Whether it’s learning to drive or taking on more household responsibilities, your child’s teenage years are a time for life lessons and increased independence. There’s also an opportunity to use this time to teach proper self-care, including good oral health techniques for permanent teeth. Alaska Dentistry for Kids, an experienced children’s dentist in Anchorage, AK, shares five dental care lessons to teach your teen before they leave the nest.
5 Tips to Teach Your Teen About Oral Care
1. Learn Correct Daily Dental Routines
Between schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and an active social life, everyday oral health is the last thing on your teenager’s mind. However, any kids’ dentist will tell parents that it’s critical to monitor your child’s dental habits at home. Make sure your teen is brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once to prevent plaque and cavities.
2. Don’t Skip Routine Checkups
Though many of these appointments are for a cleaning and X-rays, routine checkups can identify potential problems before they begin. Additionally, there are some areas on your teen’s teeth that even consistent brushing and flossing cannot reach.
3. Avoid Sugar-Added Foods & Beverages
Pediatric dentists have long advocated avoiding sugar to prevent tooth decay. As part of your kids’ dental care practices at home, consider limiting access to sugar-laden treats and drinks. Sodas, sports drinks, candy, and processed sweets are big offenders; the excess sugar in those items cause cavities, gum issues, and enamel erosion.
4. Always Use a Mouthguard
Your children’s dentist will recommend using a mouthguard during physical activities. The majority of teen tooth injuries are sports-related, so choose a well-fitted mouthguard to protect your teenager’s pearly whites.
5. Consider an Orthodontic Appointment
Once your teenager has all of his or her permanent teeth, it’s easier to see bite issues, gaps, or crowding. Though these problems might be only cosmetic, an appointment with your children’s dentist or orthodontist can help you know for sure. Teach your teen to monitor their mouth and jaw for discomfort that could be corrected with orthodontics.
Whether you need a dentist for your toddlers or teenagers, the friendly team at Alaska Dentistry for Kids makes dental care more relaxing and enjoyable. As a pediatric-only dental practice, they’re experienced in helping your child feel comfortable during their visit. To schedule an appointment with this children’s dentist, call (907) 274-2525 or visit them online.