5 Oral Habits Teens Should Stop

Published:January 23rd, 2012

Image Credit: healthjockey.com

When kids are young, there are any number of things that you need to keep them from putting in their mouths – basically, if it could fit into the mouth, in it went. You would think that you could stop worrying when they are in their teens but the things teens put in their mouths can still be dangerous. Here are some of the more dangerous behaviours that teens engage in:

Smoking


Teens aren’t nearly as likely to smoke these days thanks to huge anti-smoking campaigns. That said about a fifth of teens do smoke and, alarmingly, teens may also use tobacco without smoking it – by chewing it or using it as snuff. Everyone knows the dangers of smoking but getting your teen to stop may be harder than you realise.

Chewing on Things


Probably the least dangerous on this list, it can still create problems. This probably is as a result of boredom or anxiety but it is quite an unsanitary habit – germs cover everything and popping that pen cap in your mouth means ingesting those germs. Chewing the wrong things can lead to damage to teeth and gums. If this is a problem for your teen, you might want to get them started with chewing gum – shown to relieve dry mouth symptoms, bad breath and reduce tooth decay.

Eating and Drinking Sweets


Sugar can cause permanent damage to your teen’s health. Tooth damage is minor in comparison to some of the lifestyle diseases that can develop due to the intake of too much sugar. Coupled with high fat foods and a sedentary lifestyle, sweets can cause diabetes, gallstones and heart disease.

Oral Sex without Protection


Studies show that about half the teens between the ages of 15 and 17 are sexually active. Oral sex may seem preferable to actual sex but it can be more dangerous when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. STD’s can be transmitted through oral sex and, unfortunately, a lot of people think that it is safe to engage in oral sex without using a condom.

Alcohol and Drug Use


Probably the most destructive habits of all, alcohol is used quite a lot by teens – it is easy to get hold of booze and they can drink to excess. Needless to say, the dangers of drinking outweigh the benefits but kids won’t know that – alcohol poisoning, drunk driving, alcoholism, unprotected sex, etc. are all possible side effects of drinking.

Drug use is probably the worst of the two since the habit is so addictive. Kids can end up in pretty much the same situations described above but will also be at risk of being arrested because they are breaking the law in order to fuel their drug habit.


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