Information for Preteens:
How to Protect Your Teeth
Your body cannot grow more permanent teeth, so it is important to protect them. Make sure to eat properly, wear a mouth guard if you play sports or grind your teeth, and use care if you get oral piercings. Your teeth are strong, but they – and your mouth in general – need protection.
If you play a sport, it is very important that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth if your face gets hit. A mouth guard can absorb the shock from contact and lessen the damage that could occur.
Mouth guards can also be worn at night if you grind your teeth while you sleep. Grinding your teeth can wear down the enamel, one of your natural defenses against cavities. A dentist can make you a mouth guard that is specially formed to fit your teeth or you can buy one at a sporting goods store.
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Eating for Your Teeth
What you eat has a big impact on your oral health, so be sure to eat foods that are healthy for your teeth. One of the most harmful types of food is sugar, which can mix with plaque to form the acid that causes cavities.
Sodas are very high in sugar, and sugar from a drink can cause just as much – if not more – harm than food. Instead of having sugary foods or a soda as a snack, eat them with your meals.
When you eat an entire meal, your mouth produces much more saliva than during a simple snack. The saliva helps to clean off the sugar from your teeth as you chew. For a snack, you should choose healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, or cheeses.
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college student writer
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013