Parents are often urged to choose their battles during their child's teenage years. While that's good advice, oral hygiene is a battle worth fighting. Here, our dentists explain.
Agreeing with parents goes against many teenagers' inner core, but that may not be the reasons why your teenager is avoiding the dentist.
Ease Their Fears
Dental anxiety is a common condition in children and teens, and even adults, and may be part of the reason they're refusing to go. Try to talk to your teen and find out what's really bothering them. This will give them an opportunity to mentally prepare for an appointment, and for you to talk about their concerns before you get there.
Finding a dentist who understands dental anxiety and is willing to work with your teen to ease their fears will also help make the process more enjoyable for everyone.
Stress The Importance Of Oral Health
Whether you share your own experiences or find information online to share, showing them what can happen if they don't take care of their teeth can be a powerful lesson. If they can understand all the pain and discomfort that can come with oral health issues in the future they may be more willing to help prevent them.
Ultimately, if they miss a regular check-ups they may have a lot more dental appointments in their future, so framing regular check-ups as maintenance, just like an oil change a haircut, may help them to see the bigger picture.
Start Them Young
The key to create positive oral hygiene routines and habits is to teach them as early as possible. The sooner you get them started on the road to maintaining oral health, the more likely they are to keep these habits throughout their teenage years and into adulthood.