There’s a question that goes “how good is your teenager’s hygiene?” With the response being: “well, let his/her shoes be your guide.” If this resonates, it might be an indication that your teenager could be pretty relaxed about their oral hygiene.
There is evidence to demonstrate that gum disease may increase during adolescence due to hormonal changes1, however good oral hygiene may be a challenge as teens are well past the supervision stage, and maintaining self-motivation in this area may not be a top priority for them.
A thorough oral hygiene routine is really important for teens, especially if they’re starting to drink coffee and sugary sports drinks. It’s not just about preventing against tooth decay – poor oral hygiene can lead to bad breath, something than no teenager wants!
In the age of social media, selfies and video-sharing, there’s a definite incentive to work on ‘being the best you’, and that includes having a healthy smile. Assuming that brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is the standard oral care routine, here are some additional top tips to enhance your teen’s oral hygiene habits.
Start to floss or use interdental brushes
Now the teeth are fully developed and fit together, it’s easy for food debris, plaque and bacteria to build up between the teeth, where a toothbrush can struggle to reach. Using dental floss or an interdental brush to reach into those areas will really boost the effects of the routine.
This is particularly the case with brace-wearers where food can easily become trapped. Interdental brushes are ideal for accessing awkward areas where a toothbrush won’t fit. Check with the dentist beforehand as to what specific cleaning technique should be used in regards to the specific type of brace worn.
Introduce a mouthwash
Similar to dental floss and interdental brushes, the benefit of a mouthwash is that it can reach places that brushing can’t. It can also help wash away any debris that may have been dislodged during brushing or flossing. The added bonus of a mouthwash is that it also freshens the breath – essential for any self-conscious teenager!
Studies have shown that mouthwashes can reduce more plaque and signs of gingivitis when used in addition to tooth brushing, compared with tooth brushing alone2. Supplementing brushing with a 30-second swish of an antibacterial mouthwash will help give added protection from the build up of plaque and longer-lasting fresh breath feeling.
Dentyl Mouthwash is an ideal introductory mouthwash to get your teens started on their new, improved regime. Being alcohol free it’s great for all the family, and means it doesn’t sting or burn like some mouthwashes. Dentyl’s unique formula visibly removes plaque, bacteria and food debris – with results you can see in the sink. And a recent study found that with twice-daily use, Dentyl Mouthwash reduces plaque by more than 60% after just one month!* With teen-appealing flavours like Smooth Mint, Ice Cherry and Fresh Clove, Dentyl’s vibrant colours and ‘shake to activate’ feature is likely to win on the teenage ‘try me’ factor.
Fresh breath on-the-go
To give your teenager the added confidence of not worrying about bad breath, there are lots of pocket and bag-friendly breath-freshening options. These range from sugar-free gum to mouth sprays.
Although you’re likely to be greeted with lots of eye-rolling and “whatever”s when you suggest doing something new, it is also likely that you’re the one purchasing the household toiletries. This means you get the opportunity to introduce new oral care products to try.
These new additions could really benefit your teenager and give them – and you – the reassurance that they’ve got a good healthy oral care routine. And, of course, that all important fresh breath confidence for those close-up group selfie moments!