Standing Up for Illinois - Office of Lt Governor Pat Quinn

As you get older you have more responsibilities. These include maintaining health teeth for a healthy smile. You have the power.

Smoke Free Living

You probably know that smoking is bad for your health. It greatly increases your chance of cancer. Smoking also leads to yellowed teeth, gum disease and stained tongues.

Smoking is bad for your mouth! This includes all forms of smoking like cigars and smokeless tobacco. Don't do it.

Wisdom Teeth

Many teenagers get their wisdom teeth pulled in order to help their other teeth grow properly. If your dentist wants to extract your wisdom teeth, don't worry. You will be given anesthesia and won't feel a thing. There will be some pain later but if you are good, you might get a visit from the tooth fairy.


Everyone wants a healthy smile. Many people use whitening products to keep their teeth white. Whitening can improve appearance but it won't keep the teeth healthy. Regular brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep a healthy smile. If you are considering whitening talk to your dentist about the best products and always look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Next Steps

As you become an adult don't forget to maintain your healthy smile. Do you want to help create healthy smiles for other people? Become a dental hygienist, dentist or oral surgeon. Go to the Resources page for schools and colleges in Illinois that can prepare you for a career in dentistry.

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