Teenagers are at a point in their lives where they are experiencing so many transitions. They are learning more about themselves, other people, and the world. At the same time, they are gaining more independence about how they take care of their bodies.
Parents should have already taught their children basic hygienic practices in their younger years. They usually know by their teenage years how to properly shower and even how to keep their own bathrooms clean, even overlooked areas such as curtains or a trendy shower door and mirrors.
But the teen years pose new challenges in grooming because it is a time when their bodies are changing. During this time, you should give your teens a crash course on how to best take care of themselves to avoid issues such as acne and body odor.
Tackling Hygiene Problem Areas for Teens
There are common worry areas that most teens come across during their early teen years. Here is how you can help them solve these problems.
1. Teach them how to shave.
It is usually around their early to mid-teen years that your children will start being more conscious about their hair growth—from their faces to their underarms, legs, and even pubic areas. Having a professional do their shaving or waxing on their behalf is one way, but it is also important that they know how to shave on their own.
Give them a demo on how to use shaving cream or soap and to safely handle different types of razors. They should also find out how to clean their razors, how to store them, and when to replace them to avoid germ buildup.
2. Teach girls how to use feminine hygiene products.
A girl’s first experiences of menstruation can be an understandably disorienting experience for them. Take time to introduce the products they can use when they are on their period, such as disposable or reusable sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period underwear. Explain to them how to use each and have them start with the one they feel most comfortable with.
Your girls will also benefit from period tracker apps, which lets them chart the length of their menstrual cycles and when they happen each month. Mapping these out helps them figure out when they will likely have their next menstrual cycle.
Note that irregular periods can also occur. It is best to speak with a medical professional if these irregularities persist so that you can rule out certain conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, or know how to address them.
3. Teach teens with braces how to care for their teeth.
It is usually during their teen years that your kids get braces, which requires particular care practices to keep braces intact while keeping teeth clean at the same time. Their dentists give them a rundown of this, but remind them to avoid hard foods, sticky foods, and chewy foods that could stick to braces and cause breakage.
Brushing and flossing are also a lot more important when your child has braces. Neglecting these can lead to discoloration of the teeth or even damage to the gums.
There are special kinds of flosses that make it easier for people with braces to clean in between teeth. Use these instead of normal floss.
4. Glasses/contact lenses care is also important.
Glasses rest on the nose, so they make contact with various parts of the face throughout the day. For those with sensitive skin, this could cause acne, especially when they do not regularly clean their glasses. Teach them to use a cleaning solution or even dishwashing liquid (which they should rinse) to clean glasses.
However, frames are the usual culprits for acne issues. Use a towel spritzed with rubbing alcohol to clean each part outside of your lenses, such as your nosepads, earpieces, and frames around the lenses. Also, only use your glasses’ cleaning cloth or a microfiber cloth to wipe the lenses to avoid scratches or smudges.
If your teen uses contact lenses, consult with their eye doctor to find out the maximum amount of hours they can use the lenses and when to get new ones. Remind them to also never wear their lenses in the shower or when swimming. Most importantly, avoid sleeping while wearing lenses, as these can cause infections.
Despite the adjustments your teens are experiencing, proper guidance can help them maintain good hygiene amidst the new hurdles that come with this season of their lives. Good hygiene helps them remain carefree and enjoy their teen years without worry.