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Good health habits and personal hygiene are essential life skills. When your child reaches those teen years, you might think they should have learned how to care for their body (after all, you’ve been teaching them about this for years!). However, most adolescents still need some guidance about health and hygiene for teens. Teens need to learn the life skills that are going to be necessary in order to become healthy, responsible adults.

Why Is Hygiene for Teens Important?

Many teens tend to blow off important tasks of everyday life that they see as mundane and boring. Your teen may believe that brushing their teeth is pointless, but they need to understand that brushing twice daily prevents cavities and other health problems. Or, your teen may see no value in exercise and prefer a sedentary digital life. But keeping active can help your teen stay physically healthy and also assist them to manage stress. 

  • When your teen is ready to leave home for college, they will need to be responsible for keeping their body clean and healthy. You won’t be there to stay on top of them. It’s also important that they know how to maintain a clean and healthy living space.

Hygiene for Teens: Good Habits 

The following is a list of hygienic habits your teen should be engaging in:

  • Showering or bathing every day.
  • Washing hands with soap and water often.
  • Washing hair regularly.
  • Brushing hair every day and getting haircuts when needed.
  • Brushing teeth twice a day.
  • Flossing once a day.
  • Shaving regularly (for boys obviously).
  • Changing underwear daily and wearing clean clothes.
  • Avoiding habits that involve putting hands into the mouth (e.g., fingernail biting).  
  • Clipping and grooming fingernails and toenails regularly.
  • Using personal hygiene products correctly – facial acne cleansers, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, etc.
  • Taking care of injuries until they are healed.

If your teen has a retainer or wears braces, you should address the specific recommendations they should follow. Similarly, if your teen wears contact lenses, make sure they understand how to take care of their lenses and their eyes. 

Healthy Ways of Life for Teens 

You can help your teen by teaching them habits that can lead to a lifetime of good health. Kick your teen off the couch and encourage them to get outside for some exercise with friends or the dog. Healthy life habits include:

  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Avoiding sodas and junk food.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Developing healthy strategies to cope with stress.
  • Enjoying social interactions and alone time.
  • Exercising the mind by reading.  

Keeping Your Teen on Track 

It’s okay to let healthy habits and good hygiene slide now and then. However, if you allow things to get out of hand for too long, bad habits may replace the good ones. If your teen has serious struggles with hygiene issues, schedule an appointment with a professional. A teen who will not shower and has no interest in caring for their body may have some physical or mental health problems that should be addressed.