Oh the teenage years…. Can be a mixed bag when it comes to teeth. Here we see the transition to all of the adult teeth, usually happens by the time most kids hit their teens. It’s really important to keep regular 6 monthly checkups as it can be a time where they find their independence and a lot more exciting things to do than brush their teeth.
Things can deteriorate rapidly at this age, if dental care doesn’t continue and diet goes a bit crazy. When adult teeth first come through they are at their most vulnerable, as the enamel coating them is immature and more susceptible to dental decay. Fluoride-use at this time is particularly important as it helps to change the enamel structure making it more resistant to problems.
Another common problem at this age is the appearance and alignment of the teeth can change. Whilst orthodontic expansion and movement with removable appliances can be useful for children in the mixed dentition (with both baby and adult teeth), it is when they have all the adult teeth through, or at least all the baby teeth have exfoliated, when braces are most commonly put on. During this growing phase teeth tend to move a bit quicker and with less complications than with adults. We have some wonderful Maroubra orthodontists, who we refer you to at the appropriate time.
At around 18 years old, wisdom teeth may start to rear their ugly heads. Having them removed (if it is necessary) before the age of 25 is preferable as the bone is a bit more spongy and just a little bit easier to perform. We remove a lot of wisdom teeth under local anaesthetic, but refer more difficult cases to an oral surgeon who offers GA should this be needed.