The Teenager

Orthodontics/Oral Surgery

Your pediatric dentist will evaluate your child’s teeth and bite at every appointment and refer to the orthodontist at the appropriate time if necessary.

Your pediatric dentist will also take necessary x-rays to see if your child has wisdom teeth present. Your child will be referred to the oral surgeon at the appropriate time for wisdom teeth removal if necessary.


Why whiten?

  • Teeth naturally darken with age and certain foods. Some people genetically have darker teeth.
  • Teeth whitening is one of the most economical ways to enhance your smile. A brighter smile gives the impression of youth, vitality, radiant health, and warmth.
  • Even patients with sensitivity can whiten with today’s whitening systems. Be sure to discuss sensitivity with us.

Other whitening facts:

  • Primary (baby) teeth are naturally whiter than permanent teeth. Whitening before all permanent teeth have erupted will result in a mismatched dental appearance when the child is in the permanent dentition. Ask us if your child is ready to whiten.
  • Whitening toothpastes brighten the teeth by removing surface stains, but they do not lighten the color of the teeth.       Over-the-counter whitening kits (strips, gels in preformed trays) as well as custom-made bleaching trays lighten the teeth.
  • Whitening is achieved by carbamide peroxide (used in custom made trays) or hydrogen peroxide (found in strips and gels in preformed trays). Ask us which system is right for you.

Tongue/lip piercing

There are many risks involved with oral piercings, including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, blood poisoning, nerve damage, receding gums, and scar tissue. The mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva, and injuries to gum tissue. Difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is in the path of the needle.


Tobacco in any form can jeopardize your child’s health and cause severe damage. Studies show that chewing tobacco may be more addictive than smoking cigarettes and may be more difficult to quit. Teens who use it may be interested to know that one can of snuff per day delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes. In as little as three to four months, smokeless tobacco use can cause periodontal disease and produce pre-cancerous lesions called leukoplakias.

Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them. If it’s not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring, surgery and be deadly. This is one reason why it is important to see your dentist every six months. An oral tissue evaluation is part of every dental exam.