Bad Breath In Teens

bad breath in teensTeenagers have a lot to worry about in this crazy world, and bad breath in teens shouldn’t have to be one of them. Unfortunately, bad breath affects millions of people every day and teens aren’t exempt.

Bad breath can be caused by many factors including poor oral hygiene, certain foods, underlying dental or medical conditions, dry mouth and certain lifestyle changes and choices.

There are many conditions that can cause bad breath.  The primary cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. It is very important for teens to learn the benefits of good oral hygiene. Teenagers who wear braces should take extra care in practicing good oral hygiene because food particles can become easily trapped in the braces.

Other things that can cause bad breath in teens is gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, dry mouth and bacteria on the tongue. Some things that teens can do to prevent bad breath are: Don’t use tobacco products. Eat a healthy diet.  Visit the dentist regularly. Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day, and floss at least once a day. If your teen has chronic bad breath, be sure to talk to your dentist about it.

Teenagers and Bad Breath|About Health

The Importance of Touch and Teens

I recently read a great article on about the importance of touch and teens (check it out here). Physical touch is an important part of all relationships, including parent/child. As our children become teens they tend to decrease in physical affection and it may take extra effort to find ways to have appropriate physical contact with them.

As a parent, I am trying to incorporate daily touch with my children as one of my expressions of love. I have several children that just crave touch, whether it’s rubbing their back or letting them sit on my lap to cuddle. I have a niece that needs physical contact so much that she’ll actually get into people’s personal space just to be in close proximity to them.

I also have two children that are more resistant to physical contact. They roll their eyes when I give them a hug or they just stand there and let me hug them but don’t reciprocate.  I have to remind myself that just because they are not openly affectionate does not mean that they don’t need physical contact. So I make an extra effort to give them a hug, put my arm around them or give them some sort of physical contact during the day.

The article I mentioned above gives some great ideas for providing physical touch to teens who may be less affectionate. One thing that I like to do (since I have a bunch of girls), is to play with their hair by running my fingers through it while watching TV or just braiding it for fun.

I firmly believe that physical touch is a great way to heal, bring comfort and show our love to our children. As the old adage says, “Have you hugged your child today?”

Stressed Out? Relaxation tips for teens and everyone else.

It’s Back to School in many parts of the nation. While some children are beyond excited to get back into school, others can find it very stressful, especially if returning to school means a big change like entering Jr. High or High School.

There are many reasons why a teenager might feel stressed. Perhaps they are dealing with peer pressure or bullying. Lack of sleep, feeling overwhelmed with schoolwork, physical changes associated with puberty, difficulties at home, feelings of self consciousness or worries about the future can all lead to increased stress.

Some of the signs of a stressed teenager could include: depression, irritability, increased attitude, trouble sleeping, changes in eating patterns, anxiety or physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach aches.

Learning how to effectively deal with stress is an important part of living a healthy and productive life.

Relaxation tips for teens and everyone else…

  • Get adequate sleep. When we are overworked or tired, it is difficult to stay positive making little things become big issues. Often, after a full night’s sleep we can view problems with the proper perspective and find solutions easier.
  • Find a hobby or participate in an enjoyable activity. Whether it is a hot bath, reading, listening to music, dancing, cooking or other activity, spending time each day doing something enjoyable can help alleviate stress.
  • Help someone. Find someone in need (it could be something as simple as being a friend) or volunteer in the community. Often when stressed we turn our focus inward. Our problems tend to diminish when we reach out toward others.
  • Laughter is the best medicine. Watch a comedy, listen to a stand up comedian or find someone who makes you laugh.
  • Spending time with friends or having someone to talk to makes all the difference.
  • Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve tension. It could be as simple as going for a walk or jog.
  • Writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper alleviates stress and can also help you see your problems with new perspective.
  • Take a little time each day to separate yourself from the world–find a quiet place away from distractions such as TV, music, movies, Internet, etc. and allow time to sit, breathe deeply and think.
  • Make a list of what is in your control and what is not. Let go of the things you can’t do anything about.
  • Be positive. Look for the things that are going well in your life and give yourself credit for the good things that you are accomplishing.

Communication and Walking go Hand in Hand!

Being a mother of teenagers myself, I understand the difficulties that can arise in raising teens. We want to communicate with them and be involved with what is going on in their lives. At the same time they are trying to find their independence and aren’t as willing to open up as they were at 5 years old. Finding the right time, place and mood for talking with your teen can be challenging.

One day I was discussing this with my friend and she mentioned going on an evening walk with your teen. Not only does it promote activity and fitness, but also can improve relationships. It gives vital one on one time without the typical distractions found at home. Without these distractions teens are more prone to open up and communicate. My friend said that it was during evening walks that she would really talk with her mother and “spill the beans” about her life.

Free communication will come easier if you make walking together a habit, something you do regularly. Then your teenager will be free to talk when he or she is ready, without pressure. If you only take a walk together when there is something big to discuss, your teenager might be more reluctant to talk.

Taking the time out of your busy schedule to walk (or jog, if you’re feeling ambitious) with your teen can be a true relationship and communication builder!