Teenagers have a reputation for rejecting hygiene. Many of them reach a stage of development where they refuse to shower, comb their hair, or brush their teeth. This can be frustrating to navigate as a parent because you want to teach your children how to take care of their bodies. The tips below will help you encourage your teen to brush their teeth and maintain their oral hygiene.
Set a Good and Consistent Example
If you do not brush your teeth, your teen will quickly use that in an argument against you. “You don’t do it, so why do I have to?” It’s important to set a consistent example for your teen, even if they pretend not to acknowledge it. Your child will subconsciously model your behavior well into adulthood.
Talk about the Consequences of Not Brushing
Parenting a teenager often involves outlining the logical consequences of an action. Teens become defiant and test boundaries. That is a natural byproduct of this stage of life. If you show your teen that certain actions have certain consequences, they can start to redirect their behavior.
In this case, you may need to tell your teenager about the consequences of not brushing their teeth, such as bad breath, discoloration, extensive dental procedures, and more. Your teen may act like they don’t care, but no one wants to walk around with bad breath or a sore tooth.
If your teenager has metal braces, talk about the possibility of developing braces marks from not brushing. If your teen has invisible braces, you can talk about the tooth decay that may occur from trapping bacteria under the braces trays. Your dentist can back up these statements to provide you with additional support.
Create a Hygiene Routine with Reminders
Children of all ages thrive on routine. The more consistent their schedule is, the more likely they are to develop healthy habits. Create a morning and nighttime routine for your teen to encourage them to brush their teeth. This may involve an alarm on their phone for a reminder or a specific timeslot for showering, brushing their teeth, and setting out clothes for the next day. Adjust this routine to fit your child’s needs and personality.
Let Your Teen Choose Their Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Teens feel like they have little control over their own lives. Utilize any opportunity you have to provide a healthy platform for control. For oral hygiene, this may include letting your teen pick out their own toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. This technique also works well for toddlers and young children.
Make Dentist Appointments a Priority
Do not skip any teeth cleanings for your teenager. These need to be a strong priority. Your teenager probably isn’t brushing their teeth as well as they should be. Professional teeth cleanings clear out the gunk that gets missed to protect your child’s smile. If there are any signs of tooth decay or other issues, your dentist can catch them at the earliest possible sign. Maintain those appointments every six months for optimal results.