How to manage your teen’s dental habits

Dental Health

Teenagers have a lot of responsibility. Growing up, school, sports, homework, developing friendships and dealing with peer pressure can take their toll on a young mind. Unfortunately, for most teens oral health does not seem to be much of a priority. As parents, making sure your teen maintains a good dental care routine can be tough. Here are a few tips that can help you to manage your teenager’s oral health-

Lead by example
If you want your teen to put in the effort with their oral health, show them how it is done. See your dentist regularly as a family. It is important to practice what you preach by brushing and flossing twice a day and make sure they see you doing it. Make good oral health habits a routine in your house so they can learn how to do it themselves.

Eliminate excuses
Don’t let running out of time or lack of supplies be an excuse. Do what you can to teach your child good time management skills so they will not run out of time before school to brush their teeth. Also, be sure to keep the bathroom stocked with toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss so they can have easy access to everything they need.

Talk about the consequences
There are serious consequences to not having a good oral care routine. Cavities, gingivitis, tooth loss and problems with tooth enamel are just a few of the issues that can occur if you are not taking proper care of your teeth. Explain these issues to your teens and make sure they know the consequences.

Encourage a healthy diet
Eating too much junk food and drinking fizzy drinks can harm your child’s teeth. Be sure to limit the amount of sugary or acidic food your teen is consuming by keeping the fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy snacks such as fruit or sugar-free granola bars. Encourage them to drink more water or milk and less soft drinks or cordials.

Regular dental check-ups
Going to the dentist twice a year should be a habit for life. Take your child to the dentist regularly, so when they move out on their own they are already used to six monthly dental checks. Prevention is always better than cure and regular check-ups are a major part of prevention.

Encourage your child to make good dental decisions from a young age and they will become healthier, happier adults.