Motivating Teens to Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Although you may think that your youngsters are the most difficult of dental patients, teens can be extremely unmotivated when it comes to good oral hygiene. If they regularly consume candy, gum, soda and other unhealthy food sources, a good dental regimen is imperative their oral health. The following tips can help motivate your teen and make dental care more fun.

Use Products Geared Toward Teens

If you have children, you want to ensure they eat right, practice good behavior and get enough sleep. You also want to instill good habits such as cleanliness. Unfortunately, teens may be wont to slack off brushing their teeth. But instilling good oral hygiene at the peak years allows them to carry the good habits into their adult years. Although most parents start children with a good brush regimen the moment their child’s teeth break through their gums, teens face a whole new set of issues during their young adult lives with sports, sugary diets and mouth changes. Unfortunately, most products today are geared toward the young or adult set. If you want your teen to become diligent in their oral care, look for products that appeal to their style and tastes. There are certain tooth brushes and pastes geared toward adolescents.

Schedule Regular Checkups

Your teen is not immune to cavities and other oral issues. Besides teaching them excellent oral skills early on in life, you also want to schedule regular checkups. The routine exams can catch dental decay at its early stages. Your teen may also be a candidate for braces to straighten out crooked teeth or gaps. Wisdom teeth can also cause pain, swelling and discomfort for your teen. A dentist can assess the development and movement with x-rays. If they have to get their wisdom teeth extracted, your dentist can offer advice on how to prep for the removal of the teeth. Applying gauze to the tender gums is just one of 5 ways to stop bleeding after a wisdom tooth extraction.

Incorporate Technology

If your teen is constantly fiddling with some type of electronic device, you may want to incorporate technology into their dental car. Cleaning between the teeth with floss may be tedious oral care for your teen. Oral irrigators are more fun and exciting to rid the teeth of plaque and food particles. You can also attach a unit to the head of your shower, so your child can clean both their body and teeth in one setting. If your teen has a tablet or smartphone, timers or apps set to three minutes allows them to brush longer. If they wear headphones with music, tell them to download a favorite song similar to that time. When the song is over, they can quit brushing.

Appeal to Their Image

Teens typically spend a great deal of time and money on their appearance. While you don’t want to make your teen self-conscious about their appearance, you may want to appeal to their image when motivating them toward better dental car. Gently remind them the benefits to brushing on a regular basis such as good breath and fighting cavities. Routine visits to the dentist can also alleviate halitosis and yellow stains. If your teen feels embarrassed by their smile, whitening toothpastes can contribute give them a boost. Your dentist may also provide assistance to problematic areas with braces, mouth guards and bonding.

Limit Junk Food and Sugar

A poor diet high in sugar and junk food can be bad for your child both mentally and physically. Candy, excessive amounts of carbs and sweet beverages can also boost their chances of cavities. If your teen has a tendency to consume these bad foods, keep limited quantities within your household. Instead, keep fruit, vegetables, whole-grain crackers, cheese and low-fat dairy on hand. If they have a taste for gum or candy, look for the sugar-free options.

Form a Bond

The right dental facility can make a major difference in how your teen perceives their own oral health and wellness. If you normally use a pediatric dentist, involve your teen in the process of looking for someone more age appropriate. Besides forming a bond with someone they trust, the office may also have gear designed to suit people their age such as music, T.V. and other electronics. The dentist may also be able to relate better to adolescents and be trained in imparting oral advice to this age group.

Parents play a major role in the health and wellness of their children. The process can begin as young as toddlers. But as your teen becomes more independent, they may find your insistence to fall into the category of nagging. Using the above tips, you’ll be able to teach your teen the importance of good oral hygiene and ensure that they take care of their mouth independently and without any prodding.


By | 2017-11-05T01:12:49+00:00 October 30th, 2017|Children, Health & Fitness, Parenting|1 Comment

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  1. Janet W. November 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    These are great tips! Regular oral check ups are so important and can help prevent serious issues later on.

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