PDF: Adolescent Oral Health Care - AAPD


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that the adolescent patient has unique needs. 
This best practice addresses these unique needs and proposes general recommendations for their management.


The dental practitioner needs to assure the adolescent patient of trust and confidentiality in certain situations. If the parent is unable to provide adequate details regarding a patient’s medical history, consultation with the medical health care provider may be indicated.


Adolescence marks a period of significant caries activity for many individuals. Research suggests that the overall caries rate is declining, yet remains highest during adolescence.

Adolescence can be a time of heightened caries activity and periodontal disease due to an increased intake of cariogenic substances and inattention to oral hygiene procedures.


Adolescence can be a critical period for the human being’s periodontal status. Epidemiologic and immunologic data suggest that irreversible tissue damage from periodontal disease begins in late adolescence and early adulthood. 

Gingival disease becomes prevalent in adolescence. Dental caries, mouthbreathing, crowding, and eruption of teeth predispose adolescents to gingivitis.



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