Sure, your teenager is basically an independent young adult. However, they still need a little extra direction from Mom or Dad, even when it comes to their oral health. While you might not have to take on the same role as you did when your child was younger, there are several things parents should do to protect their teens' mouth, teeth, and gums.
Encourage Good Hygiene
Teenagers have a lot more liberties and freedoms than younger children. Your teen might have their own car and job, which means they can stop and grab a sugary treat whenever they'd like. Your teen might stay home for several hours on their own, which means they can raid the pantry.
The point is that your child can eat all the cavity-causing snacks they want without your knowledge. Encourage your child to commit to regular brushing and flossing to ensure they are removing any harmful particles that could lead to cavities. Additionally, try to warn your child about the effects of eating a diet full of sugar and carb-rich foods.
Invest in Mouth Protection
High school sports are far more aggressive than the days of Little League. Not only are the participants larger in stature, but the competition is more aggressive. In a nutshell, your child could be injured during sports play.
Invest in a mouthguard and require your teen to wear the protection on game days and during practice. A mouthguard will protect your child's teeth from chips and can even prevent a tooth from being knocked out. To get the most from the guard, ensure it is properly fitted to the child's face. Visit the dentist for a custom mouthguard.
Talk About Braces
The teenage years are often the time when parents consider braces for their child for a number of different reasons. If your child has expressed a desire to have this dental appliance installed, ensure you have an in-depth conversation. Braces are an excellent corrective tool, but having braces is also work.
Make sure your child understands that they will have to be especially diligent with their oral health regimen, alter their diet, and visit the dentist regularly. Only make the decision to have the braces installed when you know your child is mature enough to handle the responsibility.
Help your child maintain a smile that is healthy and beautiful. Speak with your family dentist for more tips to help your teen with their oral health needs.