Do you remember chasing your toddler around trying to brush his teeth before bed? You may not have to do that anymore, but oral health is as important for adolescents as it was when they were little, maybe even more so. During adolescence we want to be sure that children continue effective oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, seeing a dentist, eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar, and drinking water with fluoride.
Adolescents also have other things to consider when it comes to their oral health such as using tobacco or marijuana products, dealing with braces, using mouth guards while playing sports, and all of the changes that are happening with their bodies. They will continue to need your guidance in making decisions that affect their overall health and oral health, but it is also time for them to take the wheel to make sure they have teeth for life. Good oral health is important for getting a job and a girlfriend/boyfriend – you can decide which message works better for your teen!
They will thank you for setting the foundation for good oral health by modeling best practices, having your child see a dentist regularly, and making sure he had all of the needed preventive treatments, such as sealants, fluoride applications, orthodontics, and fillings, when needed. If you need help finding a dentist for your teen visit https://www.insurekidsnow.gov/state/find-a-dentist/index.html.