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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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Does Your Teenager Spend Enough Time Brushing?

Posted on 9/10/2017 by Cynthia Pelley
Brushing Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry OR 97202-7331
Brushing your teeth is an important habit to practice. It helps to prevent gum disease and cavities. Many teens don't take the time to properly brush their teeth, if they bother to brush at all.

Poor oral hygiene at any age can lead to decay and even tooth loss. You want to make sure that your teen develops good habits now to prevent severe problems and expensive repairs in adulthood.

How Much Time Brushing?

It is recommended that when you brush your teeth, no matter what your age, that you brush for at least two minutes. But the time doesn't matter if your teen doesn't hit all of the surfaces. Most will only focus on the front surfaces of their teeth. It is important to remind them that they need to brush the chewing surfaces as well as the backsides of their teeth as well.

And just how do you get your teen to spend two minutes on their teeth? Timers work well for younger kids, but a teen may feel like they are being babied if you time them. Instead, invest in an electric toothbrush that has a timer built in.

Explain the Consequences
Teens are notorious for their worries about their appearance. Explain to them that poor oral hygiene can result in gum disease, cavities, stains, bad breath and even tooth loss. All of these results can affect how their peers, including their latest crush, can view them.

Appeal to Their Interests
Rewards are a good motivator, no matter what the age of your child. As your child grows into their teens, you just need to adjust your reward system to appeal to their interests. Offer them some extra time on their curfew if they complete a week's worth of brushing or take them to go see their favorite baseball team.

Enlist in Professional Help
Teens often tend to ignore their parents, feeling that they know better than the adults. At your teen's next appointment, ask the dentist for some help. The dentist can even provide them with some visual aids for some extra motivation.

Dental hygiene is an important habit. Make sure your teen is properly brushing their teeth, helping them set the foundation for a healthy mouth into adulthood.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (503) 235-0313 today.

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