There are all kinds of ways to get younger kids to brush and floss—cool toothbrushes and mom-and-child brushing time are common. How to you get a pre-teen or teen to continue good oral hygiene habits? They’re the ones who are most likely to be wearing braces or other orthodontic devices, so they have an additional reason to keep their smile bright and their gums healthy.
How to Get Your Teen to Use Good Brushing Habits
You’re not the only parent who wished their kids brushed or flossed. Luckily, there are several good ways to get your teen to take better care of their teeth.
Use an Alarm. Most teens have at least one electronic device that they carry around, and most of those have an alarm attached. Tell them to set the alarm for right after breakfast, after school (or lunch), and right before their bedtime. That way, they don’t even have to remember. When the alarm goes off, it’s off to the bathroom they go.
Explain the Consequences. Teens may be teens, but they have adult teeth—and they’re not getting any more. Tell them that not brushing will not only cause gum disease, sticky teeth, and bad breath—it can also cause their permanent teeth to fall out.
Practice What You Preach. As a parent, do you brush (and floss) twice a day? If you leave a dental appointment and then tell your kids that the dentist said that you have to take better care of your teeth, be sure to do it. You have adult teeth too!
Let the Dentist Explain. If your child is not taking good care of his or her teeth, a regular checkup with the dentist could help fix that. Your dentist will explain why it’s so important to develop and keep good oral health habits. Also, if your teen is getting a lot of cavities, they aren’t going to enjoy the additional trips to the dentist to get fillings. It may motivate them.
Remind Them About Braces. Teeth that aren’t properly cared for may require more time to straighten if periodontal disease becomes a problem. Brushing and flossing regularly will help keep their orthodontic treatment on track!
King Orthodontics believes that a healthy mouth leads to happier teens. Call us if you have questions about your teen’s oral hygiene or if you’d like to come in for an appointment at either our downtown Pittsburgh or Wexford office.
Dr. Bryan King earned his DMD from The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and holds his Master of Dental Science in Periodontics from The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Bryan has also completed an Orthodontic residency at St Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx, New York. Dr Bryan has received many honors as a practicing orthodontist including, being named a Diplomate of the American Board ofOrthodontics and being named a “Top Dentist” by Pittsburgh Magazine for several years running. He also earned the Lifetime achievement award given by Align Technologies in 2014 for his work with Invisalign.