Oral hygiene and teenager dental care must be a priority for overall health. When your children are young, it’s a lot easier to ensure they are partaking in good oral hygiene habits. As the parent of a teenager, however, you know that you only have so much control over teenager health habits, including oral hygiene.

During the teen years, children typically take more interest in the appearance of their smile. That said, they may not do anything to improve their dental health game. They are busy with social lives, school, and other interests; sometimes, their oral hygiene can fall to the wayside.

Teenagers and Their Oral Hygiene

Sadly, one out of five children in the U.S. do not get the dental care that they need. Hopefully, you started taking your child to the dentist when they were relatively young to receive regular pediatric dental services. If you did, then it’s likely that brushing, flossing, and good oral hygiene habits were developed early on.

However, many parents report that there seems to be a disconnect among their teenagers between they were taught about oral hygiene and what they actually do when caring for their teeth. The teen years are a time when kids strive for independence, break rules, and really test the waters. Unfortunately, all that rule-breaking creates specific risks with oral hygiene and teenagers.

Oral Hygiene And Teenagers: What Are the Risks?

The teen years are exciting, but they’re also filled with risks. Oral hygiene involving youths from the ages of 13 to 20 may suffer during this period. These are the years when kids begin to experiment with everything from oral piercings to nicotine. All of which may, of course, be damaging to their oral health.

But it’s even more basic than that. Pediatric dental services report that the teen years see more cavities, broken teeth, and even early-stage gum disease because of risky behaviors. During the teen years, children are monitored less in what they eat and often make poor nutrition choices when away from their parent’s watchful eyes. There is an uptake in sugary drinks and junk food consumption, which can mean more cavities.

Other threats to oral health during the teen years include:

  • Participation in contact sports: Contact sports can be a real hazard to teeth. Ensuring your teen has a good mouthguard on at all times during sporting matches can help to lessen the risk of injury.
  • Struggles with orthodontic appliances (keeping teeth clean while wearing braces): Wearing braces and providing the necessary care for the teeth can be a challenge for a teen. Avoiding this type of risk requires open communication between parents, teens, and their orthodontist.
  • Lifestyle choices

Lifestyle Choices

The lifestyle choices that your teen makes can have a profound influence on their oral health. Neglecting regular flossing or not brushing thoroughly might seem innocuous, but these choices can have big consequences. While you cannot be there to hover over them every minute of the day, you can enlist the help of the best pediatricians in Northern VA to communicate the risk to your teen of making poor lifestyle choices.

All you can do as a parent is make sure you keep scheduling those pediatric dental exam appointments, provide your teen with direction, and remind them of the risks associated with poor oral hygiene. Pediatric dental services can help to keep your teen on track.

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