College Checklist: Dental Care for Teens

You stood by them as they anxiously anticipated their college acceptance letter, packed their bags and waved bon voyage to friends and family. But if you think the difficult part is over, think again.

Your teen may think they’re all grown up since they’re off to live on their own, but we all know mom and dad still take care of the important stuff, like making sure they visit the dentist.

Trust me, the last thing any parent wants to hear when their kid is miles from home is that they had a dental emergency. It’s going to be months before they come home to visit (not trying to make you cry, honest!), so it’s best to take care of their dental needs now.

Here are three reasons your college-bound teen may want to consider a visit to the dentist before school starts:

#1: A Fresh Start

With late night pizza and Chinese takeout permanent staples on your college freshmen’s menu, having a clean mouth is more than a passing concern. A dental cleaning and checkup will go a long way towards keeping your teen’s pearly whites squeaky clean and cavities at bay. The visit will also give the dentist an opportunity to address any dental concerns, like tooth decay before the need for a tiny filling becomes a full-blown toothache.

#2: A Wisdom Check

We’re not talking testing your teen’s smarts here, but a checkup of their wisdom teeth. According to the Mayo Clinic, to prevent impacted teeth, dentists recommend removing the wisdom teeth before they grow too large—usually between the ages of 17 and 25. Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pain, infection or damage to adjacent teeth or roots. And, it’s better to have it done while they are still home and free from any school commitments.

#3: To Brighten Up

If your teen is coming off of braces, there’s no better way to give them a bright start than a little teeth whitening. Braces often leave teeth a little dull, so in-office teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to whiten teeth up to eight shades whiter. Now that’s something to smile about.

Have any college prep tips to share? Share with us in the comments below.

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