They might already have all their permanent teeth or are waiting for only a few more to appear, but their jaw and facial structures are still growing and changing.
Many parents are unsure about when it’s time to take their child to a general dentist instead of a pediatric one. Teenagers are already dealing with a lot of changes in their bodies and behavior, and it’s easy to get confused about how to treat them from now on.
When it comes to dentistry, these decisions should be made based on the physiology of your child and what their specific needs are in terms of oral health and treatments.
So, should your teen continue seeing his or her pediatric dentist? The answer is yes. The recommended age for switching to a general dentist is 18 years old. Until then, a pediatric dentist is the most qualified to work with their changing physiology and specific dental issues.
Why Should Your Teen Be Seen by a Pediatric Dentist?
Even though our teens often baffle us with how much they start acting and looking like young adults, their bodies are still going through important changes at this age. They might already have all their permanent teeth or are waiting for only a few more to appear, but their jaw and facial structures are still growing and changing.
Another common characteristic of this age group is the prevalence of orthodontic treatments. In other words, a teen is more likely to wear braces than a young child or an adult, which makes their dental needs a bit more specific.
Seeing their pediatric dentist through their teenage years also has another great advantage: their doctor will know their history very well, and there will be a solid relationship already established between them. Even if your child would like to change doctors, you should still search for a pediatric dentist who can address the age-specific issues.
Educating Teens about Oral Health
Education doesn’t stop through your child’s teenage years. They may be able to properly brush their teeth on their own or make certain decisions independently, but they are still prone to neglecting their oral health or having bad habits for their teeth. Common problems during the teenage years are procrastination, unhealthy foods in their diet, starting bad habits like smoking, etc.
When Is the Time to Switch to a General Dentist?
As mentioned before, the recommended age when your child should start seeing a regular dentist is 18. By that time, their permanent teeth have replaced all baby teeth and their face and jaw are fully developed. Don’t hesitate to ask your child’s St. Louis pediatric dentist about this and address any other questions you may have.
St. Louis Pediatric Dentistry
Finding a pediatric dentist for special needs can sometimes be challenging. At The Dental Anesthesia Center, our pediatric dental anesthesia specialists have advanced training that allows them to interact positively with children who have anxiety and special needs. Our office is fully equipped to accommodate patients with special needs, allowing us to deliver care in an environment that is relaxed and comfortable for you and your child.
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The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.