Do Teenagers Take Care of Their Teeth As Much As Their Dentists Wish They Did?

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Do Teenagers Take Care Of Their Teeth As Much As Their Dentists Wish They Did Epping, Wollert, South Morang, Melbourne Northern Dental Design
Some parents may be rolling their eyes already after reading the title of this article. Teenagers taking care of their teeth: Do they or don’t they? Hygiene can be an issue at various stages of an adolescent’s life. Sometimes they seem hardwired to neglect some of the most basic requirements in life. Obviously, they are focusing on other things during these lapses in the physical and social graces. However, as a dentist I am encouraging all teens and parents to maintain a good oral hygiene programme throughout all the stages of our lives.

As kids move into their pre-teen and teenage years, oral health and hygiene can sometimes fall by the wayside. Extracurricular activities, like sports and social outings, and an increase in homework and school obligations can cause some teenagers to forget to take proper care of their teeth. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help your child prioritise brushing and flossing daily for taking care of their teeth.

Does it feel like a daily struggle to get your teenager to brush their teeth? Only 64 percent of kids aged 12–17 brush their teeth twice a day. The teenage years are a crucial time for oral hygiene and development. Parents often try to teach their children optimal dental care habits early in life. No matter how many hours parents spend teaching kids the proper way to brush their teeth, floss, and swish with mouthwash, some teenagers seem they don’t interested to learn and some teenagers do daily habits about dental care, maybe because of social media, they care more about their smile than before.

If good oral hygiene habits aren’t established early on, your teenager could be setting themselves up for oral health complications later in life, such as gum disease, cavities, discolouration, and even tooth loss. Luckily, parents do have some great options to make brushing and flossing feel like a fun, interactive, and engaging process even for the most rebellious of teens!

Talk About The Consequences

Once your child becomes a teenager, they get a much more nuanced view of the world around them. They might not have the ability to think long-term yet, but they certainly understand short-term consequences and how that may affect the way they interact with their peers and emo or reclusive teenager who stays in their room, oral health is not such a big deal & can be to its detriment could have something in there about “for teenagers, dental health is not as important as sexual health”.

Talk about why brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help stave off bacteria that cause bad breath, prevent yellow staining, and keep lingering food particles out of their teeth.

Good Oral Hygiene for Teenagers

Teenagers are just as at risk for developing tooth decay and cavities as younger children. Though, it isn’t necessarily because they do not know how to brush their teeth. Oftentimes, teenagers can forget to brush their teeth due to an increase in their activity levels, and they may be more prone to grabbing unhealthy, high-sugar snacks and drinks instead of healthy food, like crunchy fruits and vegetables, due to convenience.

As your teenager becomes more independent, it’s important to re-emphasise the importance of daily brushing and flossing in order to avoid cavities and gum disease.

Oral Hygiene Helps Improve Personal Appearance & Increases Self-Esteem

Most teens are concerned with how they look, the appearance of their bodies, and their faces. Good oral hygiene helps prevent staining and discolouration on the teeth as well as cavities and dental decay which could make them feel self-conscious and negatively affect their self-esteem. To help encourage good brushing habits, keep the toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss in an easy to view and easy to reach places. That way, every time your teenager walks into the bathroom, he or she will be reminded to brush when they see the items.

Lead by Example

If your teenager doesn’t take brushing and flossing seriously, lead by example instead of providing verbal warnings. For a teenager not experiencing stains, cavities, or tooth pain, the warnings may seem irrelevant. Make a point to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, and ensure your teenager or preteen knows you are brushing and flossing your teeth. You can do this by creating a bedtime routine or by nonchalantly walking past your teenager’s room while brushing your teeth.

Consider Placing Oral Hygiene Products at More Than One Sink

If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, consider placing toothbrushes and toothpaste at all the bathroom sinks, even if the bathroom is considered to be a guest bath. You may also want to keep oral hygiene supplies by the kitchen sink. Teenagers are often so busy and involved in their own personal, work, and school lives that they forget to brush their teeth. By placing oral hygiene products at more than one sink, you are helping make brushing and flossing as convenient as possible.

Travel-Sized Oral Hygiene Products

As part of your back-to-school supplies, consider tossing travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, and flossers into your teenager’s book bag. This can be especially helpful if your teen wears braces or participates in after-school sports or additional school activities because it allows your teenager to brush and floss after lunch and after school.

Stock Lots of Healthy Snacks

Instead of buying chips, granola bars, and other sticky or sweet foods and drinks, consider stocking up on healthy snacks that can be grabbed and eaten quickly before and after school. Great snacking options that are also good for your teen’s teeth include apples, pears, carrots, and celery. These foods don’t stick to the teeth and can actually help scrape away plaque, especially celery and apples.

Professional Dental Checkups

Remember to schedule twice-yearly professional dental cleanings and oral health checkups with your paediatric dentist. Good times to schedule are right before the school year starts and during the holidays or spring break. This helps ensure that your teenager’s teeth are in good health and professionally cleaned regularly. It also allows your teen to ask questions and get tips and tricks for maintaining oral hygiene while leading an active lifestyle.

Do Teenagers Take Care Of Their Teeth As Much As Their Dentists Wish They Did Epping, Wollert, South Morang, Melbourne Northern Dental Design

Why Should Teenagers Take Care of Their Teeth?

The teenage years set the standards for our lives going forward. It is here that we lay the groundwork, and establish routines for our adult lives. We, also, probably care more about what others think of us at this time more than at any other. Some adolescents may rebel against this fact but it remains just the same. It is in the teenage years that mum and dads’ urgings must give way to their own self-administered rules for living.

A Teen Programme For Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth morning and night are the basic foundation of an oral hygiene programme. Flossing and brushing after meals and snacks is a helpful step further, when there is time in your busy teen schedule. Visit your dentist at least once a year for a check-up. Chewing sugar free gum can be a good way to fill the place of sweets and sugary drinks with a better alternative. In this day and age, we are all, teens included, becoming more aware of the harmful effects of diets laden with sugar. There are now more sugar free alternatives available than ever before in widely available convenience store drinks and snacks. Remember that you only need a pea sized amount of tooth paste on your toothbrush when brushing your teeth. For those who don’t eat peas, this is about the size of the trimmed fingernail on your pinkie finger. Squeeze from the bottom of the tube for best results, but this may be a bridge too far to consider LOL.

Smoking & Drinking Effects Upon Your Teenagers’ Teeth

Smoking and drinking may appear cool to some teenagers, but be aware that both these unhealthy practices can stain your teeth. In addition, alcohol can erode and damage teeth. Ask yourself have you ever met an alcoholic with great teeth? Heavy drinking and poor diets compound to accelerate poor health outcomes in individuals involved in these activities. Smoking both tobacco and cannabis can result in cancer, lung and mouth cancers. Oral hygiene is best served by remembering that your mouth is a sensitive place and deserves respect if it is going to last you a lifetime.

Social Media & Teenage Identity

The advent of a world dominated by social media has put images of our teenagers on digital platforms on public display ad nauseum. The rise of this phenomena has increased the social pressures on teenagers to present an image of the perfect physical identity. This has exacerbated desires for cosmetic treatments to enhance appearances. Having straight very white teeth is de rigueur, which means according to strict etiquette in French. This is because teenagers see Hollywood stars with perfect white teeth on their screens and everyone else around them bracing up and whitening their teeth. Braces can correct snaggly teeth and bad bites to provide a better oral appearance and function going forward. Finding a balance in all this image consciousness can be challenging but dentists understand the importance of both function and appearance. You cannot have one without the other in a life worth living.

Final Word

Healthy dental care habits should be developed and followed throughout a lifetime. Be consistent and insistent when helping your teenagers establish a good dental care routine.

Positive reinforcement is a crucial part of helping your teenagers establish good dental habits that they will follow into adulthood. Heap praise on teenagers for doing the right things for their teeth and gums. No victory is too small to celebrate. While you don’t want to overdo it, err on the side of being too supportive. Let teens know that you see the efforts they make.

The sooner any individual understands the true path of self-responsibility and self-reliance the going gets easier. We have a body designed to last a lifetime if we look after it along the way. Our teeth are inextricably linked to our overall health and our psyche. Have you ever had one of those dreams where your teeth are falling out? The feelings associated with that experience are devastating. Do your best to avoid the reality of that happening in your life any time soon.


The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. Northern Dental Design does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the content.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional personal diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental or medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read or seen on the Site.

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