Targeting Teenage Risks
Risk-taking is a normal part of teenage development—and often a growth opportunity for parents, too! Heads up to handling some common dental risks of adolescence so you both stay smiling.
Wisdom Comes With Age
The wisdom teeth, the third molars, are the last to emerge. They appear in the teen years sometimes two, sometimes three or four, or sometimes none at all. In a too-small jaw, the risk is they’ll not be able to erupt, and cause pain and swelling from impaction. Or they’ll push their way in anyhow, crowding and squeezing neighboring teeth out of alignment. Routine X-rays, starting at around age 12, can head off trouble by determining if there’s adequate room in the mouth for any wisdom teeth waiting to grow up.
Guarding the Teen Mouth
Teen athletes thrive on the risks of competitive performance. For them, protecting their mouth is less important than dogging their opponent. That’s a high-risk misperception: the National Youth Sports Foundation estimates that over 5 million teeth are knocked out each year during sports activities. Ouch!
Three types of mouthguards are available to prevent dental trauma: stock, boil-and-bite, and custom-made. The stock and boil-and-bite options provide some safety at low cost, but they are often uncomfortable and interfere with breathing and talking—and are bound to spend more time on the sidelines than in the mouth. A mouthguard constructed by a dentist and custom fit from a dental impression provides the best result: wearable, durable protection that will actually see some play.
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Dr. Angela Burns moved to Austin 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with our beautiful city. Dr. Burns is originally from the Texarkana area. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate degree and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her degree in dental surgery (DDS). Dr. Burns is committed to providing her patients with gentle, technologically advanced dental treatment. She attends an average of 60 hours of continuing education every year. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Capital Area Dental Society. Dr. Burns and her husband, Gary, have an 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is a proud 6th grader at Hill Country Middle School. She is also very involved in the Eanes PTO, her church, and loves raising her family in the Westlake community. “Growing up, I was drawn to mediating and helping others feel more included and less anxious. I was a camp counselor, student government officer and being the oldest of five, I was the family mediator. I found that I had a calling to help alleviate stressful situations for others and realized that being a good listener was something that was key to this. These skills really helped guide me into becoming a dentist that has based my practice on relationships, empathy and a sense of comfort. I knew that I wanted to provide an atmosphere that felt like home when others walked in. Our practice is small, personal and state of the art and we hope you feel like you’re hanging out with friends when you are here!” When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Burns enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, enjoying Austin’s music scene, and eating Amy’s Ice Cream.