Oral health is one of the most unmet health care needs of adolescents. Oral disease can have a profound effect on overall health, including pain, missed school, heart disease, and even death. Adolescents have specific needs pertaining to oral health in addition to the usual lifelong issues of caries management, sports injury prevention, and dental referrals. Teen years are a higher risk time for oral piercings, increased sugar intake, nicotine initiation, and orthodontic considerations. Adolescents need a unique approach to motivate them about their oral health issues. This is particularly important because lifelong health habits are created during these formative years, and prevention opportunities for sealants and varnish are only available at this age.

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