Don't Let a Missing Tooth Hold You Back in Life

Ways To Help Your Teen Protect Their Oral Health

by Wyatt Morgan

If you are the parent of a teen, you may be concerned about their oral health. Often, teenagers may become so busy with school and extracurricular activities that they may not care for their teeth and gums properly. 

Here are a few measures that you can take to help your teen protect their dental health.

Keep Bottled Water in the Car

Teens are often being transported to their appointments via car. By keeping bottled water in your vehicles, you can help your teen keep their mouth clean and hydrated. 

The water helps wash bacteria and leftover particles of food from the mouth, especially if the teen swishes the water around their oral cavity before swallowing. In addition, the water dilutes acids that cause tooth decay. 

The microbes within the mouth produce acid as they digest simple sugars. As the acid makes contact with the tooth enamel, it dissolves the minerals that make up the tooth material. This dissolution causes the enamel to weaken, and cavities begin to form. The water can weaken the bacterial acids so that they are less damaging to the teeth. 

Water also keeps the mouth hydrated so that an adequate supply of saliva is available. When there is too little saliva in the mouth, dry mouth occurs. The condition allows an overgrowth of oral microbes because there is too little saliva to wash the bacteria away. 

By keeping the water in your vehicle, you can always have a bottle handy to offer your teen as they leave the car or even as they are on the way to their destination. Be sure to pack a few extra bottles if you regularly transport your teen and their friends.

Set Up Brushing and Flossing Reminders on Your Teen's Phone

Even if you regularly change out your teen's toothbrush and have a steady supply of fluoride toothpaste and floss available, your teen's teeth and gums can only benefit from your efforts if the teen uses the items regularly. If your teen has a smartphone, the device can be programmed to remind them when a brushing or flossing session should be happening. Many teens remember to brush in the morning upon rising. However, an alert for the final brushing session of the day as well as an alert for flossing can be helpful. 

You can also have your teen use their phone to time the duration of their brushing sessions to ensure that they hit the two-minute mark consistently. 

For more ways to promote good oral health for your teenager, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area. Dentists like Labowe Stuart DDS can help.