How to Get Teens Serious About Dental Health

If you’re worried that your teen might not be taking their dental health needs seriously, it might be time to take steps to help them understand its importance in the long run. Teens will try to show their independence in different ways, but dental care isn’t something that should be overlooked. Stress that dental health is a family priority, and let them know that you are serious about their dental needs, with these four tips.

Make Oral Care Products Available
If your child always has the newest advances in dental care at their fingertips, this might make brushing and flossing less of a chore. To-go flossers and toothbrushes might appeal to teens away at school or when they are on a trip. Flavored toothpastes and floss as well as electronic toothbrushes can mix things up and help your child find a routine that works for them when it comes to dental care. You can even give dental care tools as stocking stuffers or small gifts throughout the year. Make your child’s oral hygiene routine more entertaining by always changing the tools they’re using to care for their teeth.

Have a Dentist Give Your Teen Advice
You probably feel like your teen never listens to all of your advice. If you’re worried that your discussions on the importance of dental hygiene are lost on your teen then bring in a professional. When it’s time for a checkup, ask the dentist ahead of time to spend a little time discussing the future of your teen’s dental care regimen. Hearing someone else discuss importance of oral health could get them to focus on taking care of their teeth and gums moving forward.

A Little Bribing Might be Worth it
Hopefully your teen will get with the program, but you can also sweeten the deal to make the process easier for everyone. Some ideas for making a dentist visit more appealing is to let your teen stay home from school before or after an appointment or taking them somewhere special when it’s over. If they have to see the dentist for something more substantial than a checkup, a small present might make a filling or other oral procedure easier to deal with.

Setting a Good Example
You can’t expect your teen to keep up with their oral hygiene needs if you aren’t setting a good example. Brushing and flossing should be a part of your family’s everyday routine, and dental appointments should be set up and scheduled in advance for everyone. When your teen sees your taking ownership of your oral health, they will also see the value in making it a way of life. If both parents are on board when it comes to lifelong oral health needs, it will be much easier to convince them that dental health should be a priority.

If your teen develops the right dental care routine now, they will carry it through adulthood and have a lifetime of beautiful smiles.

Benefits of a Beautiful Smile
By Lyndsay Fogarty

Studies have shown that an individual’s smile can affect how they are perceived socially and in the business world. Not to mention, a flawed smile can lead to decreased confidence and self-esteem.

In 2012, a perception study by Kelton for Invisalign explored how the alignment of teeth can influence others’ assumptions regarding a person’s success, popularity, intelligence and oral health. It revealed that many Americans believe teeth are a feature that they notice and recall when first meeting someone. It also showed that nearly three in five Americans would rather have a nice smile than clear skin, and 87 percent of people would forego something for a year to have a nice smile for the rest of their life.

Here are some interesting revelations about how Americans perceive individuals with straight teeth:

45% – more likely to get a job when competing with someone who has crooked teeth but a similar skillset and experience

57% – more likely to get a date based on their photo alone

21% – more likely to be seen as happy

47% – more likely to be viewed as being healthy

38% – more likely to be perceived as smart

While you should never do something strictly because of someone else’s assumptions, there are upsides to having a beautiful smile, whether you’re getting your teeth straightened, whitened or are just taking better care of them. But the biggest positive is that having a smile that you’re proud to show off can change your life and will boost your confidence.

Written by Kimberly B.

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