Developing good brushing habits

A proper brushing routine is essential to lifelong oral health, and it’s up to parents to ensure that their children develop good habits. This can be a challenge at any age, but it’s often more manageable with younger children.

As your child comes closer and closer to becoming a teenager, you’ll likely notice they are harder to handle in more ways than one. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can ensure that healthy teeth aren’t one of the things falls by the wayside.

Always Keep Up with Regular Dental Appointments.

If you find yourself saying, “My teenager won’t brush their teeth,” it could be because they don’t fully understand the impact that the lack of a proper brushing routine can have. One of the most effective ways to make this concept crystal clear is to ensure that your teenager keeps up with routine dental exams and cleanings.

Without these checkups, issues can develop without being noticed over time. Tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and other consequences of not brushing teeth regularly can go even years without being identified if your teen isn’t visiting the dentist.

When they do keep up with appointments, your dentist will be able to point out the impact that not brushing is having. Dealing with issues like cavities as they happen can be a wake-up call to improve their oral hygiene instead of letting these issues reach a tipping point years down the line.

Take a Look at Your Own Brushing Habits.

As a parent, it may have been a while since you’ve had to consider how to brush your teeth. But, the way you manage your own oral health can impact how your child approaches theirs. One of the best ways to instill healthy habits in your teenager is to adopt those healthy brushing habits yourself and serve as an example.

Most parents don’t realize just how much their teens still continue to emulate them. Even with the challenges and tension that raising a teenager can bring, they still look to their parents for how to handle many aspects of their lives.

If you don’t brush twice a day and floss, it is likely they won’t either. Simply adopting a good oral hygiene routine yourself can be much more effective at trying to explain to your teen the importance of cavity prevention and brushing their teeth.

Listen to What They Have to Say.

If you’re saying, “My teenager won’t brush their teeth,” it may be helpful to consider why. It’s easy to dismiss a lack of proper teen oral hygiene as a case of laziness. However, if you take the time to listen, you could find that this isn’t the case.

For example, dental issues like tooth decay could make brushing uncomfortable for your teenager. Asking them about their concerns about brushing could reveal an underlying cause that could be dealt with by bringing it to the attention of your dentist.

Don’t Make It a Battle.

When dealing with any issue with your teenager, you can quickly find that relying on your parental authority isn’t quite as effective as it used to be. If you let brushing turn into a major argument, you might not be able to make much headway.

Instead, focus on a few reminders and calm discussion. Keep in mind that you can still continue supervised brushing past early childhood, which is a great way to understand your growing child’s brushing habits and ensure that a proper routine is kept in place.

Keep It Positive.

You don’t want to turn brushing and flossing into a chore that you have to convince your teenager to grudgingly accept. Instead, you should try to keep the discussion around brushing as positive as possible.

Be sure to emphasize the importance of brushing for long-term oral health and how it provides protection against tooth decay and gum disease. Helping your teenager see the benefit to themselves can make them more likely to develop an effective brushing routine.

There are also a variety of apps that can be downloaded that help provide reminders, track brushing habits, and offer incentives to develop brushing into a stable habit. If your teenager is on their phone all day anyway, it doesn’t hurt to integrate some healthy habits into that time.

The Best Foundation for Your Teen’s Oral Health

Encouraging proper oral hygiene is vital to ensuring good health for your tween or teen. However, ensuring they get the proper dental care is essential as well.

You can count on Dr. Jeffrey C. Jaynes near Plano, TX to handle all pediatric dentistry needs. Schedule an appointment for your tween or teen today.