How can you help your tween to maintain a healthy mouth? Along with regular trips to the family dentist, your tween also needs to care for their own smile. Now that your child is able to handle their at-home dental routine independently, take a look at the simple steps to encourage outstanding oral hygiene.
Upgrade Dental Hygiene Products
Gone are the day when you're your now-tween only wanted to use bubblegum flavored toothpaste and a character-covered manual toothbrush. Now that your child is a tween, they're ready for a more mature type of dental product pick. Encourage your child to brush and floss regularly with a few adult-like upgrades, including:
- Toothpaste. Put the funny flavors away and let your tween choose a grown-up, minty paste. Make sure any product they select contains fluoride. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fluoride can prevent cavities and help to strengthen teeth.
- Toothbrush. Help your tween to choose an adult-sized toothbrush. If they want an electric or battery-operated brush, discuss the best options with your general dentist.
- Floss. Again, forget about silly flavors. Help your child to select a floss they feel comfortable using daily.
Now that your tween has the right products to care for their teeth at home, it's time to turn your attention to what they eat and drink.
Manage Food and Beverage Choices
Even though your tween may think they're a young adult, they still need plenty of dietary guidance. Sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of dental decay and gum disease. If your tween can't stay away from sweets, treats, and other non-nutritious foods, help them by:
- Taking your tween shopping. You have the food-buying power in the household. But that doesn't mean your child shouldn't have a say. Instead of allowing them to pick cookies, cupcakes, and chips, take them shopping and guide them towards healthy choices.
- Offering alternatives. What can your tween substitute for sweet treats? Offer dental-friendly alternatives to sticky candies or sugary drinks.
- Explaining the issue. Does your tween understand why gummy candies and sports drinks aren't healthy for their teeth? Your child is old enough to learn about plaque formation, tooth decay, and affect sugar has on their mouth.
If you're not sure how to educate your child about food choices and dental health, ask the professional to help. Your family dentist can explain the dental decay process, how sugary treats/beverages contribute to cavity formation, and the role of at-home care.
For more information on how a family dentist can help your family, see https://valleyoakdentalgroup.com/.