Adolescent years are a special time of peak bone growth, and foods rich in nutrients are essential for teens with busy lifestyles. With the emergence of hormones, inconsistencies in oral hygiene, and meals heavy with carbohydrates and sugar, the mouths of most teens become a playground for bacteria. As research continues to support the link between oral health and other diseases in the body, there is growing concern about the overall health of teens in the 21st century. The question is-how can you help your busy teen tackle tooth decay?
The best way to help your teen, without being too pushy, is to model good hygiene in the home. You can do this in a variety of ways. You can begin by having healthy snacks within reach. For the most part, teens will grab whatever they see first when snacking on the go. Meats, cheeses, nuts, and fruits high in vitamin C are great choices. Generally, these types of foods will satisfy your teen longer than sugary alternatives. In addition, they aid in the rebuilding of minerals in the tooth’s enamel.
Another way to promote oral hygiene at home is by not sharing utensils. In many cases, sharing utensils, even when serving foods, is sharing bacteria. Being open with your child about how germs are spread will generate awareness about their own habits and about how those affect their teeth (not to mention-their breath!).
Aside from healthy snack options and habits, the best way to support your teen’s fight against tooth decay is to get them to the dentist. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are a must. Go ahead and schedule your teen’s appointment, maybe in conjunction with your own checkup. By doing this, you are modeling a routine of good oral care, one that your teen will stick to.
At Grateful Dental, we are happy to partner with you and your teen in tackling tooth decay. We believe that healthy foods and habits are important, but we strongly encourage your family to have regular dental examinations for early detection and elimination of tooth decay. Your family’s oral and overall health is very important to us. Give us a call today!