Teenagers’ oral health worse in long term computer users

Teenagers’ oral health worse in long term computer users

The Irish News has published an article by Lucy Stock, a Belfast dentist, which reveals that teens who spend more time on computers are significantly more likely to neglect their oral health. It claims that computer addicted teens are are up to 25% more likely to have bleeding gums and almost twice as likely to miss school due to dental pain.

An examination of more than 1,500 18-year-olds showed those who spend more time on computers are significantly more likely to neglect their oral health. Researchers found those that spent longer on a computer were less likely to brush their teeth, floss and visit the dentist. The results are particularly worrying for boys, where twice-daily brushing dropped below 50% for those with excessive computer use.

Further findings discovered that youngsters with excessive computer use are up to 25 per cent more likely to suffer from bleeding gums, and almost twice as likely to be absent from school because of dental pain. Further findings from the study revealed the longer teenagers spend on a computer, the more sugar they consume.

The amount and frequency of fizzy drinks, juices with added sugar and snacking all increased for those with more than three hours of computer time a day. These adolescents were also more likely to skip breakfast and eat less fruit and vegetables. The teenage years can be challenging times, however there is a lot parents and carers can do to protect teens from the slow insidious poisoning of a sugar-laden diet.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said, "There is growing evidence to suggest that computer use is linked with a number of health problems for teenagers. Much of the attention in the past has focussed on its relationships with obesity, smoking, drinking and changes in behaviour.  However, we are now seeing signs that it could affect a person’s oral health as well.”

Source: https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2019/08/01/news/ask-the-dentist-computer-use-might-be-damaging-your-teen-s-oral-hygiene-1669457/

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