If you’ve been taking your child to the dentist since an early age, they’ve probably already visited a pediatric dentist instead of a general dentist. But now that your child is becoming older and has their adult teeth, you may be wondering, should your teen see a pediatric dentist, or when is the right time to switch to an adult dentist? This is a great question every parent should consider.
Advantages of a Pediatric Dentist
Despite having all of their adult or permanent teeth, usually by the age of 13, teens are still growing and experiencing many developmental changes that may challenge their oral health. It’s important for your child to see a dentist who specializes in diagnosing and treating the dental issues they may encounter that are unique to the teen years. For this reason, many childhood patients continue with their pediatric dentist until between the ages of 18 and 22 when their mouth has finished growing and developing.
When answering the question, “Should your teen see a pediatric dentist?” it’s important to be aware of what the unique oral health challenges are that your teen may face. Many changes are rapidly occurring to your teen’s teeth and mouth that can lead to impacted or overcrowded teeth and may require orthodontic treatment. A pediatric dentist is specially trained to monitor these changes and notice potential problems often before they become an issue.
Orthodontic treatments like braces, retainers and other devices can require attention to detail, and more diligent oral care. Neglecting proper oral hygiene is common during the teen years and is one reason why teens are at an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. A pediatric dentist understands this and can help your teen understand the importance of good oral hygiene and can also give them age specific tips to help them take better and more consistent care of their teeth and braces.
Will It Cost More?
One concern many parents have about dental care for their teen is cost. Especially if you have multiple children, it can add up. Some pediatric dentists may cost more, but many cost similar to a general or family dentist. The additional age-specific expertise can pay off in the long run, though, because pediatric dentists may recognize issues more readily than dentists who see less teens in their practice, and be more proactive. This is just one reason to ask “Should your teen see a Pediatric Dentist?”
Talk to a Pediatric Dentist
So, should your child see a pediatric dentist? The choice is ultimately between you and your teen. If you’re still trying to decide which dentist is the best fit for your teen, it can be a helpful first step to call a pediatric dentist and make an appointment to discuss any questions or concerns you or your teen have about their oral health.
Call our Lawton Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.