it can often be difficult cleaning these areas so that bacteria and food particles don’t adhere and lead to decay and cavities. To assist in protecting these areas, your teen’s pediatric dentist in Katy can place dental sealants over the chewing surfaces of these teeth. By keeping harmful bacteria and acids from eating away at their tooth enamel, your teen can enjoy a healthier smile that is free of decay and disease, and as long as they maintain good oral hygiene, these sealants can last many years.
Just like young children can benefit from fluoride treatments, so can teenagers. This beneficial mineral that is often found in toothpaste brands and tap water can be applied during a regular checkup and cleaning. This safe and effective way to combat tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel will give your teenager’s smile a chance to stay healthier longer. The application process is simple, as Dr. A will apply a topical treatment to their teeth that is highly concentrated. Not only does it harden quickly, but it will better protect their teeth in-between appointments.
Is your teenager an avid sports player? Do they enjoy a game of volleyball or football? Maybe they just like spending time hiking or engaging in other outdoor activities. If so, a sportsguard is an effective way to protect their teeth and soft oral tissues from damage. These custom-made oral devices can be created to comfortably fit your teen’s smile, making it more likely that they wear will it when being active in sports or while outdoors.
But if it isn’t sports that you’re worried about, your teenager may need a nightguard if they are prone to bruxism (teeth grinding). This harmful condition often coincides with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and can cause chronic jaw pain and excessive wear and tear on their teeth. Just like a sportsguard, Dr. A can create a customized oral appliance for your child to wear at night while they sleep that will minimize contact between teeth and help to relax facial muscles to reduce pain and soreness within the jaw.
Depending on the age of your child, if a baby tooth falls out too early, we will need to insert a space maintainer. Why? Because nearby, healthy teeth will begin to shift in an attempt to close the gap along the arch. This can cause significant problems as they grow older and result in necessary orthodontics. By placing a space maintainer, we can prevent these teeth from shifting out of place and encourage proper alignment when the permanent tooth erupts.
When pain occurs within a tooth, it can be hard to decipher what is a regular toothache versus something that might be more serious, such as an infection. If the tooth is causing your child to experience great discomfort, it may be that the innermost layer of the tooth (the pulp) is infected and requires treatment to fix. By administering pulp therapy, Dr. A can save the natural tooth by clearing out the infected canals and pulp and filling it with a composite resin that is matched to your teen’s natural tooth color. Depending on the severity, it may be necessary for your child to receive a dental crown to protect the weakened tooth.
Dr. A will always do everything he can to save your child’s natural tooth; however, if damage or decay is too severe, the only option will then be to extract the tooth. This is often most commonly performed when:
- Significant decay is present and pulp therapy is not a feasible option for treatment
- A tooth is severely damaged as a result of injury and cannot be saved (i.e. knocked-out tooth not treated promptly)
- Orthodontic treatment is necessary but for successful results, one or more teeth must be extracted
Teenagers are often concerned about their appearance. While as a parent, you may not understand why they care so much about what other people think, try remembering what it was like for you in high school. No one, no matter the age, wants a mouth full of metal. This is why we are pleased to offer metal-free fillings as a way to fill cavities and repair smiles. Using composite resin that matches the natural shade of your teen’s tooth, we can fill the decayed area and leave your teen with a smile that looks completely natural and a solution that blends in beautifully with the rest of their smile.
Just like metal-free fillings, Dr. A and his team can apply a metal-free dental crown over the top of a weakened tooth. Whether it is a cavity that cannot be treated with a traditional filling or your teen requires pulp therapy, these restorations are custom-made by lab technicians based on the desired specifications set by your child’s pediatric dentist. Once put into place, it will look and feel just like a natural tooth, giving your teen greater confidence while donning an even, more cohesive smile.
Lip & Tongue Tie
In most cases, frenectomies are often performed on infants and young children. However, if your teen has a band of tissue located beneath the upper lip or underneath the tongue, and it is negatively impacting their ability to speak, eat, smile, or breathe, we can perform a procedure that will release the tongue and/or lip tie. Dr. A will use a soft tissue laser that quickly and safely releases the band of tissue and makes for easy recovery.
Depending on the severity of your child’s case, orthodontics may be a necessary form of treatment to improve their aesthetics and oral health. Gaps, crooked teeth, overcrowding, or a poorly aligned bite can wreak havoc on a teenager’s future, which is why Dr. A will evaluate your teen’s smile to determine if they can receive treatment with Invisalign® Clear Braces or will require a referral to see a trusted orthodontist in Katy who can provide more complex treatment.