Everyone knows that kids can be gross. They don’t mind getting dirty and they certainly don’t mind staying that way. Ask any parent and they’ll tell you about the phase that just about every kid goes through where the bath becomes enemy number one. They want to rather marinate in their dirt and smell as opposed to cleaning up and smelling fresh. But you can handle your kids. They’re little and even if they require you putting up a bit of a fight, eventually you’ll get your way because they have to listen to you.

 

Teenagers, on the other hand, are a trickier bunch to deal with

They’re bigger and badder than any little kid could ever be. Most kids, teenagers, and adults do well with basic hygiene practice. So, everyone is washing their hands, covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough, and use a tissue to blow their nose. But not everyone gets the personal hygiene standard right. And if you don’t practice excellent personal hygiene then eventually it’ll begin to show. The results are rancid smelling body odour, feet, and putrid breath.

 

Your teenager’s body is going through a period of constant change

The changes are often unexpected to them and sometimes a bit frightening. To suddenly realise that nothing is really how it used to be can be scary; many adolescents choose to pretend nothing has changed at all. But the final result is that they end up unable to manage their developing body. But mismanaged hygiene will end up in embarrassing situations where odours, smells, breakouts and so on present. If it becomes noticeable to their peers they might be teased or even bullied about it.

The only way to protect them and ensure they become high functioning young adults is to teach them what you know. Be sensitive and kind in your manner but make sure that they stick to what is expected of them.

 

Teaching your teen excellent personal hygiene also protects their health

Having good hygiene equates to having good health. Removing the dirt from your body and washing or sanitising your hands after using the bathroom are surefire ways to steer clear of germs. There are enough germs in the air and floating around them in the classroom. They should do the necessary to mitigate against falling ill. And hygiene is an effective health care tool.

Here’s what you should teach your teen about their personal hygiene:

 

Don’t sweat it

During puberty, the sweat glands (both up top and down below) begin to develop. The bacteria on our skin tends to feed on the sweat that is produced, which is why some people smell of bad odour. The sweat and bacteria can cling to clothing too, which only exasperates the sweaty smell. Have your teen wash regularly, even morning and night if necessary and especially after they come home after their sports. Also, introduce them to antiperspirant deodorant and let them start choosing their signature scents.

 

Funky feet

Smelly feet can happen to the best of us. We all know that if you wear closed shoes without socks you’ll be faced with a stench when you remove your shoes after a long day. Teach your teen about how to combat this by regularly sprinkling antibacterial foot powder in their shoes, wearing cotton socks, and washing their feet properly.

They should wash their feet thoroughly in the shower, make sure to wash between their toes and then dry off afterwards. Don’t let them put wet feet into their shoes. Have them pay close attention to their sports shoes as sneakers and soccer or hockey togs are the worst culprits.

 

Bad breath

Dental hygiene is far more than a quick brush of the teeth. You’ve been teaching your child about brushing their teeth, flossing, and mouthwash since they were little and you should continue checking that they’re doing what they should. Make sure your teen knows to brush twice a day, to include regular flossing and send them for dental check-ups often throughout the year. Allow them to choose a high-quality toothpaste and oral rinse to assist with avoiding bad breath, gum problems and dental problems.

 

Spots, dots and flakes

Skin problems are the plight of many teens. It’s common knowledge that almost every teenager will experience skin problems during puberty. Their hormones have a drastic effect on their skin and not only the skin on their face but all over their body. Some suffer from bad acne on their backs, chest and bum.

Also, skin problems are not only acne related. Some teens suffer from dry scalp or dandruff which can be as embarrassing as a massive pimple. If you see your teen has dandruff symptoms then take them to see a dermatologist just as you would if they were suffering from severe acne.

For all the skin problems that your teen might be facing make sure you teach them how to take care of the skin and scalp. Teach them about regularly washing, using the correct products on their skin and scalp and changing their bed sheets often so that they’re sleeping in clean, fresh linen.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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