The teenage years – Arifa Sultana


  Posted by: manpreet.boora      2nd October 2017

With the extensive coverage by the media, there are few people that are not aware of the crisis in children’s oral health that we are facing in the UK. [1],[2] It has been recommended that highly sugary foods and drinks packaging should carry warnings, better education for parents and carers is required, more research is needed and new policies and strategies are being set up to improve the oral health of children. But what happens when these children reach the teenage years?

During the early to late teens, social, psychological, economic and biological transitions take place. Teenagers can be some of the worst offenders for inadequate oral hygiene because oral health is often placed at a low priority. In addition, they are more likely to be influenced by peer pressure and may develop bad habits – one of the most dangerous being smoking. These young patients may be aware that smoking tobacco heightens the risks of developing respiratory disorders, heart disease and cancer but they are often oblivious to the impact that smoking can have on their oral health. Therefore dental professionals should point out that smokers tend to develop more calculus on the teeth than non-smokers[3] and, can have a significantly lower salivary flow rate which can cause an increase in oral and dental disorders associated with dry mouth, such as cervical caries, gingivitis, tooth mobility and halitosis.[4]

During the teenage years, many young people leave home to study or begin their working lives. With this new and exciting level of independence, some inevitably make changes to their diet and regular mealtimes become a thing of the past. With more freedom and often less time to prepare or money to spend on food, many youngsters grab unhealthy foods or sugary snacks, which have negative impacts on both their general and oral health. Also lots of teenagers would prefer to swap breakfast for a lie in but it is worth pointing out to them that teens are twice as likely to suffer from halitosis if they miss the most important meal of the day.[5] In fact, oral health education that incorporates the prevention of bad breath has mileage for triggering better oral health habits as teenagers are notoriously self-conscious and certainly, would not want to become renowned for their bad teeth or smelly breath.

In order to appeal to teenagers during this defining time, dental professionals can also guide individuals with simple strategies to boost oral health at home, between dental appointments. Firstly, education about the causes dental decay and disease, effective brushing techniques, the perils of smoking, the effects of sugar on the teeth and the causes of oral malodour are all important issues to discuss. As well as this, young people can be encouraged to add CB12 mouthwash to their oral health routine to help rinse away food debris and neutralise the gases that cause unpleasant breath. This mouthwash also contains fluoride to prevent cavities and strengthen the teeth and its patented formula offers the reassurance of pleasant breath for up to 12 hours. There is also the handy new CB12 spray that fits into any bag or pocket for a discreet and simple way to refresh the mouth during the day.

It can be difficult to appeal to teenagers, but with a little effort dental professionals can provide them with easy, practical and effective oral hygiene habits to last them a lifetime.


For more information about CB12 and how it could benefit your patients, please visit



[1] Local Government Association. Tackling poor oral health in children: local government’s public health role. [Accessed 5th June 2017]

[2] Public Health England. Extraction Data March 2016. [Accessed 5th June 2017]

[3] Pejčić A et al. Smoking and periodontal disease. A review. 2007. Facta Universitatis Series: Medicine and Biology Vol.14, No 2. [Accessed 5th June 2017]

[4] Rad M et al. Effect of long term smoking on whole-mouth salivary flow rate and oral health. 2010. J Dent Res Dent Clin Dent Prospects. 2010 Autumn; 4(4): 110–114. [Accessed 5th June 2017]

[5] Rani H et al. Oral malodour among adolescents and its association with health behaviour and oral health status. International Journal of Dental Hygiene, 2016 May; 14(2) 135-41. [Accessed 5th June 2017]

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