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Dr. Cynthia Pelley
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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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8708 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 235-0313
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Summer is a Great Time to Catch up on Dental Issues

Posted on 7/10/2015 by Cynthia Pelley
A boy learning how to brushing his teeth properly.Studies have shown that elementary school and high school students miss an average of 2 days per school year due to dental health issues. Two days might not seem like a lot, but when you add them up in conjunction with other missed days due to physical illness, the results can be staggering, forcing your child to miss a lot of school for issues that could have been prevented.

Dental health issues can cause severe pain and side effects that not only lead to absences, but also a decline in their schoolwork as pain can be distracting and missing school can be detrimental to their education.

Rather than letting your child fall prey to falling grades and lower attendance at school, come on in for your checkup during the summer months. A regular dental checkup is non-invasive, yet highly effective. At this appointment, we check for any abnormalities in your child's mouth including cavities, infections, or difficulties with the alignment of your child's teeth. We will then provide any advice or proper tactics that should be done in order to prevent a condition from getting out of hand. The good news is that not every tooth related problem needs invasive treatment; sometimes all that it takes is better home care and awareness of proper oral health along with regular cleanings to ensure that your child's oral health is in tip top shape.

How to Care for Teeth at Home

In addition to bringing your child in for a checkup during the summer months, if he is due, you can also take the time to go over proper oral health care at home in order to supplement what we do in the office.

Talk to your child about the following topics:

•  Brushing his teeth for at least 2 minutes at a time twice a day
•  Brushing in a slow, circular motion, dividing the mouth into 4 sections and giving 30 seconds attention to each area
•  Brushing the tongue to remove all bacteria and plaque that resides there, putting their oral health at risk
•  The proper method to floss (at least once a day) in between each tooth
•  Rinsing the mouth out with water or a mouthwash approved by the ADA to further the benefits of taking care of their mouth

If you are finding it hard to get your child to practice proper oral health habits at home, try to make a game out of it or offer simple rewards for proper care of their oral health. You might be surprised at how willing your child is to participate in proper oral health when incentives are involved.

Watch Summer Snacking
Summer is also a time that kids love to eat to their heart's content. It is easy to lose track of what has already been eaten or to have a large appetite due to the increased activity that goes on during the summer months. Try to keep track of how often your child is eating, limiting snacking to twice a day and encouraging the consumption of plenty of water throughout the day to ensure that all food debris and bacteria is removed from his mouth even when he is not brushing his teeth.

With these simple steps you can help to decrease the amount of school your child misses as well as the amount of pain he experiences. It can seem easy to lose track of time and feel less structured during the summer months, but making sure that proper oral health care is a priority year round is the best way to ensure overall oral health not only now, but well into the future too.

Is it time for your child's checkup this summer? Please call us today to make an appointment!

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202