Personal Hygiene for Teens: tips to help them

Maintaining good personal hygiene for teenagers is important for two main reasons. First, poor oral and hand hygiene can result in a host of infections and diseases—including (in the case of poor oral health) bleeding gums and bad breath. Second, poor personal hygiene can affect social interactions. Teens who do not bathe regularly, keep their hair in good condition, or brush and floss regularly can encounter a host of social consequences, including ostracization and difficulties making friends.

If you have children, instill the importance of good hygiene from their earliest years. To motivate older kids, the following strategies may be useful.

How to Help Your Teens Get Interested in Personal Hygiene. Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels.

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Choosing Exciting Products

As a parent, you yourself may find maintaining a strict oral hygiene schedule a little difficult. Brushing and flossing with the “same old” products can get boring quickly, especially for teens who have texts to send, homework to accomplish, and sports to take part in.

Something as simple as choosing products with cute packaging and flavors can be a good reason to look forward to brushing one’s teeth. These days, natural toothpaste comes in a host of flavors, and your kids can help you choose the ones they like the most.

Equipment is also important. Ditch their usual toothbrush and consider a rechargeable electric one that can promote better tooth and gum health. Some toothbrushes (for instance, the Philips Sonicare for Kids) come with an app that shows kids how to position their brush and how long to spend on each tooth/gum zone, accompanying them throughout the whole process with a helpful video they can view on their smartphone.

Getting Kids into the Science of Skincare

During your child’s pre-adolescence or adolescence, they may start to develop spots or oily skin, especially in their T-zone. Some teens can also have moderate to severe acne breakouts, in which case a visit to the dermatologist is indicated. Kids with an interest in science may enjoy knowing the science behind treatments for acne and other issues. For instance, many acne formulae contain ingredients like retinoids, which help increase skin turnover, so that bacteria do not get trapped beneath dead skin cells.

When our children are younger, we can tell them to do certain tasks “because I said so.” As children get older, they need reasons for these tasks. Your dentist can help explain to your child why proper brushing and flossing is important at your teen’s annual visit. You can help your kids understand their skin better by providing them with a little research and information, so they are motivated to care for their skin.

You can also consider spot treatments for acne, which can help target and address specific blemishes without over-drying the rest of the skin. This can be a more effective and gentle option compared to traditional acne treatments that may cover larger areas and cause excessive dryness.

It is important for kids to know why spots and congested pores form, so they understand why and how to use specific products as a means of maintenance and prevention of more serious problems. Present them with interesting studies that will get them to see skincare as an important part of their daily routine. One study by Wake Forest University researchers, for instance, showed that teenagers with high stress levels were 23% more likely to have more severe acne. Teens should understand the different factors that cause skin problems so they can view healing from a holistic perspective.

While we’re on the subject of self-care, it’s also best to teach your teens about the importance of good oral hygiene. Although you may already got the basics handled, guidance from a professional dentist is still needed. (Sometimes teens are more likely to listen if the dentist tells them “brush your teeth more often” than if Mom does.)

Personal Hygiene for Girls

Girls have an extra aspect of personal hygiene to worry about with their monthly cycles. Your daughter’s cycle can affect her skin, so it’s a good idea to help your daughter track her cycle. If she’s aware that she tends to get moody and have extra acne breakouts at a certain time in her cycle, then she can prepare for that. For example, she may need extra skincare products or make-up when her hormones cause her skin to breakout.

It’s also a good idea to make sure she’s prepared each month with a good stash of feminine hygiene products. She may want to keep a few in her backpack, purse and locker so that she’s never surprised. Encourage her to choose chemical-free products that won’t affect her sensitive skin or her hormones. A few cute, small bags can help keep these items safe; just remember to replenish each bag every month.

A Day at the Spa

Older kids who love being pampered and preened may enjoy a special treat for sticking to their grooming routine. A spa visit is an ideal opportunity to bond with your teen while both of you enjoy a foot spa treatment, manicure, or pedicure. Getting excited about grooming is easier when the fun factor is high and (for some) when glamour is involved. Choose a spa and a hairdressing salon that is known for welcoming teens. If your child connects with the staff, they are more likely to want to return.

If getting to the spa doesn’t work, you can plan a spa day at home with your teen. She may be interested in choosing and making her own skin care products. If you can plan a quiet afternoon for your spa treatment, you may have more privacy than a spa. Check with your teen about which she’d be more comfortable with and then have fun pampering yourselves together either way.

Hygiene routines can be a bugbear even for adults. However, they are vital for both health and social reasons. Personal hygiene for teens can be made easier by allowing them to choose appealing products, explaining the science behind skin and other types of care, and  rewarding them with a fun day filled with sensorial pampering experiences.

What tips or tricks have helped you with personal hygiene for your teens?

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