Teenagers can be tough on their teeth. They may be so busy with school, jobs, athletics and social activities that it’s difficult to 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 DENTAL DECAY. Not surprisingly, this is the time when many children develop a lot of cavities.
Here are a few tips to help get your child through the teen year’s cavity free:
If you are a parent, talk (and talk and talk) to your teenager and encourage him or her to take good care of his or her teeth. This means brushing and flossing at least twice a day. Teenagers care a lot about how they look. Help your child understand that bad oral hygiene contributes to teeth stains, bad breath, missing teeth and an assortment of other dental problems.
- Set a good example. If your teenager sees that you take good care of your teeth, it will reinforce 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 for your teen to use. Keep soft toothbrushes, colored or flavored floss (or plastic flossers) and good-tasting toothpaste out in the bathroom and even in the kitchen for them to use when they are in a hurry.
- Don’t buy JUNK food. Instead, keep lots of fruits and vegetables in the house for snacking. Each time you consume foods and drinks that contain sugars or starches, such as POP and SPORTS DRINKS the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack your teeth for 20 minutes or more. To reduce damage to your tooth enamel, limit the number or between meal snacks and drinks: when you do snack, choose nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or fruit.