Interlachen Dental Associates
Find Us On:
5101 Vernon Ave, Edina, MN 55436
[email protected]

Teenage/Adolescent Dental Needs

Do you have special recommendations for teenagers?
It can be a tumultuous time in their life. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and eating a well balanced healthy diet is very important. We sometimes see kids this age not pay attention to their good habits that they developed as children or choose not to follow them.

Is drinking carbonated soft drinks harmful?

Yes. Soft drinks contain acid that is the primary cause weakening tooth enamel. If you drink soft drinks (sugar or sugar-free) regularly, you should do so in moderation. Consider healthy alternatives, such as water. For more information, ask our staff for Minnesota Dental Association's brochure on "Sip All Day, Get Tooth Decay" or go to their website at

Is tobacco use bad for my teeth?
Yes. Tobacco is harmful to your teeth and all of the tissue in your mouth. It can cause stains on your teeth and cause bad breath. But the most import issue to your oral health is that tobacco use has been identified as a major risk factor for the development of oral cancer. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at

Should I have my tongue pierced?
Most dentists discourage oral piercing because of the risks of involved. Unfortunately many young people don't realize there are a lot of alarming side effects that could happen to them. Some of these side effects include a lot of pain, swelling, nerve damage, infection, drooling, loss of taste, scarring, chipped teeth and tooth loss. It can also cause a serious infection of the heart valves or tissues called endocarditis by providing an opportunity for bacteria to enter into your bloodstream and traveling to your heart. For more information, talk with Dr. Gitzen or Dr. Nelson or visit the American Dental Association's website at

Is flossing really important?

Yes. Flossing is very important because it cleans the areas of your teeth and gum tissue that your tooth brush cannot reach. "How often should I brush every day?" You should brush a minimum of 2 times a day or as Dr. Gitzen recommends, "brush as often as you need to brush in order to keep your mouth clean and healthy."

What kind of toothbrush should I use?

There are two types of toothbrushes to choose from. standard (manual) and electric. Actually many patients use a combination of both.

Standard: Choose a toothbrush with soft nylon bristles. Most people find a small to medium toothbrush head more comfortable and easier to manipulate in your mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced when the brush begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, no less than every three months.

Electric: The advantages of using an electric toothbrush is that in general, it does a better job. The high speed movement may disrupt the bacterial plaque more effectively. Choose an ADA accredited product such as Sonicare (for more information, visit their website at Oral-B (for more information, visit their website at or Crest.