Updates on teen health

September 10, 2010 by  

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Teen Vaccination Rates Increasing Across the US
A survey by the Centers of Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) of over 20,000 teenagers aged 13 to 17 years showed an increasing rate of vaccination. As much as 15% increase was reported in terms of vaccinations that were recommended for preteen years for diseases such as pertussis, meningitis, and cervical cancer. Although the increase looks positive, but experts think the current rates could still be improved upon.
According to Anne Schuchat, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases:

“This year’s data are mixed. We can see that more parents of adolescents are electing to protect their children from serious diseases such as pertussis, meningitis, and cervical cancer, but there is clear room for improvement in our system’s ability to reach this age group.”

Why hipsters are growing gap-toothed grins
Here is a great argument that parents can use against tongue piercing: teeth gaps. While teens may need care much about the risks of catching contagious diseases through piercings, this argument will appeal to their sense of aesthetics. After all, which teenager would want a gap-toothed smile?
Orthodontists report that metal piercings in the tongue can cause diastema, which is a significant space between the upper teeth. A report of such a case has been published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics.
But how do tongue studs do this? According to this msnbc report:

Apparently, kids like to play with their tongue studs, often pushing the barbell shaped ornaments back and forth against their front teeth. In the case described in the new study, a young woman managed to create a significant space between her upper teeth — called a diastema — by periodically wedging the thin part of the barbell between them and wiggling it around over the course of seven years.

Other experts report the following cases:

  • fractured tooth by repeatedly clacking the piercing against them
  • broken tooth when the piercing gets between her teeth as one bites down on some food

Adolescent Brains Biologically Wired to Engage in Risky Behavior, Study Finds
Parents often wonder what goes on in their teenager’s brain to make them do what they do. Scientists are trying their best to find out. And their findings may help us understand the source of rash and risky behavior among adolescents. According to Dr. Russell, professor in the departments of Psychology and Neurobiology at the University of Texas at Austin:

“Our results raise the hypothesis that these risky behaviors, such as experimenting with drugs or having unsafe sex, are actually driven by over activity in the mesolimbic dopamine system, a system which appears to be the final pathway to all addictions, in the adolescent brain.”

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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