As many parents know, the transition from childhood to adulthood can be challenging in many ways, including knowing how to take proper care of your teeth and gums. While brushing and flossing are important at any age, getting a teen to follow an appropriate dental hygiene plan can definitely be a struggle.
If you’re wondering how to get your adolescent to practice better oral hygiene, here are a few tips to follow.
1. Avoid Buying Junk Food
Teenagers seem to love consuming junk food and sugary sodas. In order to prevent cavities, they need to avoid these at all costs! So it’s important to keep healthy options available at home for them to snack on. Present junk food as a treat, not a regular food group.
2. Talk About Long-Term Consequences
Once teeth have been stained or yellowed, it can be difficult to get the colour removed without whitening treatments or procedures. Talk to your teen about the long-term consequences of not practicing proper oral hygiene, including bad breath and discolouration. Let them know that what they do now will matter in the following years.
3. Set A Good Example
When it comes to raising teenagers, you need to practice what you preach. If you’re constantly telling your teen to floss without doing it yourself, they’re not going to believe it is truly important. If you want your teen to develop the right habits, be sure you’re doing them yourself.
4. Stay Stocked With Supplies
Don’t give your teen any reason not to brush or floss. Keep a stockpile of extra toothbrushes floss, and toothpaste containing fluoride.
5. Discuss The Dangers Of Smoking
For many reasons we need to always discourage teenagers from smoking. Make sure they know the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but also let them know how smoking can damage their teeth and gums.
It’s also important that your teen has regular visits to the dentist. As you know, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 receive free treatment under New Zealand’s dental benefits plan. Too easy!