If you think your teenager is a risk-taker, you’re probably right: dramatic brain changes experienced during adolescence may explain increased exploration.
But don’t fret, parents! It’s normal (and necessary) for teenagers to take risks.
Prevent teen tooth troubles by encouraging healthy risks and help them steer clear of unhealthy ones:
Go For It: Healthy Risks
Healthy risk-taking has a chance for failure, but can also be rewarding and surprisingly safe. Teens can step out of their comfort zone in artistic activities, volunteer opportunities and sports.
Teenagers thrive in athletic environments. Through sports, adolescents are able to foster friendships, stay in shape and develop leadership skills.
Make sports safer for your teen – buy him or her a mouthguard. Contact sports, such as football, lacrosse, and hockey, require protection. Don’t let teens risk their smile – find out what sports require mouthguards.
Don’t Chance It: Unhealthy Risks
Don’t be so negative about negative risk-taking – not all teens regularly repeat unhealthy habits. However, among adolescent health risk behaviors, “regular tobacco use” comes out on top.
Give your teen more reasons to stay away from cigarettes. Smoking negatively affects all parts of your mouth, including:
• Lips: Over time, smokers develop wrinkles around the lips.
• Teeth: Cigarettes stain your teeth yellow and make your breath smell bad.
• Gums: Smoking contributes to gum disease, often leading to tooth loss.
Parenting a teenager can be tricky. Try to remember that teens are meant to take risks – just make sure he or she is taking the right ones.