In the past we have discussed how to teach your children and yourself to be a great patient, and how to maintain a healthy oral environment. We’ve shared our insights from prenatal to postnatal as well. However, one very important group that seldom is addressed is the Adolescent group. Dentally, this is one of the most important age groups. These budding individuals are past the age where their parents can help them brush, but not mature enough to keep their mouths as clean as they should. A lot of damage can be done in those teen years that can set your child up for a lifetime of dental aggravation. Today’s post is about how to keep your teen’s mouth healthy.
- Keep the fluoride coming, getting your teen to brush well and brush often is a hard job in itself, asking them to floss and rinse afterwards is even harder. I recommend buying a toothpaste that includes fluoride to help keep their enamel strong and healthy, and if you can try and have them rinse with a fluoride rinse like ACT before bed, even better. You can check out some ACT products here.
- Try and make sure that your child is brushing at least twice a day. As much as they’ll be annoyed by your hounding them, they’ll be even more annoyed when they have to sit through a filling or two.
- With the surge in popularity of energy and sports drinks kids are really drawn to these types of beverages. Limit your teen’s consumption as much as you can. Always stick to sugar free, and be aware of what your teen is consuming. Some sports drinks, although sugar free, are very acidic and are unhealthy for dental enamel.
- During the teenage years we often see many kids with braces. It is incredibly important to keep your teens mouth clean during this time. There are plenty of tools made to help keep brackets and orthodontic appliances clean. Ask your dentist or orthodontist which tools are best for your teens mouth and have them show your child (and you) how to use them.
- Candy and carbohydrate laden snack foods are definite cavity causers. If you can’t avoid your child eating these types of foods then at least limit the amount of times during the day that they do. One sitting of eating candy and snacks followed by tooth brushing and flossing can reduce the risk of cavities as opposed to short periods of snacking throughout the day.
- Teens can be very insecure, with all sorts of new social situations some kids are more concerned than ever about their appearances. Help boost your kids confidence by giving them the tools to keep their smile healthy and beautiful. If they are looking for inspiration, remind them that by not taking care of their mouths there are other risks besides cavities, such as bad breath, broken and discolored teeth.