By the time your child is a teen, it’s common to give them some autonomy regarding their personal care habits. However, many teenagers fall short with their dental care habits, treating them as an inconvenience instead of a vital form of self-care.
If you have a teenager in your home, here are some tips from your Plano dentist to manage their dental habits.
Encourage Good Habits
Brushing and flossing are the foundation of good oral health. Teens may have a penchant for junk food, which often contains large amounts of sugar, so skipping brushing or flossing can be especially detrimental.
While you may not want to observe your teen’s daily oral routine, it is wise to monitor the situation. Additionally, make sure they understand the risks of not brushing and flossing, both from an oral health perspective and a social one. Bad breath can make interactions more challenging, and damaged teeth might not be ideal for social media hungry teens who want to share their lives online. So, encourage good dental care practices to ensure their social life and oral health don’t suffer the consequences.
Oral Health and Braces
Many teens get braces to help straighten their teeth and correct bite issues. While braces themselves can assist with oral health, your teen needs to take extra steps to keep their teeth and gums in the best shape possible.
First and foremost, properly cleaning around metal braces may require special dental care items, like small, disposable brushes that can clean effectively between the brackets and specialized floss or threaders that can allow floss to be directed between the teeth under the wires.
Additionally, avoiding sugary foods can help prevent plaque buildup around brackets. Forgoing items that may dislodge the brackets or could easily become stuck in metal braces, like chewing gum, corn on the cob, whole apples, and popcorn, is also smart.
Invisalign users also need to take extra steps. Ideally, teens who use Invisalign should brush after every meal, ensuring food particles aren’t trapped against teeth by the aligner. Additionally, the aligner itself needs to be cleaned regularly, using a toothbrush and toothpaste or even denture cleaner.
Embrace Preventative Care
Regular visits to your Plano dentist ensure your teen’s teeth and gums are regularly cared for by a professional. They get a thorough cleaning and comprehensive exam, making sure that any issues are spotted early, which makes them easier to correct.
Additionally, preventative treatments, like sealants, can help protect teeth, decreasing the likelihood of cavities. A pediatric dentist can also create custom mouthguards for school sports, providing your teen with the best protection possible.
Since children are getting ready to head back to school, now is the perfect time to schedule a dental appointment for your teen. If your child hasn’t been to the dentist in the last six months, contact your dentist at Dental Place of Plano on Coit Road to get an appointment set today.