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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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Your Smile tells others alot about yourself

Teeth in The Teen Years

Drinking pop seems to be one of the MOST significant causes 
of increased cavities and Obesity for today's teens!

Acne Basic Steps
Bad Breath Mouth Jewelry
Braces Tobacco
Eating Disorders Whitening
Snacks Wisdom Teeth
Mouthguard Calcium
Soft Drinks & Cavities Mouth Image
Toothprints-Dental Identification  Overweight

Most 19 year olds drink 868 cans of pop a year!
Each can of pop contains 10 tsps of sugar

More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control say that dental caries are the most common chronic disease of children aged 5 to 17. While younger children attend appointments with their parents, teens take more control over their free time and may not spend time for dental check-ups.

“Many teens do not see a dentist for regular dental care and some have never even been to the dentist. They don’t get the care they need or the proper oral education to make smart decisions on the foods they eat and on how to practice good oral hygiene habits at home.

Teeth Tips for Teens:

Treatment for Acne May Cause the Appearance of Discolored Gums 

Minocycline, a commonly prescribed antibiotic in the treatment of acne and can cause the teeth and bone to discolor, which may make gum tissue to appear blackish-blue in color. A dramatic blue appearance of the gum tissue and bone surrounding  teeth may appear.  Teeth discoloration from minocycline does not always resolve after discontinuation of medicine.  Approximately three to six percent of long-term users of minocycline will develop dental staining. This discoloration does not harm the teeth, bone or gum tissue, but is the reason behind the blackish-blue appearance of the gums. The periodontal bone can become discolored from minocycline therapy and show through the gum tissue, causing it to appear discolore. 
Journal of Periodontology 03.

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Bad Breath

       We all experience bad breath at different times for different reasons.    Certain foods, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, a dry mouth, use of tobacco products or a medical disorder can cause bad breath.  In many cases simple changes in personal or hygiene habits can freshen your breath.  Bacteria usually is the cause behind bad breath.  Good oral health habits can help you fight off bad breath.

Effect of tongue cleaning on bad breath in

These results  of this study revealed that accumulation of bacterial plaque on the tongue is an important factor for bad breath in the adolescents. Oral malodor levels were significantly reduced after cleaning the surface of the tongue. Thus, tongue care shouldn't be neglected in order to avoid bad breath. 

 Pediatrics International Official English Journal of the Japan Pediatric SocietyEdited by: Yukishige Yanagawa Volume 45: Issue 6Original Article Page range: 719 - 723  2/04

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Braces can help you straighten and align your teeth and jaw to make your teeth easier to clean and give you a more nature balanced appearance.  Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to take care of and clean which may lead to tooth decay, gum disease and possible tooth loss.  Bad bites can also cause difficulty in speaking and chewing; cause abnormal wear on tooth surfaces and lead to problems with bones, jaw joints and gum tissue. 

Oral Sex and Braces-BEWARE!

Sex Warning For Teenagers With Braces

Metal braces can scratch genital areas or rip a hole in a condom, increasing the potential for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cautions Boston cosmetic dentist Helaine Smith. She has issued a warning to teenagers engaging in sexual practices such as oral sex or French kissing, saying they should be cautious if they or their partners wear metal braces on their teeth.

Metal braces can scratch delicate genital areas, tear sensitive mouth tissues, or rip a hole in a condom. Such incidents increase the potential for sexually transmitted diseases and blood-borne pathogens, including HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, and hepatitis B and C.

Most teens and young adults don't realize that metal dental braces can do some damage,. `And while new dental
technologies such as Invisalign and plastic braces have been introduced, the fact is, many dentists still rely on the traditional metal braces and their nickel titanium brackets, wires, and ties. Even plastic braces still use metal wires and ties that can cause damage.

Because the metal brackets and wires can catch on the thin latex of condoms and dental dams and cause microscopic tears, Dr. Smith advises teens and young adults to carefully consider whether to engage in oral sex with partners who wear wire braces. Safer sex practices also include changing the condom before engaging in another sexual activity in order to reduce the risk of STDs and/or unintended pregnancy – even if one thinks the condom has not been damaged.

Dental dams, which are also made of latex, are used when performing oral sex on a woman and protect against herpes and genital warts. Dr. Smith advises young adults to also exercise caution when participating in long kissing sessions with partners who wear braces because the brackets can tear delicate mouth tissues and increase the exposure to blood-borne pathogens and STDs such as HIV/AIDs. 1/06


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Eating Disorders

     Bulimia is harmful to overall health and destructive to teeth.  The repeated binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting exposes tooth enamel to  strong acids that erode tooth enamel.  Over time, teeth exposed to stomach acids become worn and translucent and decay easily.  Your mouth, throat and salivary glands may become swollen and tender.  Bad breath can result.

     Anorexia is self induced starvation.  Inadequate nutrient intake damages not only teeth but also muscles and major organs.

     Obesity affects oral health.  Overweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults leading to Type 11 Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and osteoporosis.

bulletObesity has nearly tripled for teens in the past 20 years.
bulletOverweight teens have a 70% chance of becoming overweigh or obese adults. 

Spending Your Calorie Salary Spending Your Calorie Salary-Teen Addition


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Limiting Snacks and Pop

Snacking throughout the day can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Each time you eat the bacteria in plaque produce harmful acids that attack your teeth for up to twenty minutes after you eat.  Over time these acids can wear down tooth enamel putting them at a higher risk to decay.  Try eating healthy snacks. To keep your smile healthy, limit snacks and eat nutritious well balanced meals make of foods from the five food groups: Breads, cereals and grains, fruits, vegetables, meat and protein alternates, milk, yogurt and cheese. Teens can keep travel-size brushes in lockers or back packs. Chewing sugarless gum with xylitol after meals or snacks can also help cleanse the mouth. Drinking water throughout the day can help cleanse the teeth of excess bacteria and food debris.  Remember what you eat and how often you eat can affect your overall health.

Hey guys this one is for you: what if you  would pour soda on the hood of your car? There is so much acid in pop  it will eat the paint off your car sooooooooo.....what do they think it does to your teeth?


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      A mouth protector is used to help you protect your smile during any activities you may be involved with where you may receive a flow to your face or mouth.

     They help prevent broken teeth and injuries to your face, jaw, lips and or tongue. There are three types of mouthguards: the ready made or stock; mouth-formed boil and bite and custom made by your dentist. Only your dentist can provide you will a high quality custom fitted mouthguard.  All three mouthguards provide protection, but vary in comfort and cost.

    Don't take your teeth for granted.  Be cool and protect your smile while you play sports.

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Soft Drinks & Cavities

12oz pop=10tsp of sugar...average male teen drinks 868 cans a year=540 cups of sugar in a year!+

     Soft drink purchases by teen in schools increase 1,100% in the last 20 years, while intake of calcium rich drinks have decreased by 30%.

Whether at school, home or on the weekends, teens are drinking more soda than they have in the past. In 1977, 12 to 19-year-olds drank 16 ounces of soda a day. In 1996, this same age group consumed an average of 28 ounces a day.

Not only is sugar harmful to teeth, acidic flavor additives can also erode and damage tooth enamel. There are simple ways for teens to limit the harmful effects of sodas. Sipping soda through a straw cuts down on the contact the beverage has with teeth and rinsing the mouth with water after drinking soda can also reduce the risk of cavities.

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Toothprints-Dental Identification System

  Toothprints is a simple, cost effective way of documenting  through DNA in saliva, scent and tooth imprint.  Law enforcement officials rarely have ID materials available for teenagers, yet teens are the most likely to become lost, missing or abducted. Toothprints offers a very powerful recovery and identification component of any  identification kit.

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Basic Steps

*Brush twice a day with a fluoride containing toothpaste
*Clean between your teeth daily with floss
*Limit snacks and eat nutritious, well balanced meals
*Visit your dentist every 6 months or as needed

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Mouth Jewelry

   Oral piercing or mouth jewelry  can be dangerous.  


It cause infection that cause more than pain. A tongue can swell after being punctured, however in some cases the tongue becomes infected and swells so much that it may cut off breathing. Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, such as bloodborne hepatitis


Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway  


It can cause uncontrolled bleeding 




Injury to gum tissue


Increased flow of saliva


Cause nerve damage


You can choke on a stud, barbell or hoop if they come loose 


This jewelry can chip or crack your teeth


 Effect you oral health


Prolonged healing time of a month or more


Fractured teeth. The fracture can be confined to tooth enamel and require a filling, or it may go deeper; in which case, causing a need for a root canal or extraction.

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High School students who smoke: 39%
Kids who become daily smokers each year: 8,100
Kids alive today who will die from smoking: 35,000
Number of illegally sold packs of cigarettes to kids: 1.7 Million*
Tens who smoke cigarettes are 14x more likely to try marijuana than are those who don't smoke and 60% of repeat marijuana users smoked cigarettes first.
Every day 2,000 children and teenagers become regular smokers, one-third of whom will die prematurely as a result.

Exposure to cigarette smoke raises the risk among teens of metabolic syndrome, a disorder associated with excess belly fat that increases the chances of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, according to a study.

Researchers said it is the first study to establish such a link in teenagers.

“The bottom line to me is: As we gear up to take on this epidemic of obesity, we cannot abandon protecting our children from secondhand smoke and smoking,” said lead author Dr. Michael Weitzman, executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics Center for Child Health Research in Rochester, N.Y

We are NOT blowing smoke!

     If you start smoking at age 18 and smoke one pack per day, you could lose between 4 and 5 teeth by the time your are 35 years old.  The rate of tooth loss due to smoking is about 2.9 teeth every 10 years according to Tufts University. 

 Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth.

    Smoking  and chew causes bad breath, oral cancer and periodontal disease.  Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them.  If not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring surgery or worse, it can kill you.  If you are a tobacco user, watch out for a sore that won't heal, white or red leathery patches on your lips and on or under your tongue; pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips, difficult in chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw or tongue or a changes in the way your teeth fit together.

Smokeless tobacco packs an extra punch.   Manufacturers often mix sugar in the tobacco to make it taste better-sugar that can cause you to develop cavities.  There is nothing cool about tobacco use.

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Parents, online tools keep teens from smoking

Tobacco use is a disorder of childhood and adolescence.

"If a child gets to 18 years of age and hasn't started, it's unlikely he or she will ever be tobacco dependent," says Dr. Theresa Madden, a faculty member at the School of Dentistry of the Oregon Health Sciences University. A Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology, she has conducted workshops and lectures widely on substance abuse and tobacco addiction. She says prevention programs that can delay tobacco use for as long as possible have a great effect.

Dr. Madden believes teenagers are very different from adults when it comes to the reasons they begin using tobacco and the ways they quit. "Marketing techniques that don't have an effect on adults may lure adolescents," she says.

She would like to see tobacco settlement money used to "reimburse dentists and other health professionals for engaging in tobacco-use cessation counseling; for health care and disease prevention, particularly of tobacco-related problems; and particularly for prevention programs that work." (Six tobacco companies, 46 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia signed the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. All the agreements combined are known as the state Tobacco Settlement Agreements.)

Quitlines, similar to traditional phone hotlines, can be very successful with adolescents, particularly if they include Web resources, Dr. Madden says. Currently, all but six states have tobacco cessation quitlines. The toll-free number 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669) is a single access point to the National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitlines. Callers are automatically routed to a state-run quitline, if one exists in their area. If there is no state-run quitline, callers are routed to the National Cancer Institute quitline.

Dentists are a tool, but parents still have the greatest impact on their kids' tobacco use. "It doesn't do any good  to talk to a child about smoking prevention if a parent is smoking."

"Adolescents are the fastest-rising group of tobacco users," says Carol Southard, who leads the smoking cessation initiative for the American Dental Hygienists' Association.   2/07

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Boxing and Oral Health — Perhaps not Mutually Exclusive?

News Releases CDA  June 13, 2005 Your dentist will certainly never recommend it, but according to a study published in the latest edition of the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association (JCDA), participation in sports — even contact sports including boxing and wrestling — may have protective health effects.

The article, entitled "Tobacco Use among Young North American Aboriginal Athletes", found that youths at high-risk for smoking, are less likely to use tobacco when they are involved in organized sports.

Among Aboriginal youth, average reported smoking rates vary from 30- 77%, (higher than the non-Aboriginal Canadian youth average of 21.7%), putting them at increased risk for negative health effects — including oral diseases. Through a mouthguard clinic established at the July 2002 North American Indigenous Games, a group of dental
researchers was able to learn that participation in sports impacts other health choices.

We found that athletes presenting at the clinic were much less likely to use tobacco products than their peers — and even averaged below the rates of non-aboriginal youths who are less at risk.  These findings suggest that participation in organized sportsmay be an important protective factor against tobacco use.

Of 156 Aboriginal athletes participating in the study, only 22 (14.1%) reported current smoking. And of the few who did smoke, consumption levels were low and most were interested in quitting.

The full text of the above mentioned article is available from the eJCDA Web site:

Tobacco Use among Young North American Aboriginal Athletes[ ] 7/05

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Whiten your smile

Tooth Whitening

     The Academy of General Dentistry makes the following recommendations for teens who want to whiten their teeth:

  1. You should wait for whitening procedures until as least the age of 14.  At this time, the tooth's pulp is fully formed, which means you will experience less tooth sensitivity. Some children may be able to whiten in their pre-teens with Whitestrips.

  2. Drink soda and coffee through a straw to prevent discoloration of the upper, front teeth.   

  3. If you wear braces you will have to wait until they are removed.  By meticulously keeping your teeth clean while you wear braces can prevent their bi-product of discoloring your teeth or causing cavities.

  4. With the supervision of your dentist some bleaching can be performed prior to having cosmetic treatment.**

Over the counter tooth whitening products can have many adverse effects:  

Some of the ingredients ( hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide or acids) in these products can damage gum tissue and cause tooth sensitivity


TMJ problems due to ill fitting trays


Result in


May not improve tooth color due to type of tooth stains

    For these reasons tooth whitening needs to be performed under a dentist supervision in order to help prevent or limit the negative effects of they whitening ingredients.

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Wisdom Teeth

    If you are thirteen or older you will probably have most of your permanent teeth.  The last teeth to erupt are your wisdom teeth or third molars and will appear around the ages of 17-21.  Many times there is limited room in the jaw for these teeth which can lead to them becoming impacted-they can't fully emerge from the gum tissue.  Impacted teeth can damage the teeth next to them.  Partially erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean which can lead to gum tissue infection know as gum disease

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Modern Lifestyle Damaging Teeth 

      Today's fast-paced lifestyle is damaging oral and overall health, according to a new study in the latest issue of General Dentistry. Quick meals made up of nutrition bars and carbonated beverages may help to keep teens alert during the day, but they're contributing to permanent health damage. '

     Premature loss of tooth enamel and weakening of overall tooth structure are two devastating oral affects of teens' poor diet that can not be reversed later in life. Dr Soxman's research shows that drinking carbonated beverages seems to be one of the most significant causes of increased cavities and obesity for today's teens. Fifteen percent of American adolescents aged six to 19 are overweight. This number is expected to increase as 10 per cent of children aged between two and five are overweight, and today's pre-school children are already becoming addicted to caffeine and sugar***

Only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the United States get the recommended daily amount (RDA) of calcium, placing them at serious risk for osteoporosis and other bone diseases, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because nearly 90 percent of adult bone mass is established by the end of this age range, the nation's youth stand in the midst of a calcium crisis

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Mouths Image is everything .

     Poor oral health and nutrition care can prevent you from having the mouth image you desire   Teens primary concerns are for straight, white teeth.

    What can you do to help you improve your mouth image: 


Drink bottled tap that contains fluoride water instead of soda. Doing so strengthens teeth, prevents dehydration and cleans excess bacteria in mouth. 


 Turn the radio on while brushing teeth. Brushing teeth for the length of one song, three times a day ensures that proper brushing time is achieved with noticeable results. 


 Avoid sugary snacks with bite-sized fruit or vegetables. Prevent cavities by steering clear of candy bars and other convenience snacks. Opt for natural foods to prevent cavities. 


 Consult with dentist before trying over the counter teeth whitening systems. Although you can purchase inexpensive whitening kits in stores, please share concerns and questions with your dentist before using. The ingredients used may be stronger than the average consumer thinks and lead to gum recession.#

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Tooth erosion in a cohort of adolescents of mixed ethnicity

A random sample of 1753 12-year-olds were studied for tooth erosion. Erosion was found in 56% at age 12, increasing to 64% at 14. There was significantly more erosion in boys than girls. Over the 2 years, 27% developed new or more advanced erosion. The lowest increases were seen in Asian girls. Overall, there were greater increases in the most deprived children, and in white males.

The progression of tooth erosion in a cohort of adolescents of mixed ethnicity - Dugmore R, Rock WP. Int J Paediatr Dent 2003; 13: 295-303 British Dental Journal (2004); 196, 86. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4810897

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U.S. teens are more likely to be overweight than are teens from 14 other industrialized nations

Overweight adolescents have an increased likelihood of being overweight during adulthood, and adult overweight increases the risk for such health problems as heart disease and diabetes.

The CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health has released state Obesity Fact Sheets on the Healthy Youth.

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+Teen Oral Health Fact Sheet

The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 

Mary Overpeck, Dr.P.H., of the Health Resources and Services Administration and Mary Hediger, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, one of the National Institutes of Health.1/04
Impact 2/05

# Academy of General Dentistry On line Poll March 2003
~ Dentalnotes pg 1, Academy of General Dentistry Spring 2003.
***Smiles on 2/03
*Citizens for a Healthy Nebraska", Nebraska Dental Association March 2001, Vol 101, Issue 3
** Dentalnotes, Fall 2001

February 06, 2008

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