“Mom, I’m too old to see a pediatric dentist in Garland.” If you’ve recently heard your teen make this statement, you’re not alone. Many adolescents believe they are “too cool” or “too old” to see a dental professional who specializes in younger smiles; however, the truth is that they are not. While they may not realize it (or accept it), the reality is that your teen can continue to greatly benefit from these visits. Read on to better understand why a pediatric dentist is better for your teen.
A Pediatric Dentist Can Monitor Changes
If your teen has been seeing the same pediatric dentist for many years, it is likely their familiar with your child’s oral health and development. But just because they are now teenagers doesn’t mean their jaw, bone, and face stops growing. These facial structures are still moving and changing each day, which is why a pediatric dentist is best for treating any problems that might occur along the way. By continuing to send your teen to a dentist for kids, their dental team can administer the necessary treatment before any problems become more serious as they reach adulthood.
They Can Determine if Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed
Also known as third molars, a teen’s wisdom teeth are typically removed between the ages of 17 and 25. Once considered a vital part of an individual’s oral health, early civilizations used them to eat coarse, dense foods. However, has jaws narrowed and nutrition changed, these extra teeth are now only known to cause significant problems (i.e., shifting teeth, infection). A pediatric dentist can monitor the development of these teeth and remove them before they pose a more serious problem later on.
A Pediatric Dentist Can Recommend Orthodontics
This is not to say that general dentists are incapable of recommending orthodontic treatment, but as braces and teenagers often go hand-in-hand, a pediatric dentist can better evaluate the changes or shifts occurring in a young person’s mouth, recommending orthodontics to fix these common issues (i.e., overcrowding, gapped or crooked teeth, bite misalignment) and making it a much easier process than when they reach adulthood.
They Can Help Your Teen Become More Independent
Your teenager is likely already reminding you they can “do it on their own” or “don’t need your help.” While this might sting to hear as a parent, the truth is they simply want to be more independent. Even if they don’t need you to observe their morning oral hygiene routine anymore, a pediatric dentist can help them stay on track with their brushing, flossing, and rinsing techniques as well as allow them to feel more integrated into the treatment options discussed for improved oral health. Not to mention, a dentist for kids can better prepare them to make informed decisions about their teeth and gums once they reach the age of 18.
Although your teen may want to hurry the process to move beyond pediatric dentistry, the positive benefits of continuing this relationship will pay off once they reach adulthood.
About the Author
As a board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Adam Preece remains passionate about young, growing smiles. From infants to teenagers, he and his team at The Dental Specialists are equipped to monitor and evaluate developing teeth and gums to ensure they are in optimal condition for the next phase of life. If your teen is becoming antsy about seeing a general dentist, Dr. Preece can continue to provide the care they need until they reach the age of 18 by encouraging good oral habits and providing them with the independence they deserve. Visit our website or call (972) 364-7472 to find out how we can better prepare your teen for better oral health in adulthood.