Teens and Braces

Document Sample
Teens and Braces Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                             April 2011

                                          Teens and Braces
                           By Jane Stueve, Adolescent and School Health Consultant

Teens today do not want to hear “You need braces to                  The Invisalign System has the same result
straighten you teeth or correct your bite.” Adolescence              as the standard dental braces while
is a time when appearance carries a lot of weight.                   eliminating some of their traditionally
There are stories of parents spending thousands of                   frustrating aspects. A patient wears a
dollars on braces only to have the teen go home and                  series of custom-fit, clear aligners. They
remove the braces themselves.                             change them every few weeks to shift teeth into
                                                          desired    position.      www.archwired.com/
The thought of having braces outweighs any benefits       ceramic_vs_metal_braces.htm.
from straight teeth and a beautiful smile when one is
an adult. Braces also carry the reputation of causing     Lingual braces are another
pain, affecting speech and infringing on eating habits.   option that can be virtually
                                                          invisible when smiling. The
How do braces work? In their entirety, braces work by     braces are placed behind the
applying continuous pressure over a period of time to     teeth. Lingual brackets are also
slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth   made of metal. Orthodontists
move, the bony tooth socket reabsorbs and changes         need special training to be able to treat patients with
shape as pressure is applied. The time required for       lingual braces so not every orthodontist provides them.
treatment varies from person to person depending on       For more information about lingual braces,
the severity of the problem.                              visit www.lingualcare.com.

Braces usually remain in place from one to three years.                           Another option is ceramic
After braces are removed, the teen will need to wear a                            brackets made of composite
retainer all the time for the first six months and then                           materials. They are very
only     during     sleep     for     several    years.                           strong and generally, the
www.medicinenet.com/dental_braces/article.htm                                     ligatures (tiny rubber bands)
                                                          do not stain. The ceramic brackets are popular because
There are many choices when braces are prescribed for     they “blend in” with the teeth and are less noticeable
teens. Sometimes they even become a fashion state-        than metal. Movie stars, like Tom Cruise, wore
ment. The brackets (piece on the tooth) that generally    ceramic       braces.      www.archwired.com/
holds the wires in place come in many shapes, colors      ceramic_vs_metal_braces.htm
and materials. Wires and bands also come in numerous
colors and materials as well. The orthodontist can even   It is important that the dentist or orthodontist listen to
provide a new look for every holiday, season or trend     the needs of the teen. Ask about how pain is treated.
that a teen likes.                                        Keep soft foods in the house so there will be something
                                                          to eat after appointments if their braces are causing
Some of the more interesting brackets on the market       discomfort. Regular dental visits are important in keep-
today were developed by a dentist in Nebraska and can     ing teeth and gums healthy to prevent future oral prob-
be found at http://wildsmiles4you.com/ and include:       lems from improper care of the braces.

                                                          To find a dentist:
                                                            • Contact the Kansas Dental Association for a list
                                                                of dentists in your area at 785-272-7360
                                                            • Contact the Kansas Department of Health and
The metal brackets and wires are the most common.               Environment for assistance at 785-296-6536
Teens are requesting more options and the market is         • That accepts Medicaid, contact the Medical
                       reflecting their desires and             Assistance Customer Service Center at
                       needs. www.archwired.com/                800-766-9012
                       ceramic_vs_metal_braces.htm          • Ask a friend about the dentist they use
                                                                                                                        April 2011

                          Warning Signs of Adolescent Diabetes
                           By Jane Stueve, Adolescent and School Health Consultant

There are several forms of diabetes. This disease is     Diabetes is diagnosed by using one of the following
known as “diabetes mellitus.” Diabetes, Greek for        test:
siphon, to describe the excessive thirst and urination     • Fasting Blood Glucose Level
characteristic of this condition. Mellitus, Latin for            Diabetes is diagnosed if it is higher than
honey, to describe diabetic urine that is filled with            126 mg/dL on two occasions
sugar and is sweet. Physicians and medical books use       • Random (non-fasting) Blood Glucose Level
the term diabetes mellitus, but commonly, this disease           Diabetes is suspected if it is higher than
is simply called diabetes.                                       200 mg/dL and the patient has symptoms (this
                                                                 must be confirmed with a fasting test)
The hormone produced by the pancreas, insulin, is          • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
needed to move glucose into cells where it is either             A person fasts at least eight hours, drinks a
stored or used for energy. Diabetes is diagnosis when            glucose-containing beverage then after two
the glucose absorption process is interrupted. The               hours is tested and diagnosed if the glucose
exact cause of this interruption is unknown. http://             level is higher than 200 mg/dL.
new-fitness.com/Diabetes/types.html.                       • Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test
                                                                 Helps patients monitor how well they are
The three most common types of diabetes are:                     controlling blood glucose levels. The American
  • Type 1 - insulin-dependent                                   Diabetes Association recommends the test be
  • Type 2 - non-insulin-dependent or insulin resis-             used for diagnosing diabetes and identifying
      tant                                                       pre-diabetes. If HbA1c level is above 6.5
  • Gestational diabetes - diabetic only with preg-              percent, you may be diagnosed with diabetes.
      nancy                                                      w w w . n cb i .n l m .n i h . g o v / p u b m e d h e a l t h /
Common warning sign or symptoms of diabetes
include:                                                 The single greatest risk factor for type 2 diabetes in
  • Increased thirst                                     teens is excess weight. Once a teen is overweight,
  • Dry mouth                                            chances are more than doubled that they will develop
  • Increased appetite                                   diabetes. In the United States, one in five children are
  • Frequent urination                                   overweight www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  • Unusual weight loss or gain
  • Headaches                                            Pursuing a healthy lifestyle to prevent and reduce the
  • Blurred vision                                       risk of diabetes include:
  • Fatigue                                                 • Eating a healthy diet
  • Cuts or sores that are slow to heal                     • Increasing the level of physical activity to include
  • Frequent yeast infections                                   30 minutes of daily exercise
  • Frequent urinary tract infections                       • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Itchy skin, especially in the groin area                • Talking with your doctor about screening for
If any of these warning signs or symptoms are present,
screening is recommended. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/          For more information visit the American Diabetes
pubmedhealth/PMH0002194/                                 Association at www.diabetes.org/.
                                                                                                                     April 2011

                                       Tanning Season is Here
                            By Jane Stueve, Adolescent and School Health Consultant

As the weather gets warmer, we begin to shed clothing       Tanning causes the skin to lose elasticity and wrinkle
that has kept us warm and protected our skin through-       prematurely. This leathery look may not show up until
out the grueling winter. Sudden exposure to sun and         many years after exposure to UV Rays.
tanning beds causes a spike in the number of sunburns.
                                                            The need for sun safety has become clear over the past
In years past, a tan was considered a “healthy look.”       several years, with studies showing that exposure to
Attempts are made to get a bronzed look before shorts       the sun can cause skin cancer. Harmful rays from the
and tank tops season, so people tan when it is conven-      sun and sunlamps in tanning beds may also cause eye
ient and take advantage of tanning salons.                  problems, weaken your immune system and give you
                                                            unsightly skin spots, wrinkles or leathery skin.
A tan is the skin’s reaction to exposure to ultraviolet
(UV) rays. Sunlamps and tanning beds promise con-           Sun safety is never out of season!
sumers a bronzed body year-round, but the UV rays
pose serious health risks. Exposure increases the risk of   References
                                                              Policy Statement—Ultraviolet Radiation: A Hazard to Children
developing melanoma skin cancer, a deadly form of
                                                                 and Adolescents, American Academy of Pediatrics , PEDIATRICS
cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute               Volume 127, Number 3, March 2011; http://
(NCI).                                                           pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2010-3501v1.
                                                              Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays, FDA Consumer
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA), NCI, the                 Health Information/ U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
American Academy of Dermatology and other health                March 2010; www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/
organizations advise limiting exposure to natural UV
rays from the sun and avoiding artificial UV sources
(tanning beds) entirely. Teens should be cautioned to
tan no more than three days a week max according to
FDA guidelines. A bronzer or spray-on tan is far safer
to get “the look.”

Shared By: