DentaQuest Presents Good Oral Health At East Lake Academy On March 7

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

As part of National Children’s Dental Health Awareness month, DentaQuest will be presenting to 200 students at East Lake Academy Middle School in Chattanooga, on Friday, March 7, at 3 p.m.

At the presentation, DentaQuest will promote oral health by providing educational information and resources for keeping teen’s teeth healthy, which is key to their overall health.

DentaQuest manages dental benefits for more than 750,000 children who receive dental benefits through TennCare.

DentaQuest provides some preventable health issues teens can avoid with good oral health: 

1.Bulimia
The eating disorder bulimia usually surfaces in the teenage years. In addition to wreaking physical and emotional havoc, it is quite common for bulimia to cause tooth decay. The problems arise when bulimics binge on high-carb foods. The sugars in these foods weaken and erode tooth enamel and feed plaque-causing bacteria. Purging then exposes weakened tooth enamel to stomach acid, which dissolves tooth enamel further contributing to tooth decay.
 
It’s no surprise that a long-time bulimic will probably need to have dental repair work done frequently and repeatedly, especially on teeth that are exposed to harsh stomach acid in purging.
 
If you or anyone you know suffers from bulimia, seek medical help immediately.
 
2.Drinking Bottled Water
Teens drink bottled water for various reasons – a convenient means of hydration in school or on the sports field. But bottled water may not have an adequate amount of fluoride, a natural mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and promotes overall oral health. Fluoride can occur naturally in source waters used for bottling or it can be added.
 
If teens are not drinking bottled water with fluoride, they should make sure to brush with fluoride toothpaste and talk to their dentist about regular fluoride varnish applications.
 
3.Chewing Tobacco
Whether it’s a way to discreetly get nicotine or because they think it’s safer than cigarettes, some teens chew or dip smokeless tobacco. Teens should be forewarned — chewing tobacco can cause serious oral health problems, as well as general health problems.
 
Chewing tobacco contains grit and sand that scratches teeth and wears down enamel. It also causes permanent damage to gum tissue and supporting bone structure, which leads to loosened teeth that can be permanently lost. Increased tooth decay from sugars in the tobacco, as well as tooth discoloration and bad breath are also caused by chewing tobacco. And the most frightening of all – oral cancer, is much more prevalent among users than non-users.
 
4.In Love With Lemonade or Sports Drinks
Lemonade and other citrus drinks can do serious damage to teeth. And it’s not the sugar – it’s acid. The citric and ascorbic acid in most sports drinks eats away at enamel. Teens oftentimes fall victim to enamel erosion since they tend to drink lots of citrus drinks especially for teens that tend to sip and swish these drinks in their mouths. 
 
Teens should know that water is an adequate rehydration drink for most activities, but if they drink a citrus juice or sports drink, make sure to drink it quickly so it does not linger in the mouth. If possible, rinse their mouths with water afterward.
 
5.Mouth Jewelry
While piercing the lip, tongue or cheeks may be attractive to some (or unattractive, however you look at it), it can lead to severe complications. The enormous amount of bacteria in the mouth oftentimes enters the opening of the piercing and leads to painful infections. There are more bacteria in the mouth than humans on the earth.
 
The jewelry itself can also be an issue. If it damages the gum through frequent contact, gum disease can develop, as well as receding gums that can never grow back. One dental study suggests that nearly 50 percent of those with mouth jewelry have at least one chipped tooth.
 
6.Ice Breaker
It may sound strange, but teens may crunch on ice to stave off hunger if they’re on a diet or need to skip a meal due to a busy schedule. Some may also chew it as a nervous habit, reacting to school-, family- or relationship-related stress.
 
The truth is that chewing ice, as harmless as it may seem, can lead to microfractures in teeth. These microfractures, which can be seen under an intense light, act as canals for bacteria to enter and linger – leading to cavities. They also increase the chances of teeth fracturing.
 
7.Bleachorexia
Teens are inundated with images of celebrities with Chicklet-white teeth and seemingly perfect smiles. As a result, many teens have turned to bleaching their teeth to achieve that “perfect” smile. But many simply don’t know when to stop.
 
Over-bleaching can erode the teeth, leaving a transparency on the edges of the teeth and breaking down the tooth’s enamel. This makes teeth overly sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks. It also can make teeth glow under a black light, (similar to the Friends tv-episode in which Ross over-bleaches his teeth).
 
Remember that bleaching is temporary and should only be done when following the manufacturer’s guidelines.


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