Teens can be quite a thing to handle. Be it relationships, studies, food habits or the most affected and feared dental habits!
These people are no longer kids, so cajoling them into a dental trip isn't easy. While they aren't even fully adults who can just be responsible enough to walk in a monthly dental visit.
They are hyperactive teens with the most random eating habits, with junk food almost sticking out of their teeth any time of the day!
So dentists and parents, how are you going to promote good hygiene and dental habits in this age group?
Teens are more preoccupied with their social lives anytime than their primary health issues. Parents should stress on the fact that healthy teeth and gums make you look more socially acceptable, raises your self -esteem during conversations with people and gives you a boost of confidence. Hit the booty right, and touch the topic of braces and how they wouldn't like to be seen with one, and you are sure to see them run to brush their teeth twice a day!
Brushing isn't enough to pull out all the food particles from the teeth. Flossing your teeth surely brings good results. Also, promote the use of antibacterial mouthwashes and make sure they carry one to school or college.
This does not only apply to parents, but also to school canteens and all those in the food industry. Healthy food can be made tastier and can attract the teenage population, which may further lower tooth decaying and dental caries to a large extent. School canteens should not store sugary stuff, such as the villainous empty-calorie soft drinks and foods with refined flour, like cookies and pastries which cause the most dental harm.
This is the most common but the most important habit that any adult or teen can develop. This habit should be ingrained from childhood, as it's the most foolproof method for dental hygiene. Also brushing at a 45- degree angle, in circular motions over the gums and horizontally 20 times over each tooth can bring in much better results. Also, choose toothpaste which contains fluoride as it helps strengthen the tooth enamel.
As inconvenient as it sounds, tongue piercings, quite popular in teens are a danger to oral hygiene. People most often chip their tooth or infect their tongue accidentally while eating, talking or even sleeping. There is even a risk of catching allergic reactions. The swell in your tongue can even cause breathing problems. It's best to avoid the pierce in and around the mouth.
Yes, dental hygiene can be maintained well when you drink lots of water. Water hydrates you plus flushes out the toxins and decay from your teeth. Continuous inflow of water can remove any food particles from your teeth. Also, drinking detox water can be encouraged this way. You can put a bottle of water at your teen's table and infuse it with cut fruits, ensuring they get healthy vitamins from the fruit and also hydrate themselves with sipping this health drink every now and then. It also wards them away from harmful aerated drinks.
Programmes encouraging healthy eating habits can be quite a hit when targeted at the right age group. Schools and primary care centres can have regular check-up camps and awareness of dental hygiene and good eating habits. Also, the effects of tobacco and smoking can be touched upon early, As chewing tobacco and smoking can cause irreparable damage to teeth. T-shirts having dental hygiene tips can be distributed among students.
Also during these sessions, dentists or the speaker should speak about safe sedation dentistry practices which are available with most dentists, as most teens will have carried the fear of tooth pain early in life.
So, it's of utmost importance to educate them on the fact that sedation can surely let them have a pain-free dental solution and remove those dental anxieties that they carry in their minds.
Ensure they get the right balanced diet which contains a good amount of calcium. Foods like milk, meat, leafy veggies, nuts and fish will supply them with good dietary calcium. For vitamin D, early morning walks should be promoted in young teens. The sunlight will set their bones right and can even give you sparkling, decay-free teeth.
As it said, childhood habits come a long way. Parents play a very important role when it comes to teaching kids good dietary and dental habits. Start right from weaning and ensure a proper brushing routine and educate them about the harmful effects of tooth decay.
Ross is a blogger who loves to write especially in the Health and dental vertical. He has written many informative blogs in other verticals too like personal development, unique gifting blogs etc.