Your teens might be seeming like adults more and more every day. Once your kids start to be more independent, it can be hard to see them as children. You might be wondering if it’s time for your teenager to switch to a general dentist or stick with their pediatric dentist. Well, if it were up to us, we’d say stick with the pediatric dentist for a while longer. Why? Keep reading.
They’re Still Growing
Even though they may not be growing taller as quickly as they once were, or maybe they’ve stopped growing taller altogether – teenagers’ bodies aren’t finished developing. Changes are still taking place in their mouths, faces, and jaws. This kind of growth has an effect on oral health that a pediatric dentist is specially trained to understand. Their baby teeth may be gone, but a teen’s permanent teeth will still benefit from the care of a pediatric dentist like Dr. Forrester.
An Eye for Orthodontics
The teenage years are generally when a child will be considered for orthodontic treatment. A pediatric dentist has been monitoring your child’s growth and oral development since they were very small with orthodontic needs in mind. As your child starts to see all of their permanent teeth erupt, there are very specific issues that a pediatric dentist will always include in their evaluation. Tooth crowding, bite and teeth impaction are all going to be on a pediatric dentist’s checklist when seeing a teenager. We are the best ones to help you know when to contact an orthodontist and are happy to give local referrals.
Wisdom Teeth Wise
Another issue that pediatric dentist is always going to include on their checklists is the development of wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that are located in the back of the mouth. These teeth generally come in in the late teens to early 20s and can cause some serious problems if not properly addressed. Your pediatric dentist will be able to tell if wisdom teeth are coming in impacted (sideways) and could cause teeth shifting or pain. We’re here to help you recognize a concern before it becomes a problem!
We Can Help Teach Healthy Habits
At Groovy Smiles, we love kids of all ages! And that does not just mean teaching a young child how to brush their teeth. It means teaching teens how nutritional choices impact their oral health, what to do in a dental emergency, and helping them learn to be more proactive in their own dental health.
Because of their age, teens tend to be more prone to dental injuries than adults are. We are always here to help anytime a dental injury may occur, and we are trained to help keep your child (and you) calm in stressful situations. We also see a much higher sugar intake with teenagers than general dentists see in most adults. Sugary drinks, candy, and foods that are high in carbs are all favorites of teens – but can also promote tooth decay. Pediatric dentists are always going to keep a teen’s diet in mind when treating them.
What Age to Switch
We recommend your child continue to see a pediatric dentist until they turn 18. At that time, most of the facial and jaw growth will have stopped or slowed. Orthodontic issues are usually addressed by this age, and wisdom teeth have started to show up on x-rays where a treatment plan can be made. Making the switch might be a hard step for some parents, but we’re happy to help you find the right general dentist for your brand-new adult child’s needs.
Parents Trust Groovy Smiles
At Groovy Smiles, parents trust us with their kids – of all ages. We want to make visiting the dentist as easy and comfortable as possible. Whether you’re an existing or new patient, our whole team is dedicated to everyone that walks through our doors. We’d love the opportunity to serve your family and help your teenagers with their unique dental needs.