Busy lives happen when you have a teen, and teeth may not be top-of-mind every day. A teen is mature enough to do most self-care independently, so parents may not be aware of ongoing oral care habits. Teens often get cavities, even if they never had any in earlier years. What can parents do to help ensure their teen’s healthy mouth?
Limit sugary and sticky food and drinks
Parents cannot always control what a teen may eat and drink. However, we can make efforts to limit sticky and sugary snacks and foods inside the house. Limiting availability of sodas and sports drinks, for example, will encourage your teenager to select healthier options at home. Make sure you have fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks like cheese or Greek yogurt in the fridge.
Make tooth and mouth products available at home
Keep soft toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash, and toothpaste in the bathroom (and the kitchen for rushed mornings). Keep up with your home supply of dental products to ensure everyone has what they need, when they need it.
Ask your teen about their oral care
Parents do not have to hover by the sink each morning and night, but a quick reminder goes a long way. Check in with your teen occasionally. Ask if he or she is brushing and flossing regularly and set a good example by following good mouth health yourself.
Take them to the dentist
All family members should have a dental check-up and cleaning twice per year. In addition, many teens should be seeing an orthodontist to ensure proper alignment. Wisdom teeth can become an issue in later teen years, so it is important for a dentist to watch over growth and changes.
Capital City Pediatric Dentistry welcomes teens and children of all ages. To make an appointment, contact us in Raleigh today.