Posted on: 15 November 2017Share
When your kids were little, you had complete control over their oral hygiene routine, and you made it a point to brush those first little teeth every night. Now, your baby is all grown up, and it is hard to watch them give up on their toothbrushing routine. Fortunately, the time is still ripe for teaching your teen the value of caring for their adult teeth. Use these tips to get them back on track with establishing oral health habits that they can use for a lifetime.
Tap Into Their Vanity
Teenagers are well known for caring about their appearance, yet they can sometimes be overly confident that nothing bad could ever happen to their teeth. Talk to your teen about the negative consequences of skipping toothbrushing and flossing. If necessary, you can even print out a few pictures of tooth decay and gum disease from the internet, or leave a brochure from your family dentist detailing oral health issues on their pillow. Either way, a little reminder about the dangers of ignoring their teeth may get your teen interested in brushing again.
Up the Interest
Oral hygiene is rarely the most exciting part of anyone's day, and teenagers may skip brushing so that they have more time to play video games or text on their smartphone. Check out apps that your teen can use to time their toothbrushing or play their favorite song to make sure they get the full recommended two minutes of brushing completed. You could also help your teen to set a goal to brush their teeth every night for a set number of days. Then, plan a small reward such as going to a movie to celebrate their accomplishment. Turning toothbrushing into a game allows you to use your teen's competitive spirit for good.
There may be reasons why your teen has started to skimp on oral hygiene. For instance, they may be afraid of bleeding gums or pain when they floss. Alternatively, the may be completely clueless about how to brush around their braces. Talk to your teen's dentist about your current struggles to get your teen to brush their teeth so that they can give a few pointers during their dental exam.
Teenagers are certainly old enough to brush their teeth independently, yet they can still use some help staying motivated to stick to their routine. By taking a well-rounded approach that involves family and professional encouragement, you can ensure that their bright smile stays beautiful as they mature into adulthood.