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How Old is Too Old: Does My Teen Need a New Dentist?

October 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — happyteeth @ 2:55 pm
Teen girl with brown hair in yellow dentist chair smiling, winking, and giving a thumbs up

As parents, we take on many roles for the sake of our children, and one of the most important is our duty as caregivers. We’re responsible for the health and development of our kids, including their dental hygiene, until they’re old enough to take it on themselves.

If you have a teenager at home, you’ve watched them grow and change over the years. Now that they’re bigger, you might wonder if it’s time to switch them to a general dentist versus the pediatric one you’ve been taking them to. Keep reading to learn 4 reasons why it’s okay for them to continue seeing their current dentist even if they’re getting older.

Reason #1: Your Teen’s Teeth are Still Developing

Your child’s body might already be as tall as it will be, but their teeth and jaw are still growing and shifting. You want a dentist who is aware of the changes and has experience handling any issues that are specific to your child’s unique needs. Pediatric dentists are experts with specialized training and education to deal with the unique circumstances of mouths that are still expanding. A general dentist might not have the same level of experience with such a young adult.

Reason #2: Your Teen Might Need Orthodontics

The years between childhood and adulthood are often ideal for pursuing braces or other orthodontic solutions. Many young adults experience overcrowding or bite problems that their pediatric dentist will need to address. They can track the progress of your child’s teeth over time and will let you know if and when orthodontic treatments need to be considered.

Reason #3: Teens Have Issues with Wisdom Teeth

Typically, the last pearly whites that erupt are our wisdom teeth. This 3rd set of molars waits until we’re in our late teens or early 20s before showing up. When they arrive, they can be quite uncomfortable! They’re also associated with overcrowding and tooth decay. It can be challenging to clean them appropriately if they’re hard to reach which can result in cavities or gum disease.

Another issue many youths face is impacted wisdom teeth. If they don’t erupt properly, it can lead to more pain and infection. Thankfully, your child’s dentist has likely seen it before and can confidently address any concerns that come up.

Reason #4: Your Teen Will Learn to Care For Themselves

We hear a lot about teenagers butting heads with their parents over their desire for independence. When you take them to the pediatric dentist, they can learn a lot not just about how to manage their oral well-being, but also why it’s important. They’ll learn the significance of making healthy decisions that benefit them in the long run and the necessity of preventative dental care. When the time comes for them to take over the full responsibility of their own lives, they’ll be ready.

If your youth’s wisdom teeth have already erupted or were extracted, and they’re no longer in braces, then it’s perfectly fine to consider switching them to a general dentist. You can even encourage them to make their first appointment to start taking ownership of their dental needs. Then you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done everything you could to set them up for success!

About the Practice

At Dr. Glen’s Happy Teeth, we have both a pediatric and a general dentist, as well as an orthodontist, onsite. That means you and the entire family can be treated at the same office, so you won’t need to have multiple providers. Also, we use state-of-the-art technology, so you know you’re getting the most advanced treatment available. If you’re looking for a dentist for your teen, there’s no better place to be! They can remain our patient for years to come. You’re welcome to request an appointment on our website or by calling (516) 517-0331.

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