Following a good oral hygiene routine is an excellent way to help keep teenagers teeth healthy and strong. Given the fact that most teenagers have a busy schedule full of school, homework, sports and social activities, keeping up a daily oral hygiene routine might not be a top priority for them even if this was instilled in them as a child. Combine their busy schedule with access to sugary, acidic foods and drinks this combination is ideal for producing cavities. This however can be prevented all with a few minutes a days and regular dental check ups.
lt is important to educate teenagers to help them understand that they can fit in a good routine and that it’s important for them to be responsible for their oral care and daily nutritional choices as these are factors in helping prevent cavities, gum disease and other future problems. Another reason that might interest a teen to take care of their teeth is that it prevents bad breath, gives them a smile they can be proud of and this can help with boosting their confidence.
A teens oral hygiene routine is also important as they will be getting their final set of permanent teeth and if cared for properly, the teeth they have now can be the teeth they have for life.
There are typically 3 steps that make up a good oral hygiene routine and can be done in minutes twice a day. If you are a teen with a special health condition, braces, diabetes, then talk to your dentist as you may require additional care.
Twice a day:
Floss Your Teeth
Brush Your Teeth
Clean Your Tongue
Flossing helps to reach places around your teeth that your toothbrush cannot. Food, bacteria and plaque that are in between your teeth can only come off by flossing. Flossing your teeth should be done at least once within a 24 hour period and ideally at night before retiring for bed. You can also keep floss in your bag and floss after meals even while you are away from home.
Brushing your teeth removes bacteria that causes tooth decay and plaque that can cause gum disease. If would be ideal to brush your teeth after every meal but if you are not able to do this, then aim for the morning and before your retire for bed.
Use a tongue cleaner to remove food debris and bacteria build up on your tongue. Keeping your tongue clean not only aids in good oral health but also helps combat bad breath. By removing or lessening this bacteria, this goes a long way in helping improve your breath.
To read more tips about flossing, brushing and using a tongue scraper click here.
Other factors that can affect teens oral health are:
Smoking as it causes bad breath, stains teeth and can contribute to gum disease which can lead to more serious oral problems.
Alcohol consumption as it can contribute to the decay of your teeth as often drinks are highly acidic as well as contain a lot of sugar.
Tongue and mouth piercings as the pierced area may be susceptible to infection, gum tissue injury can occur from the hardware as well as contribute to a receding gum line. Chipped teeth can also result from the hardware.
A factor that can have a positive influence on a teen is for the parent to set an example by following their own daily oral hygiene routine as this may encourage their teen to stick to their own routine.
As a teen, if you consistently follow a good oral hygiene routine it will be well worth the effort as you are laying the foundation for healthy teeth for a lifetime!
If you have questions about a good oral hygiene routine for a teen, be sure to ask your Dentist at North Burnaby Dental Group.