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Children Check-ups Throughout Their Ages – Part 4 – 12-18 years old

March 22, 2021

The transition from baby to adult teeth is becoming complete. The second molars, sometimes called the 12 year old molars are the last teeth to come through for a while.

Full mouth of teeth developing third molars - OPG X-ray

The bite is always being reassessed for orthodontics problems such as crowding and jaw bone alignments.

Early gum problems may start to happen through lack of care as parents may not be supervising the teenage kid anymore! Yes it’s that age. Sometimes getting them in for check-ups is a problem as well.

The decay risk can increase with the young adults having a greater access to sugars. Even though they have teeth that are stronger with fluoride, it is not indestructible! Enough sugar and lack of care will still do damage. This is more relevant at 18 years when they leave school and are more independent.

They may start having more caffeine, energy drinks, and sports drinks and sometimes totally not take care of themselves!

Sports drinks - a tough workout for the teeth

Bitewing x-rays are taken to check for early signs of decay. This may lead to diet changes to prevent decay and fluoride treatments.

Sport is also an important event in this age period. Custom made mouthguards may be needed in contact sports.

Mouth guard

This will protect teeth, and even jaws, from cracking, fracturing or even getting knocked out.

Knocked out tooth placed back - notice bruising in gums and lip

The third molars, also called the wisdom teeth, usually erupt at 18 years old but they can come through at any time. I have seen some come through at 15 years old! Sometimes they come through into the twenties.

The third molar can start formation as early as 7 years of age in the maxilla and 6 years in the mandible.

Sometimes they don’t even form but many times there is no room for them and they become impacted.

Next blog in the series: Children Check-ups Throughout Their Ages – Part 5 – 18 years old – Wisdom teeth

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