Interdisciplinary Approaches to Promote Adolescents' Oral Health and Reduce Disparities

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Comments

On behalf of its 10,500 members, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) appreciates and supports the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Promote Adolescents' Oral Health and Reduce Disparities. As health care providers for adolescents, we recognize the multi-strata approach in addressing the various concerns of adolescent oral health as an invaluable resource. Thus, we contribute the following comments:

• As numerous practitioners have witnessed, the popularity of sport and energy drinks has taken a toll on the dentition of adolescents.

• The oral effects of teen pregnancy on oral health should not be underestimated – but instead highlighted in the study.

• The adolescent belief in "rite of passage" correlates with substance abuse in this susceptible group, particularly alcohol and prescription and illicit drugs. Though adolescent tobacco use has decreased, the increased use of vaping and e-cigarettes is a concern.

• Along with these patterns comes a direct effect on the oral cavity and neglect for good oral hygiene practices.

• The detrimental effects of oral piercings on the dentition and supporting structures should be emphasized and discussed.

• Encouraging adolescents to receive HPV vaccinations for the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer.

• Maximize the popularity of social media and wearables, familiar and comfortable to adolescents, as tools to educate and inform about oral health.

• In agreement with other comments, family structure and home life play an important role in proper oral care as well as access to dental services.


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Comment No. 349