In the past couple of weeks, we have covered a tremendous amount of information in our multi-part series, “Adolescent Oral Health Care Guide”. You have learned that adolescents have very unique needs.
Last week, you learned about the two most common oral health problems that detrimentally impact the mouth in individuals ages 10 to 19 – dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease).
You also learned a few measures on preventing and/or treating these issues. The smile is one of the most important aspects of the appearance – especially for adolescents. The coming of age is a difficult time in a child’s life. In the conclusion of this series, we are going to share some tips that will have the adolescent in your life displaying a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth.
Tips and Strategies for Optimal Oral Health in Adolescents
Good oral hygiene care is a critical component to optimal oral health among kids that are 10 years old to 19 years of age. The following tips and strategies will ensure that a kid/teen/young adult not only has a beautiful smile, but, nice, strong, healthy teeth that will remain fully intact, gorgeous, and fully-functional for the duration of their lives:
- Adolescents should be encouraged to brush their teeth – at the minimum – twice a day; however, three or more times a day is considered to be optimal. The child/teen/young adult should be encouraged to engage in brushing for at least two minutes straight. This will ensure that each tooth is touched at least once and allows for proper timing to remove debris from the teeth.
- Adolescents should be instructed to floss each time that they brush. In most instances, this will not be adhered to. As a result of this fact, the individual should be encouraged to floss – thoroughly – at least once prior to going to bed. This will remove debris that could detrimentally impact the child’s oral health.
- Each time that a child brushes, they should be encouraged to rinse with a mouthwash prior to brushing. This will help loosen up debris that is situated on and between the teeth. Once the child has finished brushing and flossing, they may rinse their mouth out, once more, with the professional mouth rinse.
- All of the products that are used in the mouth should contain high levels of fluoride. Adolescents should not be permitted to use products that contain high levels of peroxide or other tooth-whitening ingredients. These have been known to damage the teeth and result in tooth sensitivity, decay, discoloration, and other oral health problems.
- Adolescents should be encouraged to consume only highly-nutritious and healthy foods and liquids. Items that contain sugar (imitation and natural sugar), starch, and acids should be avoided. Examples of these include sodas, orange juice, and foods and beverages that are known to soften and ruin the enamel of the teeth.
Adolescents face a lot of changes and complications. Oral health problems should not have to be a part of this important transition in life. In this series, you have learned a great deal about how to optimize your child’s/teenager’s oral health.