A new study has suggested that teenagers who go to bed late on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing dental decay.
Research published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene suggests that teenagers who stay up late are up to four times more likely to suffer from dental decay than those who go to bed early. Experts believe that late night snacking and neglecting cleaning before bed are to blame for the heightened risk. There is also a suggestion that those who hit the hay late are more likely to skip breakfast, which often results in snacking during the day.
The Oral Health Foundation is urging parents to encourage good oral hygiene habits from an early age. If children are used to brushing their teeth before bed, they’re more likely to take better care of their teeth when they get older. The charity is also encouraging parents to make sure that teenagers understand the importance of daily cleaning and the impact of neglecting oral health. Decay is largely preventable. It leads to dental pain, an increased risk of gum disease and even premature tooth loss. Poor oral health can also affect your chances of getting a job.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said that dental health issues can cause all kinds of problems for younger and older children. Poor oral health can affect the clarity of speech, decrease self-esteem and lead to lost hours in the classroom.
President of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, Michaela O’Neill, also urged parents to try and ensure that teens start the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast that will give them energy until lunchtime and prevent the need for grazing throughout the day.
From seeing the spooky forceps and needles to even smelling dental compounds, 5-8% of patients refuse to seek dental care all together and 20% of patients will only go to the dentist when necessary.
I think I have odontophobia. What can I do to prevent panic during visits?
Easier said than done - practice positive self-talk! Tell yourself “YOU CAN DO IT!”
Make sure to remind yourself “everything WILL be okay.” Your dentist is a professional and is someone you can trust.
Don’t be nervous - speak up to your dentist. Let him/her know when you’re having a rough time. Listening to your concerns face-to-face helps both sides - you and your dentist. Your dentist can help make an ideal and reasonable commitment that makes you feel comfortable because dental health is SO important! Knowledge is power!
Download your favorite podcast, album, or playlist before heading to the office. Distract your thoughts and link the experience to something you ENJOY.
Don’t forget headphones! Your dentist will not be upset if you put your headphones in to distract your thoughts.
Take deep breaths! Think about pleasant experiences in your life to stay calm.
Here at Fabulous Smiles, we have a therapy dog named Bailey that will ease any panic you might have.
You never outgrow your smile!
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