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Smile Dental
Advice for Teens

I want to have my tongue pierced. Will it damage my teeth?

There is a temptation to fiddle with a tongue piercing and this can damage the teeth - biting down on the metal could chip your teeth. There are other risks that go with having your tongue pierced. It could cause an infection, which might make your tongue swell. If this happens, you run the risk of blocking your airway. An infection could also cause blood poisoning, which could be life-threatening.

I'd like a jewel fitted in my tooth. How can I do it?

Having a diamond or other jewel fitted into the front of one of your teeth can be quite fashionable, but it should be done properly. Dentists are in the best position to do this as the procedure involves applying acid and a very strong glue to the tooth. Don't be temtped to ask an unqualified person to do it - if it's not applied properly, it may work loose and could be a choking hazard.

 
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bad breath
   

Having bad breath can have a drastic effect on your social life - not to mention your love life. But don't panic - it's usually very easy to sort out. Bad breath is mostly caused by strong smelling food or drink, smoking or by not brushing your teeth properly.


If you want to keep your breath - and your mouth - nice and fresh, you need to make sure you're brushing properly, using a fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with a small head. This will let you get into all the nooks and crannies in your mouth and help you get rid of all the old bits of food and bacteria that might be lurking there. Use small circular motions with the brush and don't forget to brush the backs of the teeth and your tongue, as bacteria can hide here too.

If you're worried that your breath smells, don't be tempted to just suck on a mint and hope the problem goes away. Most mints are full of sugar and what that will do is feed the bacteria already in your mouth and make the problem worse. If you can't get to a toothbrush and toothpaste, try chewing some sugar-free gum. This will stimulate the saliva in your mouth which can then help flight the bacteria.
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smoking
   

Smoking can have a massive effect on your mouth. Not only will it give you bad breath, it can reduce your ability to taste things, stain your teeth and, in some cases, cause mouth cancer.

Giving up smoking isn't easy, so the best thing is never to start. Don't be pressured by your friends to start. Whatever they say, it doesn't look cool. And if you're tempted, remember what an ashtray smells like, and ask yourself if you really want your breath,  your hair and your clothes to smell like that.

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