Teenagers up to the age of 18 in the UK are entitled to free dental treatment on the NHS.
Taking kids to the dentist when they are young is often easy. As a parent, you book their appointment and take them along to see the dentist. Sadly though, when they become a teenager and become old enough to take responsibility for their own oral health. However, they can often let their good habits slide.
There has been increase in the number of teenagers developing tooth decay.
At a time in their lives where self-image is king, 33% of British teenagers identified that having yellowing or dis-colouring teeth is the main reason for making them feel conscious of their appearance and less attractive to others.
A helping hand…
Cajoling and carefully worded suggestions work as well for toddlers as they do for teens! Mentioning that they will have to pay for their own dental care once they turn 18 might just kick start a better and thorough oral health routine. Explain that the easiest, most effective – and cheapest – way to keep their teeth and gums looking great is to brush for two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. The less they take care of the teeth, the more of their own money they will need to spend on dental treatments.
For Teenagers, Encouragement is key.
While your teenager may not want you around in the treatment room, they probably still want you to make their appointments. While you’ll need to stop doing this eventually, if it’s the only way your teens will go to the dentist, it might be worth it. Alternatively, you could set up appointment reminders to be sent via text to your teen’s phone. After all, when do they ever not have their phone on them?!
Give the gift of good oral health!
For birthday and Christmas gifts, it may be a good idea to buy your teen an electric toothbrush or if they’re old enough, teeth whitening vouchers for their local practice. Small steps like this can really make a difference in motivating teens to take care of their teeth.
A snowball Effect.
Missing one appointment can lead to 5 or 6 missed appointments. It can really snowball out of control, meaning that your teenager may have not visited the dentist for years. Missing appointment after appointment can result in them needing emergency treatment should something go unnoticed.
Is your teen phobic?
If dental phobia is the reason for your teen not going to the dentist, this is understandable. Dental phobia affects many people for different reasons and even thinking about the dentists can make these patients anxious. However, there are many dentists out there who specialise in phobic patients.
You can find a dentist that specialises in phobia and anxiety by clicking here to go to defactodentists.com, entering your location and selecting ‘dental phobia’ from the options on the left.