Oral Health for Teens
Pediatric Dentist Davis, CA
With so many big concerns around today's teen's healthy development, oral hygiene may seem like a comparatively small issue. However, neglecting the simple necessity of brushing and flossing can compound into pricey, even painful, lifelong problems. The Center for Disease Control estimates that between 50% and 68% of all US teenagers have untreated caries, a breakdown of the tooth layers caused by bacteria in the mouth.
Your teen may resist your suggestions to brush and floss for a variety of reasons: balancing busy school, extracurricular and work schedules, rebellion, and disregard of long-term complications. Fear deters many teens from regular dental appointments. While a mature, rational conversation would be nice, you may need some other approaches up your sleeve to achieve compliance.
Appearance and social acceptance are important to teens; regular brushing and flossing are vital to preventing bad breath and maintaining a better-looking smile.
Provide a choice of toothbrushes, flosses and toothpastes in the family bathroom. You may be surprised by the results of this passive tactic. Teens with braces should have a fluoride rinse after brushing to prevent dental decay under the device.
Use incentives. Suggest teens brush for the duration of a favorite song, it may increase their brushing time. Alternately, plan something fun after the appointment.
Resist the temptation to motivate through fear-mongering threats of cavities and root canals. You may bolster resistance dental visits by focusing on pain and scary stories.
As with all other aspects of good parenting, model healthy oral habits, your teen will follow your example. We are here to help educate your teens on the importance of taking care of their teeth now and into the future.