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    What changes does adolescence bring that effect dental hygiene and general health?

    Hormonal changes of puberty may make gums very sensitive for boys and girls. Gingival (gum) tenderness and bleeding are common with menstruation.
    This is an important time for teens. They are developing their own sense of the value of their oral health. Attitudes about health and self are much intertwined. Your teen may feel pressured to smoke; use smokeless tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and these risk behaviors are concerns for all parents. Keep communication open. Direct health readings marketed to them. Be aware and sensitive of their feelings, moods, and behaviors. Listen to what they have to say and try not to make judgments. Talk to other parents.

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