Teaching teenagers about excellent hygiene is often a combination of teaching and gentle reminders. Even if you’ve taught them many things since they were little, some of these hygiene chores may be new to them or ones they must complete on their own for the first time.
When youngsters reach middle and high school, it’s usual for their attention to personal hygiene to wane, especially when they’re no longer being watched over by their parents. Here’s a guide to teaching your teen about good hygiene habits and how to incorporate them into their daily routine.
Why Are Personal Hygiene Habits So Essential?
We maintain our bodies clean by practicing good hygiene. Keeping one’s surroundings clean serves two primary purposes. We can’t get rid of some germs completely, but we can at least keep ourselves sanitary by washing our hands frequently and thoroughly. Dental decay, skin infections, and other ailments can result from poor hygiene, which can be prevented.
Second, personal hygiene affects social interactions. Adults, in particular, expect that others they interact with are tidy. Our interactions with others improve when we better care for ourselves. When you’re close to another person, a bad breath or body odor can be a distraction.
Maintaining good personal hygiene signifies that you value and care about yourself. Keeping your surroundings neat and orderly also shows respect for those around you. Social exclusion can occur as a result of poor hygiene.
Where Young People Learn About Hygiene
Our children often pick up their manners by imitating our actions. It’s the same with hygiene. Your adolescent will assume that cleaning up after themselves is just part of life if you follow a set schedule. Teens and tweens tend to relax their hygiene standards, so parents should look for signs that their children are abandoning these daily rituals.
If your youngster misses a day of brushing their teeth or taking a shower, it’s not a big deal. However, if this behavior continues for several days, it may lead to a situation where these activities are no longer completed unless parents step in.
Their peers influence teens’ behavior. Don’t be shocked if your youngster starts showering more frequently or brings home a new body wash or perfume if their best friend is particularly clean or loves cologne. It’s also possible that your youngster will lose interest in personal hygiene if their peers don’t appear particularly bothered about it.
The necessity of good hygiene practices, such as showering and using deodorant, is also emphasized in many schools.
Basics of Teen Hygiene
Every family’s preferences and regulations will differ when it comes to what defines adequate cleanliness. A daily bath and combed hair may be expected in some houses, while others may have more relaxed standards. Make decisions based on your child’s needs rather than your own, and trust your intuition.
Standard Hygiene Instructions
Everyone in their teenage years ought to:
- Every day, be sure to clean your teeth and floss your mouth.
- Take a shower or a bath as often as necessary, typically once or twice daily.
- Trim nails, if necessary.
- Antiperspirant and deodorant can be used as needed.
- Hair should be washed regularly.
- Every day, wear new socks and undergarments.
- using deodorant and bathing
A daily shower may be required if your teen has oily skin or hair or engages in regular, rigorous activities. A few baths a week are fine if they have dry skin (too much bathing removes the skin’s protective oils). Shampooing frequency will vary depending on your hair type, ranging from once a day to once a week.
People use deodorant and antiperspirant for a variety of reasons. An antiperspirant may be necessary if your adolescent struggles with excessive perspiration. Overuse of antiperspirants can block sweat glands beneath the arms, resulting in uncomfortable lumps that may necessitate a visit to your pediatrician for evaluation and treatment.
If your adolescent uses deodorant less than twice a week and doesn’t think it’s necessary, you can skip the deodorant altogether. Families may also prefer natural deodorant products concerned about the chemicals in deodorant (or skip the step entirely).
1. Oral Health Care
To avoid a wide range of health issues, it is essential to maintain appropriate dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth removes some of the most common bacteria to combat bad breath. Gingivitis (infection of the gums) and cavities can also be prevented by removing these bacteria from the mouth.
In between-tooth bacteria and debris can be removed by flossing. In addition to tooth decay and gingivitis, these germs can enter the bloodstream if they are not removed (inflammation of the gums).
According to research, daily flossing removes these harmful bacteria and may even extend one’s life expectancy. Even if your adolescent isn’t thinking about how to live a longer life, this study shows that flossing is important for everyone.
As they approach puberty (or perhaps before), many youths begin shaving their legs, arms, pubic areas, and even their faces. Teach your youngster how to securely use a razor or an electric razor by demonstrating the right practices. A clean razor and enough soap (or shaving cream) and water will lessen the risk of nicks and cuts. Personal hygiene isn’t a factor in whether or not you shave.
Many options are available to teenagers when it comes to grooming. A few are optional, but others are more focused on health. Talk to your teen about hairstyle, eyebrow plucking, nail trimming, face washing, acne treatment, and wearing cosmetics if you think they need to learn these skills.
Ensure they understand the fundamentals of any grooming habits relevant to them. Washing and changing their clothes regularly (or if they become dirty, sweaty, or discolored) are also important for good hygiene. Teaching your children to keep their rooms neat and their beds made (and their sheets clean) is a good idea.
Be sure to teach your teen how to properly use sanitary goods like tampons, pads, or menstrual cups when they start menstruating. Learning to keep track of their period might also assist them in avoiding being caught off guard when their period comes around. Those with irregular cycles may benefit from wearing period panties, which keep them dry and clean.
As part of good hygiene, it’s important to know how to treat minor injuries. Your child must know how to properly treat a wound, such as washing it with soap and water and using the antibiotic ointment. Asking for help (or calling a doctor) when you need it is also important.
6. Other Health Concerns
Discuss with your child any necessary hygiene requirements for individuals who wear braces or retainers, as well as how to take care of contact lenses and clean glasses.
Nail-biting is also a common problem among teenagers. Educate your teen about the dangers of eating germs from the fingers and the potential harm to nails and nail beds (which can get infected). Think of creative ways to get them to cease their bad habits, such as employing a terrible-tasting nail polish or a secret phrase.
Symptoms of a Mental Health Problem.
Consider whether or not a teen’s lack of interest in personal hygiene indicates more serious psychological problems. When habits like nail-biting, skin picking, hair pulling, and refusal to take a shower become frequent and cause physical or emotional harm, your teen may require therapy for an underlying illness like depression, anxiety, and pathological grooming problem, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Contact your teen’s doctor or therapist if you discover widespread hygiene issues that give you concern. People who engage in these practices frequently feel a great deal of shame. It’s also important to chat with your teen. Make sure they know you’re not judging them, so they may talk about their problems and get the help they require.
My Teenager Isn't Taking a Bath!
Teenagers may refuse to shower or bathe at times, even if it is more typical in preteen years. Your first step is to decide whether or not your teen’s limited bathing will be an issue for you.
It’s possible to disagree if you think your teen should shower daily, but they think it’s fine to shower every other day because they’re relatively clean. It’s only a concern if they’re physically filthy, smell unpleasant, or their poor hygiene generates negative consequences at school or with their friends.
Strategies for Getting People to Take a Bath
It is possible to handle a teenager who refuses to bathe or maintain basic hygiene in various ways. One option is to buy teen-targeted cosmetics and toiletries. Even acne face wash and deodorant left in the bathroom may be more enticing to teenagers. Find teen-targeted products instead of what you would normally buy. Scents and packaging with a sense of humor may also be beneficial.
Another option is to have a chat with your youngster about basic cleanliness. As a driver, you may be able to squeeze a brief discussion about proper hygiene into the conversation. Avoid shaming them if you don’t want to make somebody feel awful. Focus on the importance of the work and the importance of the directions.
You can consider having someone other than a parent speak with your adolescent about this potentially touchy subject for a different approach. If your adolescent doesn’t listen to you, try talking to a trusted adult instead. If this doesn’t seem enough, it may be time to contact a mental health professional.
For children who are suffering from an illness that is interfering with social interactions, it may be time to seek professional help. Contact your child’s physician or another member of your extended family’s healthcare team to set up an appointment immediately. Your youngster may be less embarrassed, and the healthcare provider will be more efficient if you discuss the issue with them ahead of time.
When hygiene is a concern, it might be a significant one. In order to help your child develop a healthy self-care routine, all you need to do is give them some guidance and support.