Protect teens self-esteem

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  Posted by: The Probe      6th February 2018

During adolescence, there are many threats to feeling good about oneself. Weight gain is common, for a number of reasons. Conversely, both boys and girls may believe themselves inadequate if they haven’t ‘filled out’ and developed the more adult-shaped bodies that their peers have. Feeling they still look like a child compared to their more manly/womanly friends can leave an individual feeling miserable.

Oral-health related self-esteem is an issue, too. Around 20,000 children and teenagers have orthodontic work in the UK every year, mostly for aesthetic reasons, although severe malocclusion may need correcting to improve function.[i]

Teens growing up in our social-media age may feel the link between appearance and self-esteem more acutely. Any teen who uses Instagram, or posts a photo on Twitter or Facebook is giving anyone with access the chance to comment on his or her appearance. The idea that the media can make someone feel bad about themselves isn’t new, but young people now are exposed to many channels that spread unrealistic standards. An attractive appearance – which includes a healthy smile – is valuable currency for feeling confident on social media.

The answer to getting through adolescence relatively unscathed is to take good care of body and mind. Healthy eating lessons begin in the home and parents must be encouraged to give their children a well-balanced diet, low in fat and full of protein and healthy slow-release carbohydrates which will help them to make the right choices as they get older. Exercise is the bridge between physical and mental health. All exercise leads to the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that promote self-esteem, but competitive sports can have additional benefits for the beleaguered adolescent age group. If they participate regularly, they will learn the importance of self-discipline and good teamwork. Team sports will also allow them to reap the social benefits of enjoying shared pursuits with likeminded people.

Any teen or adolescent exercising regularly or participating in sport will need to take some precautions, too. Warming up properly to raise the heart rate is an essential part of injury prevention. Good nutrition, including staying well hydrated, will improve stamina and endurance.

Dentists should make sure their young patients do not put themselves at risk of an avulsed tooth. A custom mouth guard, that fits the mouth exactly, should be considered an essential part of a sports kit, in order to prevent damage caused by a heavy blow including a fall. Saber Protect custom-made mouth guards have been developed to give the wearer many benefits and the range includes a product designed with athletes under 16 in mind.

Adolescence is a defining time, but the right choices can make it more bearable for everyone. Taking good care of themselves, including an active lifestyle, will improve self-esteem and get teens and adolescents into lifelong habits with all-round benefits for good health.

 

Saber Protect custom-made mouth guards are fabricated by CosTech Dental Laboratory. For more information, please visit

www.custom-mouth-guards.com.

 

[i]British Orthodontic Society (BOS). Why Orthodontics? Link: http://www.bos.org.uk/Public-Patients/Orthodontics-for-Adults/Why-Orthodontics (accessed December 2017).


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