Teens and the Advantages of Risk-taking

June 9, 2015
If you think your teenager is over dramatic, you’re probably right: brain changes during adolescence may explain increased emotions and risk-taking. But don’t fret! It’s normal (and necessary). Adolescents are going to take risks – plain and simple. So, help them find healthy and safe ways to take those risks. Prevent toothaches by encouraging healthy risks and helping them steer clear of unhealthy ones.

Go For It: Healthy Risks

Healthy risk-taking has a chance for failure, but can also be rewarding and surprisingly safe. Teens can step out of their comfort zone in artistic activities, volunteer opportunities and sports.

Teenagers thrive in athletic environments. Through sports, adolescents are able to foster friendships, stay in shape and develop leadership skills.

Make sports safer for your teen – buy providing a mouth guard. Contact sports, such as football, lacrosse and hockey, require protection. Don’t let teens risk their smile – find out what additional sports require mouth guards.

Don’t Chance It: Unhealthy Risks

Don’t be so negative about negative risk-taking – not all teens regularly repeat unhealthy habits. However, among adolescent health risk behaviors, “regular tobacco use” comes out on top.

Give your teen more reasons to stay away from cigarettes and tobacco. Smoking negatively affects all parts of your mouth, including:

• Lips: Over time, smokers develop wrinkles around the lips.

• Teeth: Cigarettes stain your teeth yellow and make your breath smell.

• Gums: Smoking contributes to gum disease, often leading to tooth loss.

Parenting a teenager can be tricky. Try to remember that teens are meant to take risks – just make sure they’re taking the right ones.