Quick Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Care in Tweens This School Year
Hi, I'm Dr. Jennifer Salzer. As an orthodontist and dentist, I spend a lot of time looking in kids' mouths, but I'm also a mom of four so I know how hard it can be to get older kids to embrace a good oral care regimen, especially during the morning rush before school. Adolescents are busy people with unpredictable schedules and sometimes they don't take the time to practice good oral hygiene. As a parent, I know you want to help your kids establish good morning routines now to help keep their teeth healthy for life. That's why I'm going to share with you my best tips and tools for helping your tween understand the importance of good oral care habits.
The In-beTWEEN Years
On the Go: If you're concerned your tween might be missing spots while brushing, leave products like mouthwash in unexpected places, such as the kitchen, for kids to use after breakfast and after brushing. Crest Pro-Health FOR METM Anti-cavity Fluoride Rinse reaches areas your child may have missed and comes in two flavors your tween will like!
Brace Face: It is important to show kids with braces the correct way to brush. Using a two-step system - brushing from the top down, and then the bottom up - will help dislodge any breakfast that may be stuck in the brackets. Provide your tween with great tools like the Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME CrossAction Toothbrush and FOR ME Floss Picks which are specially designed to clean hard to reach areas between teeth, sending them off to school with a clean and healthy smile.
Looking Good: As children take control of their morning routine before school and look to define their own tastes and style, it's best to select a toothbrush and paste designed just for them. The Crest Pro-Health FOR ME line of oral care products is designed specifically for kids 8 and up and gives tweens the right support for a healthy mouth and confident smile. Help your child understand that bad oral hygiene contributes to teeth stains, bad breath and an assortment of other dental problems.
Mirror Mirror: Encourage your kids to brush in front of a mirror; it will help them see spots they may otherwise miss. Oftentimes, if a child is not looking at what they are doing while brushing their teeth, they will not do a thorough job. This is also a great time for them to double check their hair and outfit before heading off to the bus!
Food for Thought: Make sure your child is eating a healthy breakfast and limit snacking of unhealthy foods or sugary drinks throughout the day. According to Academic Pediatrics, frequent consumption of simple carbohydrates, found in chips, crackers and cookies alike, is significantly associated with increased risk of tooth decay.*
* "The Contribution of Dietary Factors to Dental Caries and Disparities in Dental Care," Academic Pediatrics, December 2009