Parents strive to teach their children good habits at a young age with the hope that they will continue a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. But once kids hit their teenage years, rebellion takes over and those productive manners may go out the window. Keeping up with good oral health habits as an adolescent can ensure that the gums, teeth and mouth are in top condition for a lifetime. Here are a few things to consider in order to maintain those pearly whites and fresh breath:
For many teenagers, chewing gum is routine. From the classroom to going out with friends, teenagers have a strange tendency to always be chomping down. While some gum can actually improve breath and help avoid dry mouth, typical packs from the super market are loaded with sugar. Instead of picking up a stick of gum with a layer of “fruit,” try sugarless gum made with the natural sweetener xylitol after meals. Consider having this all-natural gum around the house so your teenager won’t be tempted to pick up a sugar-loaded pack.
Body piercings have become much more acceptable in modern society, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences that come along with them. Tongue and lip piercings can cause teeth to chip and gums to recede. In addition, these piercings can be prone to infection, which causes bad breath and creates other issues throughout the entire mouth. Encourage children to avoid this type of body art.
Teenagers can sometimes down soda like it is water! There are countless harmful side effects to drinking these carbonated beverages, and they can wreak havoc on the entire mouth. Not only is one can filled with 38 grams of sugar or more, its sticky, syrupy texture lingers on the teeth, gums and tongue for much too long. Drinking just one bottle of soda pop a day can increase the amount of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, cause bad breath, promote tooth decay and dry out the mouth. Unfortunately, sports drinks are not much better. Kids who play sports in school tend to carry along one of these beverages after or during a meet or game, but they are often loaded with a similar amount of sugar as soda. Instead, encourage teenagers to drink plenty of water, or even coconut water. Coconut water is all-natural and rehydrates better than typical sports drinks.