Teeth are a very prominent and important part of our body. Not only do they help us in chewing food but they play a great role in forming our personality.
Almost every parent wants their children to have healthy teeth. And for this purpose, they inculcate the habit of brushing teeth twice a day in their children from an early age.
If the kids have wider teeth or have gaps in between the teeth, then parents make sure their children use teen braces. Teaching your child to brush their teeth properly is very important for keeping their oral hygiene.
Over time, some of the parents encounter a problem; the resistance from the teens who show, unwillingness and laziness in brushing their teeth.
Why Don’t Teens Brush Regularly?
The reasons why children stop brushing their teeth with age are simple; this habit has not been developed from early childhood. There is no motivation for teens to brush their teeth.
Parents were ignorant in putting the importance of keeping oral hygiene when the teens were small kids. Parents should create awareness among their teens about teeth problems, for example, cavities and tooth decay.
The Motivation for Brushing Teeth in your Teens
According to WHO, more than 70 percent of older and adolescent children have dental diseases. The problems that we get in adolescence, for example, bad breath, persistent plaque, tooth decay are the result of our negligence towards children in not developing an oral hygiene culture.
Indicators of dental plaque are a good stimulant for daily brushing of teeth.
Plaque indicators can be purchased at the pharmacy. Some of them are povidone-Iodine, erythrosine and fuchsin.
We can take advantage of these “super new products” and turn the situation in our favor. These products are used temporarily to develop sustainable motivation and habits among teens.
Teens must realise that they should brush their teeth so that they don’t go to the dentist. They should know the fear and pain of teeth which can make them keep their oral hygiene.
Here are some tips from various dentists, psychologists, and educators:
1. Help Develop Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Help your teens in developing good oral hygiene habits from a young age. It should be implemented from the moment your baby starts taking solid food.
The daily procedure of wiping the baby’s gums with a sterile wet towel after eating will help the baby get rid of milk residues on the gums and will develop a constant feeling of cleanliness in the mouth.
2. Practice What You Preach
Develop the habit of brushing your teeth after each meal, since plaque accumulates and the bacteria develops within one and a half hours after brushing the teeth.
If you cant brush your teeth after every meal then you should at least do it two times a day by using dental floss and a mouth wash to rinse. Consult a doctor before using floss and mouth wash.
Set yourself as an example, brush your teeth regularly, daily, preferably after each meal and using a floss thread, and do let your teen know about your habit. This advice will help both of you to create a sense of responsibility towards keeping your teeth clean.
In this case, the motivation will be simple for the teenager – I’m the same as an adult, I will also clean because it is necessary.
3. Buy Toothbrushes
Seeing is believing. When your child sees the toothbrush for the first time they’ll be curious. Instill excitement in them when you tell them how lovely it’ll be to brush their teeth and how they’ll keep their gums and teeth healthy and protect them from cavities.
As soon as the first tooth erupts, buy a few toothbrushes, let the child choose the brush that he likes.
To encourage the teen to brush regularly get him an electric ultrasonic toothbrush from the pharmacy until a constant habit develops. It effectively cleans the deposits from the surface of the teeth.
Ask your teen to use another nozzle in the kit and another member of the family can also use it. Be aware that with hard cavity deposits such a brush copes with great difficulty.
Inside the handle are a motor and a piezoceramic plate (located under the bristles of the brush head). The plate emits an ultrasonic vibrational wave with a frequency of 1.6-1.7 MHz.
Due to this, the bristles on the head of the toothbrush oscillate: in about 1 minute they make about 100,000,000 movements (a wave of this frequency can propagate from the point of direct contact of the bristles with teeth and gums up to 4 mm deep).
Such brushes have a special timer that will help the teen brush their teeth thoroughly, for a set amount of time.
Here are some examples of ultrasonic brushes:
- Ultrasonic toothbrush Megasonex m8
- Philips Sonicare toothbrush
Since ultrasound is a high-frequency vibrational wave that propagates deep into the tissues of crowns, teeth, fillings, and gums, and it creates micro-vibrations of hard tissues. It differs from ordinary toothbrushes. As its brush head is made of unique material that have different wave resistance indices.
In this case, the teenager’s motivation is that it takes minimum effort to brush his teeth with maximum ease. They would also feel positive during brushing.
4. Convince Your Teen to Brush
If you see that your teen is finding it difficult to brush his/her teeth before going to bed, then brush your teeth with him after dinner. Let your teen realise that brushing teeth should be fun and easy.
There shouldn’t be any pressure, instead, try to convince your teen with patience and politeness.
Allow your teen to buy a toothbrush every month. Since a teen acquires a toothbrush for himself, this process of buying a toothbrush will gradually make him more responsible for maintaining his oral hygiene in the future.
5. Frequent Dental Visits
Periodic visits to a dentist are also important to ensure dental health. Talk to the dentist in advance and explain to him the situation. The dentists have a very strong influence and control over the teen and they would help to convey the necessary information to your teen.
Giving a little freedom to your teens after make them realise the importance of oral hygiene. This way you will satisfy the child’s need for independence. In the assertion of his dignity, you will create a positive impact on what has been achieved.
Psychologically, teens want to participate in things that are available to them for the first time. Don’t put pressure on the teenager and be patient. Try to create a friendly communication mode with your teen a help them keep their teeth squeaky clean.