• By 1300SMILES Densits
  • April 7, 2021

Between the ages of 10 to 14 can be a very challenging time for your teen/pre-teen, with lots of things changing around them like the transition between primary and high school not to mention the hormones!

As your teen grows and transitions it is important to understand how these years can affect their oral health development, most importantly their oral health habits.

In the blog below we will be covering the importance of basic oral health habits; specifically, for teens and give you valuable tips along the way that will help your teen develop good oral health habits that will last them a lifetime.    

“Adolescents need a unique approach to motivate them about their oral health issues. This is particularly important because lifelong health habits are created during these formative years, and prevention opportunities for sealants and varnish are only available at this age” – (Silk & Kwok, 2017)

Oral Hygiene:

Basic Oral hygiene is a skill that will last your teen a lifetime. By creating an independent routine for your teenager to follow you will set them up for a life o­­­f good oral habits and protect growing teeth from the outset. Three steps is all it takes to set your up on the right path, they are;

  1. Brushing
  2. Flossing
  3. Mouthwash

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare about 7 in 10 children aged 5-14 brush their teeth with toothpaste at least twice a day. This is a strong figure and hopefully, in the future, it can be 10 out of 10, however even though your teen is brushing 2min twice daily with toothpaste do you know if they are doing it correctly?

Brushing: 

Brushing is one of if not the most important steps in your teenager’s oral health routine, and the keys to effective brushing are frequency, consistency, and technique. To get the best results out of brushing, your teen should be using a toothpaste that contains fluoride and is brushing for a minimum of 2mins twice daily (morning and night seven days a week).

Technique plays a huge part in brushing because if they are doing it for the 2min a day incorrectly areas could be getting missed and harmful bacteria could be left to manifest. The below chart displays a step by step break down of the technique your teen should be using when they brush. If you have any questions or want to be shown brushing technique in person just ask your 1300SMILES Dentist at your next check-up and clean.

Teeth Brushing-how to brush

Image: Pinterest

Helpful Brushing Tips!

TIP 1: Use disclosing tablets.

Let’s face it some teenagers can argue black and blue and be adamant what they are doing is correct no matter the circumstance. So, the best way to prove to them technique matters when it comes to brushing is to show them is with Disclosing tablets. Disclosing tablets are a harmless dye that reacts to plaque missed on teeth after brushing, they are often a fluorescent purple and will highlight areas your teen has missed.

TIP 2: Ask us! 

No two sets of teeth are the same! If your teenager has sensitive teeth or wants to learn how they should be brushing don’t hesitate to ask your 1300SMILES Dentist at either yours or your teens next visit.

Tip 3: Listen to music

An easy way to get your teen to brush for 2min without timing them with a stopwatch is to have them listen to their favourite music! If they listen to a song that goes for around 2min and are brushing for that entire you will know they are brushing for the appropriate time.

Flossing: 

The Australian Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day either morning or night for a minimum of 2 minutes. Flossing, unfortunately, fly’s under the radar for most people at the best of times however is such an important part of a good oral health routine, especially for your teenagers growing teeth.

Flossing is the best way to clean the surface area between teeth, something that is virtually impossible to do with a regular brush. Harmful bacteria can hide in these spots and cause a serious bacterial breakdown if left unchecked.

Flossing Tips:

Tip 1: Proper Flossing Technique. 

Proper technique is important when flossing because if done incorrect gums could be hurt, and we don’t want that!

So, the best thing to do is to ask your Dentist or Oral Health Therapist about proper flossing technique at your next visit!

Tip 2: Get the right floss for the job!

No two sets of teeth are the same, that is why when shopping for floss you find the right match for you. If the gap between teeth is small you can get thinner floss that will fit easier, whereas if the gap is larger you can even use Piksters, which are like mini scrubbing brushes for between your teeth.

Mouthwash: 

The final step of your teen’s new oral health routine is Mouthwash. Mouthwash will eliminate any remaining bacteria that lingers in your teen’s mouth after brushing and flossing. The key to Mouthwash is selecting the right one for your teen. Most Mouthwashes contain alcohol and can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, this could be off-putting so it may be better to start with an alcohol-free version first.

Mouthwash is super simple to use; all they will have to do is hold the recommended amount in their mouth and swish it around for the recommended time and then spit it out! Your teen will be left with a fresh mouth feeling and would have eliminated any remaining harmful bacteria!

Top Mouthwash tips:

Tip 1: Look for the Australian Dental Association seal of approval. 

When you are at the supermarket looking for what mouthwash to buy keep your eye out for the Australian Dental Association logo on the bottle. This is the official ADA seal of approval so you will know you are getting the best mouthwash for the job.

Australian Dental Association

Australian Dental Association Seal of Approval

Conclusion:

In summary, taking care of teenage teeth is simple, it’s all about early intervention. If your teen is following a good oral health routine and is brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash they will already be on the right track to good oral hygiene, the only tricky thing will be is making sure it becomes a habitual thing for them.

If you have found this blog interesting or insightful, please feel free to share it with your friends. If you are wanting any topic covered or just have some questions don’t hesitate to reach out to us over Facebook!

Until next time, all the best!