Now that your teenager is on their own when it comes to brushing and taking care of their teeth, it’s important to make sure they’re taking care of their oral hygiene correctly. As your teen gets busy with school and extracurricular activities, they may not be as focused on making sure their mouth is clean. Their overall health and hygiene depend on them properly taking care of their mouth and gums. Now, how do you encourage your teenager to realize the importance of oral hygiene? Let’s start with what causes bad breath.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH
This can be a sensitive topic, so try to approach your teen very carefully so no feelings are hurt. Bad breath is very common and can be easily caused by the type of foods we eat, underlying dental problems, how we are brushing (or not brushing) our teeth, or poor lifestyle choices. Most of the causes in teens will boil down to how they are brushing and flossing. If bacteria from food particles sit on your kid’s teeth and tongue for a long time, naturally their breath will start to stink.
RESOLVING THE ISSUE
If the cause is bad oral care, the solution can be as simple as a quick refresher course on how to thoroughly brush and floss our teeth. Remind your teenager how to properly brush their teeth, gums, palate, and tongue and floss each day to reduce bacteria levels and improve breath. Ask them a few quick questions like:
- Are you brushing your teeth in the morning and during the day?
- How long are you brushing your teeth?
- Are you brushing your tongue and those hard-to-reach areas of your mouth?
- How often are you flossing?
These questions should prompt some response if they realize they may not have been as thorough as they should have been. If your teen still complains of bad breath, check with your doctor in case allergies, asthma, or sinus infections are to blame.