Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Teen Hygiene Tips

As a parent, it’s your job to help your kids and explain the teen hygiene basics. But where do you start?

Getting Your Kids to Practice Good Teen Hygiene continued...

Start early. Altmann recommends that most parents start talking about teen hygiene issues -- and giving over some responsibility for them -- by age 10.

Don't come down too hard. Don't start by hassling your kids about their hygiene. Try to avoid confrontations. Once it becomes a struggle, your kids might be more likely to dig in their heels.

Make sure your information is up to date. Before you talk to your kids about teen hygiene, make sure you know what you're talking about. Some of the advice you got when you were younger could be outdated now -- or may never have been true in the first place.

Be a good role model. If you want your kid to have good hygiene habits, you need to stick to them yourself. Don't shuffle around the house in pajamas all weekend. And good luck trying to get your kid to use floss if he's never seen you with it.

Pair up. Altmann says that if it's possible, have mothers talk to daughters about teen hygiene issues and fathers with sons. "It often helps if there's a same-sex parent in the house to discuss these issues with the teen," says Altmann. "Kids tend to look to a same-sex parent as a role model for hygiene."

Get some professional backup. If you're having trouble getting through to your teen about a particular hygiene issue, make the pediatrician an ally. "Parents can always ask a pediatrician to discuss or reinforce certain hygiene issues before an appointment," says Altmann. Then once you're out of the room, the pediatrician can broach the topic with your son or daughter.

Teen Hygiene: Talking to Your Kids

Experts say that when you're encouraging your kids to practice good teen hygiene, explain the context. Make clear that good hygiene isn't just an arbitrary set of rules that you're forcing on them.

"Teens need to know how to take care of themselves, because they really are on the verge of adulthood," says Wibbelsman. "Within a few years, they'll be dating seriously or living with roommates." Having good hygiene will really matter.

As a parent, you need to be empathetic. Remember that puberty is an incredibly confusing time. Your kid may have lot of questions about teen hygiene that he or she doesn't know how to get answered. Try to give your teen the space to ask them.

Of course, she may resist your attempts to talk about good hygiene. She may protest, and roll her eyes, and insist she doesn't want to hear it. But press on anyway. She'll probably be grateful that you did.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Reviewed on July 21, 2010

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd