Teens face unique challenges in just about every facet of their lives; concerns and considerations different from those of both younger kids and older adults. That’s true when it comes to oral health, too. As your Overland Park dentist, we’ve talked before about the importance of good dental habits for teenagers, and the unique oral health challenges that teens face, but because the subject is so vital to good health we wanted to slow things down a bit and take a little extra time to address concerns and questions that parents might have when it comes to good oral health habits for their teens.
It’s important to remember that, like a healthy diet or regular exercise, good oral health is heavily influenced by having good, healthy habits. And kids—even teens—form healthy habits when their parents providing a good example. While your teen may not always listen to what you say, they notice what you do, and if parents brush and floss regularly, eat well, and see their dentist for regular check-ups, your kids are more likely to follow suit.
Teenagers and Oral Health
At any age, one of the most important things that you can do for your teeth is to maintain good oral health care habits. That means brushing for two minutes at least twice a day, flossing at least once every day, and coming to see your Overland Park dentist for regular check-ups. Today’s teenagers lead busy, hectic lives, so it can be easy for them to let good dental hygiene slide, but regular brushing and flossing is every bit as important for teens as it is for people of any other age. And while it may not be as exciting as a car, it might be a good idea to get your teens a Sonicare electric toothbrush as a birthday present. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to help improve tooth brushing form and extend brushing time.
Teenagers and Image
Image is important, especially for kids who are just entering Junior High and High School. That means that it’s a good idea to talk with your dentist about braces when your kids are around 7-10 years old. Your Overland Park dentist will be able to tell you whether your kids will need braces, and can help to educate you on the options available. Orthodontic appliances have come a long way in the last few years, and there are a lot of less-obtrusive options available to kids today, such as Invisalign technology.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a healthy smile in your teenager’s life. After all, smiles are one of the first things we notice about new people we meet. For teens who are concerned or self-conscious about their smile, teeth whitening procedures might be a solution. The best thing to do is to consult with your Overland Park dentist about the best options for healthy smiles for your teen.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to teenagers and oral health. If you want to learn more, click here to check out the second half of our parents’ guide to teens and good dental habits, or call your Overland Park dentist at (913) 338-3384 today!