How Teens Can Improve Their Oral Health and Hygiene
The teenage years can be a tough period. Puberty, school, and the future looming overhead is stressful enough without having to be self-conscious about your teeth. We know taking care of them can be a real drag sometimes, but good habits now save a lifetime of pain and dentist appointments. Here’s how teens can improve their oral health and hygiene.
Alternatives To Braces
Most, if not all, teens will find themself at the orthodontist being told that they need to have their teeth corrected through braces. Braces are completely common these days, and almost expected of teenagers to just have. However, that doesn’t negate the fact that many teens often feel insecure or self-conscious about how the braces make them look. Luckily, there have been advancements made so that teens can now instead opt for alternatives such as clear aligners—strips that go over your teeth and function as braces do. This allows for a more subtle and convenient approach, as they can be removed for easier cleaning when you brush your teeth.
The drawbacks with clear aligners include the fact that they are molded to your teeth, so you must get new aligners as your teeth make progress. Furthermore, you need to really commit. You should endeavor to keep the aligners on as much as possible to ensure your teeth are corrected properly, but it can be very tempting to take the aligners out.
When not at the dentist or orthodontist, it’s up to you to practice good habits at home to ensure your teeth stay in their best condition. Failing to keep up with brushing your teeth and other healthy habits like floss can lead to new problems like decay, cavities, and even gum disease. Ideally, you should be brushing your teeth after every meal, but at the least, you should absolutely brush your teeth in the morning after waking up and at night before going to bed so that your teeth remain clear of plaque.
Tools of the Trade
Similarly, teens can improve their oral health and hygiene by ensuring they have the right tools at their disposal. Everyone has a toothbrush, of course, but do you know when it’s time to replace it? How about what to look for in a good toothbrush? Your typical toothbrush lasts roughly 3-4 months before the bristles begin to wear out and become ineffective. When looking for a new toothbrush, you should consider ones with small heads that allow you to get into every nook and cranny, as well as a longer handle to ensure you’re really able to get your back teeth. Other things you need for good hygiene include floss, toothpaste containing fluoride, and even mouthwash for the most thorough and effective clean.