Oral Hygiene and Your Teenager

Columbia

Teenagers can be tough on their teeth. They may be so busy with school, jobs, sports and social activities that they don't find time to brush. They also tend to eat a lot of junk food. Combine the two and you've got a situation ripe for tooth decay. Not surprisingly, many teenagers develop a lot of cavities.

Here are a few tips to help your child get through the teen years cavity-free:

  • Encourage your teenager to take good care of his or her teeth. This means brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Teenagers care a lot about how they look. Help your teen understand that bad oral hygiene can lead to stains, bad breath, missing teeth and many other dental problems.

  • Set a good example. If you take good care of your teeth, your teenager will see that good oral hygiene is important to you. Your talks and warnings will not seem hypocritical and will carry greater weight.

  • Set a good example. If you take good care of your teeth, your teenager will see that good oral hygiene is important to you. Your talks and warnings will not seem hypocritical and will carry greater weight.

  • Have plenty of oral health-care supplies on hand. Keep soft toothbrushes, colored or flavored floss (or plastic flossers) and good-tasting toothpaste out in the bathroom. You can even keep them in the kitchen for quick use when teens are in a hurry.

  • Don't buy junk food. Instead, keep lots of fruits and vegetables in the house for snacking.

©2002-2013 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved.

05/08/2014

© 2002- 2017 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Common Oral Care Occurrences for TEENS

As teens continue to grow, they’re faced with certain dental issues, such as getting braces or having their wisdom teeth removed. Many of these procedures are a normal part of life, while others are proactive steps dentists take to help ensure a lifetime of oral health.

Here are some good topics to discuss with your teen:

  • Bad breath causes – bad breath, or halitosis, usually comes from bacteria that form on the tongue. In many cases, a simple change in your teen’s personal oral hygiene habits can freshen him up, starting with good oral hygiene, brush the tongue and keep regular visits to your dentist.

  • Whitening options – whitening those pearly whites can be done with whitening toothpastes, mouth rinses and toothbrushes. The dentist also offers whitening treatment options that are done in the dental office and at home.

  • Tobacco use – tobacco products contain toxins that can cause various types of cancer, gum disease, bad breath, tooth discoloration and a diminished sense of smell. It’s easier to kick a smoking habit earlier rather than later.

  • Oral piercings – oral piercings can have adverse affects on the health of your tongue, lips, cheeks and uvula. Oral problems associated with swallowed/aspirated jewelry, speech impairment, fractured teeth and gingival recession can occur.

Everything changing? Don’t forget to care for your teeth

Lots of changes occur during adolescence but that doesn’t mean your teeth should suffer. Practice good oral hygiene with one of these teen friendly products.