AAPD Guideline on Adolescent Oral Health Care

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has written a Guideline on Adolescent Oral Health Care? It was initially written in 1986, but it has been revised four times since then, most recently in 2010. Here’s a link to a copy of the 2010 version.

Here are some highlights that might interest you:

  • Adolescents (ages 10-18) are considered to have distinctive dental care needs because of certain factors including diet, independence to avoid dental care, low priority for oral hygiene, increased risk of traumatic injury, and additional social and psychological factors.
  • Adolescence marks a period of significant tooth decay and a critical period in periodontal status for many people.
  • Fluoride is the number one proven, most effective method for preventing tooth decay; it can be beneficial from childhood throughout the teenage years and even into adulthood. Good oral hygiene (personal and professional), diet management and application of sealants are the other main tooth decay prevention methods in adolescents.
  • Other common problems with adolescent teeth are misalignment, periodontal diseases, wisdom teeth impaction or malposition, TMJ, missing teeth, ectopic eruption, and discolored teeth. All of these conditions need to be diagnosed by a professional so that a personalized treatment plan can be created based on the individual patient’s needs.
  • Preventative measures, regular check-ups, early diagnosis and personalized treatment plans are the key factors to maintain good oral health.
  • And finally, when the time comes, transition from a pediatric dentist to an adult dentist is important, as an adult’s oral health needs may go beyond the scope of a pediatric dentist’s training.

Make sure to educate your adolescent on the importance of good oral hygiene and schedule them a dentist appointment every 6 months. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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