Being a teen is not easy. Being a parent of a teen means you get to come along for the ride. Teens and parents have an endless list of liabilities and responsibilities to keep up with and while most teens would like the freedom to take care of themselves, adolescence is a crucial time to teach healthy habits that will stick through adulthood. Between school, sports, work, extracurriculars and those good ol’ mood swings, there is a lot for a teen to keep track of. When busy, it’s oftentimes the basics, like brushing, that are forgotten. The snacks teens tend to choose don’t help the cause for healthier dental hygiene.
Here are some tips to keep your teen’s teeth healthy, happy and hopefully cavity free:
- Lead the Brushing Line: Like the monkey, teen sees and teen does. Mention to you teen when you are going to brush and floss your teeth and don’t be afraid to peek in to make sure they do the same. Anything you ask your teen to do that you also practice is likely to lessen the chance of rebellion. While it may seem repetitive, the constant reminders help when your teen’s brain is already busy.
- Stay Stocked: Teens love coming in and saying that the reason for any complication is that they couldn’t find the floss, mouthwash, fill in the blank. While we oftentimes find out is a huge stock of supplies somewhere at home, it’s best to keep supplies out. Have soft toothbrushes, your teen’s preferred floss, a toothpaste flavor they like, etc., on hand and by the sink. Is your teen always in a hurry? have an extra set of supplies in your teen’s bag, ready for a brushing break.
- Give the Sales Pitch for Pearly Whites: We know teens care about their appearance. One of the best side-effects of this is that you can easily sell the importance of a happy, healthy, white smile. What’s the best way to make your teeth look good? Great care. Not only will looking good get your teen on board, it is a helpful way to teach and exemplify the importance of prioritizing self-care and health where your teen will see the benefits.
- Fill ‘em With Good Food: It wouldn’t be a teenager if they didn’t love that delicious, sugary junk food that loves getting stuck in the crooks and crannies of their smile. While we all love a little junk, eating it like teens often like to without making time to brush can easily become cavity haven. Keep lots of colorful and seasonal fruits and veggies at home, ready to snack on. Remind your teen to take 10 to brush when around a lot of junk food. And again, practice what you preach when partaking in those sweet treats.
Interested in learning more tips or have questions about a different family members dental hygiene? Our friendly staff at Krengel Dental is eager to share our expertise. Give us a ring (952-888-1311) and we will be happy to share our creative pointers.