September 12, 2023
As parents, one of our main goals is to keep our children safe and healthy until they are grown and able to care for themselves. This is true of their teeth, too! You’ve likely been taking your child to the pediatric dentist throughout their childhood to keep cavities and bay and monitor their dental health. If your little one has made it to the teen years, though, you might have some questions about their oral care. Is it okay to keep taking them to the same dentist? When do you make the switch to a general dentist? Keep reading to find out!
What Makes Pediatric Dentists Different?
Not all mouths are the same, and there are various areas of expertise that dentists can focus on. Pediatric dentists undergo specialized training to properly care for the dental needs of children and youths, who are in a different stage of development than fully mature adults. Their teeth are, too! Not only that but pediatric dental practices are also equipped with instruments tailored for children. That makes them experts with the right tools and knowledge to handle your child’s specific needs!
Is It Okay To Take My Teen To A Pediatric Dentist?
The short answer is yes, it’s completely acceptable for your teen to continue to see their pediatric dentist. Even if they’re bigger than they used to be, their mouth, face, and jaw are still growing and shifting. Their dentist knows how to adjust and account for these changes to keep their teeth in optimal condition. Many dentists also can provide orthodontic services in case your child’s teeth become overcrowded or pushed out of place.
When Should My Teen Switch Dentists?
You might want your child to stick with their pediatric dentist until after wisdom teeth erupt, which often happens in our late teens or early 20s. When wisdom teeth grow in, they often cause other issues like pain, overcrowding, and sometimes even tooth decay. It’s difficult to reach the back of our mouths to keep them clean! You’re going to want someone familiar with your child’s oral history to be able to appropriately address these issues when the time comes.
If your youth already has all of their adult teeth in place, you can “graduate” to a general dentist. If you’re not sure how to find one, your pediatric dentist might even have helpful recommendations. Once you do find a new dentist, encourage your child to make an appointment. You established healthy dental hygiene habits in them from a young age. Now that they’re more fully grown, they can begin to do some of that work for themselves!
About the Author
Dr. Angelica R. Rohner earned her undergraduate degree in early childhood development and education and then taught special education for two years. Once she realized pediatric dentistry would contribute to her passion for helping children, she graduated with a D.M.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry. She then received an advanced degree in Pediatric Dentistry. With so much knowledge and experience, she is uniquely qualified to provide customized care to your teen. You are welcome to contact us on the website or call (205) 870-0892 for an appointment.
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