Your kids teenage years still see their teeth developing, but it’s harder to monitor their dental health than ever. Think about it. When your children are young, you can control what they eat. They have what you give them, meaning that you can limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks that they consume. When they’re teens, they can spend their lunch money away from your prying eyes and may pick up junk food without you even knowing it. What’s more? Their baby teeth are out, and their adult teeth are establishing themselves, meaning that this set of gnashers are the permanent ones that they’ll have to live with for a lifetime. You want to ensure that they are as clean and healthy as possible in order to guarantee their proper functioning for the rest of your child’s life. Here are a few ways that you can help out.
Tools for Thorough Cleaning
Teens can be lazy, we all know that. They are unlikely to put in the proper effort required to clean their teeth effectively with a manual toothbrush. They are also unlikely to replace worn out manual brushes. So rather than nagging, consider getting them an electric toothbrush. While your children should still be vigilant, ensuring that the brush reaches all areas of the mouth, it will more often than not do a better job of scrubbing plaque from their tooth’s surface. Make sure that the bathroom is well stocked with floss tape, interdental cleaners, and mouthwash too.
As adult teeth are establishing themselves, they may take up an unfavourable position, whether for practical or aesthetic purposes. In situations such as this, it’s better to have braces fitted on your child’s teeth sooner rather than later. They may complain at the time, but it’s something they’ll definitely appreciate further down the line. Book an appointment with an orthodontist near me, who will be able to conduct a thorough examination of your child’s mouth and the structure of both their jaw and teeth. They will then be able to propose the best course of treatment possible for your child’s individual needs.
While your teen may find snacks out of the home, you will likely still have control over the meals that you make in the evening or the ingredients that you stock your cupboards with for their breakfast. So make sure that there are plenty of teeth friendly foods for them to pick at. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are high in calcium, while pumpkin seeds, tofu and Brazil nuts are full of phosphorous. Both calcium and phosphorous restore minerals lost when enamel is broken down. Sugar-free drinks will also cause less damage than sugar filled alternatives, so always favour these in your food shop. Firm, crunchy foods are also great, as they encourage you to produce more saliva which neutralises imbalances in your mouth, making it more difficult for bacteria to thrive.
Remember, your kids are becoming more independent during their teen years, but when it comes to things like oral hygiene, you can still lend them a helping hand to ensure that their smiles truly shine.