Teenagers can be tough on their teeth. They may be so busy with school, jobs, sports and social activities that they don't find time to brush. They also tend to eat a lot of junk food. Combine the two and you've got a situation ripe for tooth decay. Not surprisingly, many teenagers develop a lot of cavities.
Here are a few tips to help your child get through the teen years cavity- free:
- Encourage your teenager to take good care of his or her teeth. This means brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Teenagers care a lot about how they look. Help your teen understand that bad oral hygiene can lead to stains, bad breath, missing teeth and many other dental problems.
- Set a good example. If you take good care of your teeth, your teenager will see that good oral hygiene is important to you. Your talks and warnings will not seem hypocritical and will carry greater weight.
- Have plenty of oral health-care supplies on hand. Keep soft toothbrushes, colored or flavored floss (or plastic flossers) and good- tasting toothpaste out in the bathroom. You can even keep them in the kitchen for quick use when teens are in a hurry.
- Don't buy junk food. Instead, keep lots of fruits and vegetables in the house for snacking.