Being a teenager is not always easy. Your hormones are a mess. You’re making big decisions about your future. And between school, homework, sports, friends, and extracurriculars, your schedule is the most jam-packed it probably will ever be. With all of the things teens have going on, it can be easy for them to neglect certain important aspects of their lives, such as their oral health. Even with an overwhelming schedule, it’s important to continually encourage your child to take care of their oral hygiene at all ages! If you’re in need of a few easy ways to make a big difference in your teen’s oral health: look no further! Today, we’re talking teen’s teeth troubles.
More Junk, More Gunk
Teenagers are notorious for their soda- and snack-filled diets. With seemingly endless appetites and fast metabolisms, most teenagers are much more likely than grown-ups to make poor dietary choices. Snacking on high sugar foods is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your teeth, though. Sugary food that isn’t washed or brushed away after eating will linger on teeth, turning into plaque and eventually tartar. Excess food particles breed bacteria and acid that will erode enamel and cause cavities. If you have a teenager who loves snacking, encourage them to brush their teeth afterwards and make sure they always brush their teeth right before bed, once all snacking is done.
Brace For Braces
Many teenagers will wear metal braces for a period of months or years in hopes of a straighter, healthier smile. Brushing with braces can be a particularly cumbersome task, so teens are more likely to skip their morning and evening brushing while they’re wearing them. Since braces can be worn for years at a time, it’s vitally important that your teenager keeps up their oral health routine and learns proper maintenance of their mouths while going through orthodontic treatment. Flossing techniques can be taught by his or her orthodontist, and special toothbrushes can help them get the hard-to-reach places around brackets. If you’re worried that your child isn’t brushing adequately while wearing braces, talk to them! Encourage them to look after the smile they’re working so hard to cultivate.
Lead By Example
Being a good role model for your child extends to every aspect of life, including your oral health routine. If you are a dedicated brusher and flosser, your child is more likely to be, too. Start instilling the values of maintaining a healthy mouth early and your child will carry your lessons with them throughout their life. And remember: good teenage oral hygiene starts in childhood, so start talking about brushing as soon as you can!
If you have questions about how to help encourage your teen to be a more dedicated brusher, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment for yourself or your child, give us a call at Anew Dental & Orthodontics in Plainfield today!