Mummy says…Making sure your children brushed their teeth every day was much easier when they were smaller. But as children get older and more independent it can be a lot harder to keep a track of them and what they are doing. Plus let’s face it, your direct influence over them can weaken a bit too…
But your adult teeth are even more important than your baby teeth, as your adult teeth will be the ones you have for the rest of your life. Once you get older your teeth can start to cause you problems, and toothache is not a nice experience. So here is a guide to what parents can do to make sure teenagers have healthy teeth:
It is important that teenagers have access to the different dental products they may need to
maintain healthy teeth, as it is unlikely that they will go out and buy them for themselves. Aside from having the obvious products like toothpaste, try to always have some dental floss and
mouthwash by the sink. Leaving these products around your teenager will make them familiar with
them and may even encourage them to use them. Having the right tools and products to take care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining healthy teeth, so it is also a good idea to have the best electric toothbrush on hand to give your teenager that extra help.
Electric toothbrushes have been found to be much more effective than handheld brushes, as they
clean areas of the teeth and gums that could otherwise not be reached. Electric toothbrushes may
seem like a lazier option (so this may help you sell the idea to your teenager!) but they are a much more effective way to maintain your mouth hygiene and decrease plaque. If you are looking for the best electric toothbrush, you can find some expert advice by looking at this round-up of the best toothbrushes according to Toothstars which will hopefully make your decision a lot easier!
Another way you can help your teenager to have healthy teeth is to ensure their diet is low in sugar, as too much sugar can lead to poor oral hygiene. It might not be a popular move in your household, but keep the number of fizzy drinks to a minimum wherever possible. You can’t watch what your teen is drinking and eating all day long, but you can at least limit what they are having while at home. This will encourage the family to turn to other forms of drinks and avoid the high sugar fizzy drinks.
Make sure that you are also aware of the sugar levels in sports drinks that claim to be a healthier option. They often contain more sugar than in regular fizzy drinks. Try to encourage your children to drink more water, as it is good for their overall wellbeing as well as for their oral hygiene. The same goes for the types of foods your teen is eating. Try to limit their intake of sweets and encourage more fruit and vegetables into their diets.
Remind Them about Dental Check-ups
It is really important that all your family regularly attend dental check-ups, but the teens in your family may be even more reluctant to face the dentist. It can be difficult to keep on top of everything that comes with having children, but try to keep a note of when their dental appointments are and stick to them. It may be a good idea to set a reminder in your phone a few days before the appointment is scheduled. It is important that you adhere to these appointments so that your children grow up realising that dental hygiene is really important.
Discourage Oral Piercings
Tattoos and piercings are a teenage rite of passage, and among the most popular teenage piercings are lip and tongue piercings. It is strongly advised that you discourage your teenagers away from getting any oral piercings, as they can cause oral issues and infections. They have been known to cause chipped teeth and can prevent the teeth from moving around freely at a time when the mouth is still growing. You should take your teen to the dentist or dental hygienist before having a piercing done so that they are fully informed and aware of the consequences. But ultimately, remember that you are still their parent and have the right to say no to anything that could bring them harm.
Teenagers are known for their often chaotic and experimental stage in life and may want to try
experiences such as smoking. It is very crucial that you talk with your teens and explain to them the health implications and oral hygiene issues that come from smoking. You should maintain a smoke-free home (which may involve quitting smoking yourself) and discuss with your teenagers how smoking can have massive implications. These include stained teeth, bad breath, altered taste buds, and even oral cancer.
Visit the Orthodontist
It may be a good idea to take your teenager to the dentist and see if braces are necessary for them. People can get braces at any age, but it is much more common to have them during the teenage years. It could be worth heading to your local orthodontist and seeing what options are available.
Teenagers can often feel insecure and suffer from low self-esteem, so seeking out help with their teeth may avoid this.
It is essential that you support your children with their health and hygiene no matter what their age, but oral hygiene and healthy teeth can often be overlooked in favour of other health issues. While it can be increasingly difficult to influence what your children do as they get older, it is essential that they understand the serious consequences that can come from not taking good care of their teeth. If you or your teenager has any concerns about their teeth or oral health, then make sure you go along to your dentist and ask any questions you may have.
I hope these parents guide to teenagers and healthy teeth are helpful!