Seeking help for your teen's eating disorder was your first priority, and they are working hard on getting better in their treatment program. While they are learning coping strategies to strengthen their mental health, you are now ready to start focusing on helping them heal the rest of their body. Unfortunately, eating disorders such as bulimia place major stress on the mouth since stomach acids and a lack of nutrition play a major role in tooth decay and gum disease. As you work together on improving your teen's life, use these tips to make sure their oral health is included in your plans.
Encourage Honesty With Their Dentist
It is important for teenagers to feel comfortable talking to their dentist. Make sure to schedule dental services for your teen with a dentist that they know they can trust, and let them know that they are currently undergoing treatment. This will not only help your teen feel less anxious during their visits, but it will also let your dentist know how to encourage healthy habits such as avoiding acidic drinks such as soda that promote further tooth erosion. Oral health professionals are trained to notice signs of damage that occur with eating disorders, so they will probably already suspect.
Follow An Oral Hygiene Routine
Many teens slack off on their dental hygiene when they are dealing with stress, and it is important for your teenager to understand how to brush and floss properly. Help your teen set up a schedule for brushing their teeth at least twice a day, and ask their dentist if they need to use a special type of mouth rinse that helps strengthen their enamel.
Consider Restorations For Severely Damaged Teeth
Once enamel has been damaged, it does not grow back. However, there are several options that your teen's dentist can use to restore their beautiful smile. For example, veneers can cover stains in teeth that have occurred over time. Alternatively, crowns and fillings can cover teeth that have decayed or weakened early due to enamel erosion.
After seeking treatment for an eating disorder, it is important to help get your teen's life back on track by helping them take charge of their whole body's health. While it may not be possible to completely undo the damage left behind by patterns of binging and purging, it is possible to give your teen a smile that they can be proud of as they continue to work through treatment.
For more information, contact local professionals like Treasured Smiles Dentistry.