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Getting teens to brush



How do I get my teen to brush their teeth?


When children hit puberty, brushing habits can start to slip.  Not only can habits slip, but it becomes harder to monitor things like their sugar intake as well. These two facts can be bad news for teeth.  As parents we hear that we need to choose our battles with our teens.  Oral hygiene is a battle worth fighting.  Down the road poor hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease and eventually tooth loss.  Battling teenagers takes consistency and sometimes creativity.

Explain in detail now that your child is a teen.

Play off of this vain age. Talk to your teen about long term consequences. Play up on the fact that not brushing is bad for their looks as well as their health. Yellow teeth, discolored teeth, bad breath and red gums are all very unattractive. Remind your teen how attractive a beautiful smile is.

Make it more interesting.

Upgrade their tooth brush, tooth paste and mouth wash to adult care. Play off technology and have them listen to their ipod while they brush. Have your teen google visuals of poor oral hygiene and what bacteria looks like under a microscope.  An age appropriate reward system never hurts.

Go to the experts.

All of us parents know that teens listen to others better then to us most of the time.  Make sure your child is still going to the dentist for their regular check ups. Have our doctors and team go over brushing and what will happen if they don't.  If you would like us to spend extra time going over oral hygiene, just ask and we will be happy to.  Make sure though that you do not use going to the dentist as a punishment.  

Remember to be a good example.

Monkey see, monkey do. Remember that your teen now more then ever notices your choices. A parent who takes care of their teeth and goes to the dentist regularly is more likely to  pass on these good habits to their children.