More often than not, maintaining your child’s oral health can be challenging. Think about it. Most parents are often clueless about when they should start taking their children to the dentist. Also, they might not know when their children start developing dental problems. However, note that parents must begin training their children as early as possible on the importance of oral health. Otherwise, their children would have difficulty maintaining good dental habits when they are in their teenage years.
First things first: Train your child from their early years
The main reason why parents find it challenging to help their teenagers maintain good dental habits is because they did not train them early enough. Immediately, you notice the first baby tooth, incorporate good dental practices. And when your kids are old enough to listen and understand, start training them on how they should clean and maintain their teeth. Observe the below practices:
- After nursing an infant, always use a clean damp cloth to wipe your child’s gums. Doing this helps you eliminate all microorganisms and prevent baby teeth decay.
- Once your child is a little bit older, show them how to brush their teeth using fluoride toothpaste and a child toothbrush. Even so, ensure that the toothpaste contains a minimal percentage of fluoride. You don’t want your child to swallow any fluoride since it might be harmful to them. Moreover, teach your child to floss their teeth as early as possible. When your child reaches eight years, they will have already mastered the best oral practices. It will be much easier to maintain good dental habits when they get to their teen years.
How to help teenagers maintain Good dental habits
Plan a healthy diet for them
The majority of children and teenagers are candy lovers. Thus, it would be best if you monitor your teenage son/daughter’s diet. Limit their consumption of sugary and sticky snacks. You can do this by packing healthy fruits instead of unhealthy snacks. Also, when it comes to drinks, ensure they consume yogurt instead of sugary juices. Train your children to consume a healthy diet from their early stages. Nonetheless, if your child consumes sugary foodstuff or liquid medicine, ensure they brush their teeth afterward. Consequently, this will prevent the build-up of plaque on teeth.
Take your teenager for dental examinations
Ensure you take your children for dental evaluations religiously. Do not skip back-to-school dental visits and any other checkups you might have. On average, ensure your teenager goes to the dentist at least twice a year. Professional dental examinations help you identify oral problems early enough. In turn, your dentist will identify any existing dental cavities, decays, and orthodontic issues. Not to mention, your dentist can recognize oral cancer during these examinations. Dental evaluations help your teenager’s teeth to stay in good condition.
Reward children for good oral care
If you want your teenagers to keep up practicing good dental habits, consider rewarding them. Doing this motivates them to do more. And it could be as simple as cooking their favorite meal or buying them their favorite book. For instance, you can promise to cook their favorite meal if they manage to brush their teeth twice a day.
Show them how to brush their teeth correctly
Unlike small children, teenagers are old enough to understand a lot of things. Ensure that they know how to brush their teeth properly. During dental visits, you can always request the dentist to advise them on cleaning their teeth. Additionally, purchase the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your children to keep their teeth in good condition. Also, show them how to floss their teeth after meals. Doing this will help boost your teenager’s oral health. In turn, they will stay healthy and do well in school.
Safeguard your child’s mouth using a mouthguard
If your teenager is usually active in sports, you need to protect your child’s teeth. Come to think about it. Your child can lose their teeth while playing or hurt his/her lips. Therefore, it would be best if you invested in a good mouthguard. Although it might be expensive, it will save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Also, think of investing with an excellent dental insurance company to cover the costs if anything happens.
Administer fluoride treatment
Fluoride is essential in strengthening your teenager’s teeth. Thus, ensure that your teenager uses a fluoride treatment and drinks water containing fluoride. Also, if you suspect that your child is not getting enough fluoride, consider fluoride supplements. Nevertheless, be careful; too much fluoride can be harmful to your teenager’s health. It would be best to consult your dentist before administering fluoride treatment.
Helping your teen maintain good dental habits will require you to train them as early as possible. Plan a healthy diet for them, and teach them how to brush and floss their teeth. Subsequently, you will boost their dental and overall health. Furthermore, do not forget to take your teenagers for dental checkups at least twice a year.