As children become more independent, parents often have less direct influence over their child’s oral care. The transition to adolescence means that schedules become more crowded and teens are left with more responsibility in caring for their own teeth. Too often, this results in first-time cavities and missed opportunities to catch dental issues when they are just beginning and are easiest to treat. Here are 6 guidelines to make certain your child’s dental care remains a priority through their teenage years.
1. Keep dental supplies handy.
What better motivation do any of us have to brush than a new toothbrush? Teens may be independent, but they aren’t buying their own dental supplies. Be sure there’s plenty of toothpaste, floss and mouth rinse handy.
2. Get an orthodontic consultation.
Kids (and adults) get braces at all ages, but it’s certainly most common during the teenage years. As they have grown rapidly, so have their facial muscles and bones. We can guide you in the right direction and provide advice about your teen’s specific needs. You may be surprised at the number of options that are now available.
3. Purchase less junk food.
You can’t always control what your teens buy when they aren’t with you. But you can make certain that your refrigerator and pantry aren’t well stocked with sugary drinks and your pantry isn’t full of junk food. Keeping your own purchase of unhealthy foods to a minimum will mean that they are less available when your kids want to grab a quick drink.
4. Play to their vanity!
Teenages are more aware of their looks than at any time in their lives. Use this to your advantage by stressing how attractive a healthy smile can be. It truly is one of the primary reasons each of us cares for our teeth…white, healthy teeth make us all look good!
5. Make them use mouthguards.
Adolescents are more active than ever with sports that can be dangerous to still-growing mouths. Be sure your teen wears a mouthgaurd whenever possible, especially in teen sports where contact is common. Mouth injuries caused by sports are some of the most common we see on a regular basis.
6. Don’t neglect regular checkups.
We know that your family is busy, even more now that each member is “doing their own thing”. And while it can be easy to miss scheduled dental visits, you shouldn’t neglect to do so. Even though adolescents have bigger bodies than they used to, they are still kids. It’s going to remain your job to stay on top of dental appointments. Give us a call today and help your teens transition into adulthood knowing that dental care is a priority.