Teenagers..How do I get them to clean their teeth?


Most parents find it extremely challenging to get their teenagers to keep a good standard of oral hygiene. Brushing and even more so flossing is often not high on the teenager’s priority list and definitely interfere with texting and snapchatting which are apparently “life essential”. As parents often ask us here at Burneston Dental for advice, we thought we would put together a short blog.


Here are Burneston Dentals top tips to encourage teenagers to clean their teeth:

  1. Parents should lead by example by attending the dentist regularly and maintaining a high level of home dental care.
  2. Make sure your teenagers have no excuse to not have a good level of oral hygiene by having a supply of floss, mouthwash and toothpaste.
  3. Explain the consequences of not brushing their teeth. This is best done with the help of visual aids. Pictures of decayed front teeth are readily available on the Google image catalogue.
  4. Dental disclosing tablets that show up plaque or calculus are another good visual aid. These highlight areas where he or she hasn’t brushed. Please ask a member of the Burenston Dental team to show you these tablets.
  5. Try not to nag your teenager about dental health, rather place some dental pamphlets that deal with dental disease and its prevention in areas where your teenager can easily discover them in their own time.
  6. Rewards can help but if possible avoid full scale bribery.
  7. Use their image and appearance consciousness to your advantage. Making them aware that unbrushed teeth will look unattractive and that it will cause their breath to smell should make them start thinking.
  8. Your teenager is most probably very attached to their smartphone, so why not try and use a brushing app or timer. There are several available. This may make brushing more fun.
  9. Suggest to your teenager to listen to their favourite song while brushing. Most songs are over 2 minutes long which will act as a convenient timer to ensure that he or she brushes for an appropriate length of time.
  10. Book a routine examination appointment for them every 6 months with one of our dentists. Or even better combine it with an appointment with one of our hygienists.
  11. Explain the problem to our dentists or hygienists, he or she will be more than happy to offer some definitive, non-annoying advice on the subject that your teenager might actually listen to.
  12. Please never ever threaten with a dental visit as punishment. This applies to children of ages. It will give the child the idea that going to the dentist is a horrible thing thereby installing a fear of dentists in them.


Click here to book your teenagers appointment at Burenston Dental, your dentist in Guildford