When you’re a teenager, especially in your later teens, you’ll start to get more and more freedom in your life. Even the most controlling parents will likely start to chill out a bit, at least compared to when you were a little kid. They probably won’t be checking on you each night before bed to make sure that you brushed your teeth, for example. They’re not going to bother you to floss, let alone any extra precautions to ensure that you don’t need dental implants anytime soon (save those for later in life!)
Here are 5 things that you can do to keep your teeth whiter, healthier, and to make sure they’ll last you a very long time.
It’s hard to think 30, 40, let alone 50 years into the future when you’re a teenager but the more good choices that you can make today, the easier things will be later on in life and you’ll be thanking yourself.
4. Brush Daily More Than Once
Brushing your teeth once in the morning means you’re usually going 24 hours in between cleanings, which is a lot of time for stains to build up, for cavities to start to grow, etc.
The more often you brush, the more time you’ll spend each day with clean and healthy teeth.
3. Brush For at Least 2 Minutes
Most people don’t brush long enough. You’re supposed to take at least 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth, so time yourself next time you brush and see how long you actually spend on it. You need this much time to really get in there with the brush and to have any chance of cleaning your teeth properly.
Use those little floss sticks if you can’t stand using regular string floss. It’s rare for anybody to actually love flossing, but try to do it once a day, either when you wake up or at the end of the day. It’s just not about getting pieces of food out from in between your teeth, there are germs and bacteria and other junk that can build up in areas that your brush can’t reach.
1. Regular Dentist Visits
When you don’t have dental insurance coverage, it can get pretty expensive, especially when you’re in that awkward stage where you’re working and still going to school and the $200 or $300 for a tooth cleaning and minor repairs could end up eating an entire paycheck or more. If you aren’t on insurance, you’ll have to play this a bit looser when it comes to staying on top of your visits, but try to keep it as regular as you can, at least for a basic cleaning. See if you have a local dental college and you’ll save some more money there, too. The students are more than capable of doing routine cleanings, and they will probably do a more thorough job, too.
If this seems like pretty standard and basic advice – that’s because it is! It’s not rocket science, it’s just a matter of sticking to your routine to set yourself up for better outcomes later on in life.
Bonus Tip: Chew Gum!
Chewing gum is recommend by many dentists to help with your tooth and gum health, just make sure it’s sugar free gum! You can even find some gums that will help whiten your teeth a little bit, too.