If you have a teenager, you may be wondering how many teeth they should have. The truth is that most teens have 32 teeth. They typically have 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars, including 4 wisdom teeth.

In most cases, teenagers have their wisdom teeth removed. By having their wisdom teeth removed, they may be able to avoid the following issues:

Teeth crowding: In the event your teen has a small jaw, wisdom teeth can lead to teeth crowding. When crowding occurs, teeth may become impacted, meaning they’ll become misaligned or won’t completely break the surface
Infection: If your teen complains about pain in their mouth, the pain may be the result of a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections are common when wisdom teeth are partially erupted.
Crooked teeth: When your teen’s wisdom teeth grow in, they may push against the other teeth and lead to a crooked smile. This may require the need for braces, even if your teen has already had them.
Cavities: If your child’s wisdom teeth grow in crooked, they may rub against the surrounding teeth and cause cavities.

If your teen does get their wisdom teeth removed, they should be left with 28 teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teen Dental Health

Is Invisalign a good option for my teen?
Many teens prefer Invisalign over traditional metal braces because it allows them to straighten their teeth in a discreet and comfortable way. While Invisalign is a good option for many teens, a trip to the orthodontist is the best way for you to find out if it’s right for your teen’s unique situation.

Should my teen get their wisdom teeth out?
Once your son or daughter’s wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, you may wonder whether they need to be removed. If a dentist finds that they have grown in crooked, they are causing pain, or your child’s jaw cannot accommodate them, they will likely recommend a removal.

Is a mouthguard necessary for my teen?
If your teen plays contact sports like football and lacrosse, we do suggest a custom mouthguard to protect their teeth and reduce the risk of dental emergencies.

How does smoking damage my teen’s teeth?
If your son or daughter has tried smoking or smokes regularly, they may face stained teeth and tongue, slow healing after a tooth extraction, gum disease and tooth loss, and even oral cancer. Encourage them to ditch this bad habit as doing so can do wonders for their oral and general health.

How does mouth jewelry affect my teen’s teeth?
Oral piercings are popular among teens. However, they can be dangerous as infection and swelling is likely to occur. These piercings could also lead to cracked teeth and systemic infections like hepatitis. While they may look “cool,” we don’t recommend oral piercings.

Do eating disorders affect oral health?
If your teen has an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, they may not get the proper nutrition they need to avoid mouth bleeding. The edges of their teeth may also become thin and break off. If your child has an eating disorder, it’s imperative that they seek treatment right away.

Contact Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

If you’re concerned about your teen’s teeth and want to make sure that they have the right amount or want to find out if they need their wisdom teeth pulled, contact a pediatric dentist at our office. Call us at 703-348-2813 today.