As a parent, one of your most important jobs is to teach your children the habits they need to stay healthy. This includes teaching them a good oral hygiene routine. This is especially important during their teenage years, when they form the habits that will take them into adulthood. In addition to routine oral exams at the dentist, here are some tips to keep in mind.
How to Ensure Your Teen Takes Care of Their Oral Health
1. Set an Example
Practicing what you preach will help your teenager take your advice more seriously. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss and use mouthwash once a day. Let them see you doing this and explain why it's important. You can also lead by example by eating healthy foods that are good for your teeth, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables.
2. Incentivize Good Health
One way to get your teenager to take their oral hygiene seriously is by rewarding good habits. For example, you could offer to buy them a new pair of shoes they've been eyeing if they brush their teeth twice a day for two weeks straight. This will show them you are serious about the issue, and that you are willing to prove it.
3. Have Regular Checkups
Having regular oral exams as a family will show your teenager that oral hygiene is important to you, and it will give the dentist a chance to spot any problems early on. This will also help them get into the habit of going to the dentist, making it part of their normal routine. You should schedule a dental appointment at least once every six months.
4. Educate Them
Make sure your children know the consequences of poor oral hygiene. Many teens don't realize that cavities and other dental problems can lead to long-term pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Help them understand that taking care of their teeth now will save them a lot of trouble down the road.
When you need a family dentistry practice that will make your teen comfortable with visiting the dentist, turn to The Montana Center for Laser Dentistry PLLC. With convenient locations in Whitefish and Kalispell, MT, this practice provides a welcoming yet advanced approach to dental care, with laser technology that gives young patients a more comfortable experience. To schedule an appointment for your child, call (406) 862-1010. Visit them online to learn more about their services.