Why Should Your Teen Continue to See a Children’s Dentist?
Should your teenager continue to see a children’s dentist? If you’re not sure whether your teen needs a new dental professional in the near future or not, take a look at the reasons to stay with a kids’ dental practice.
The Children’s Dentist Knows Your Teen
How many years has your teen gone to the same dentist? If your teen’s first visit to their current dentist was as a toddler, they’ve had over a decade to build a relationship. This type of dentist-patient relationship has advantages, including:
- Comfort. The long-standing relationship breeds a sense of comfort. This can decrease dental anxiety and make regular checkups, restorations, and other visits easier for everyone.
- Dental history. Your teen won’t have to waste time answering questions or filling out dental history forms. Their dentist already has all the history they need.
- Care history. Has your child always skipped flossing? The children’s dentist knows your child’s dental care habits. This makes it easier to treat and educate (about dental health) your teen.
While the dentist-patient relationship is a primary reason for your teen to stay with their children’s dental practice, it isn’t the only one. Even though your teen may look like an adult, they’re still technically a child — and that means their bones and bodies aren’t done growing.
The Children’s Dentist Understands Child Growth
Your teen had a growth spurt in early adolescence. Even though the bulk of physical growth happens during or immediately after puberty, older teens may still grow. While the rate of growth may have significantly slowed, your teen’s face and jaw may still need to develop fully.
The children’s dentist has expertise in child growth and physical development. This allows them to:
- Recognize age-related issues. A children’s dental professional can assess your child’s jaw and dental growth in the context of their expected development.
- Look for expected changes. Even though your teen has most of their adult teeth, the third molars (more commonly known as the wisdom teeth) won’t come in until between 17 and 21 years of age.
- Correct oral issues. If your child has a jaw injury or other issue that may impact future growth, the children’s dentist has the expertise necessary to correct it (while accounting for projected growth).
Orthodontics are another aspect of teen dental development to consider when deciding to stay with a children’s dentist. Even though orthodontics is a specialty, the children’s dental practice may offer this service.
The Children’s Dentist Can Evaluate Your Child’s Bite
Does your teen need braces? The children’s dentist can evaluate your child’s bite and determine whether orthodontia is a necessary step. If you’re not sure whether your child needs braces or not, treatment can:
- Straighten your teen’s smile. Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can cause serious self-confidence issues. Prompt identification by a children’s dentist allows your teen to get an early start (with orthodontics) and effective treatment.
- Help your child to chew. Is eating a problem for your teen? Severe misalignment can affect the way your child chews. If your teen’s jaw and teeth may it difficult to eat, orthodontic treatment can help.
- Reduce the risks of decay. According to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), straight teeth are less likely to develop dental decay or gum disease.
- Increase clear speech. A misaligned bite and crooked teeth can impact the way your child speaks. If your teen’s oral issues negatively affect their ability to effectively communicate, the children’s dentist and orthodontist can help.
Talk to the children’s dentist about your teen’s possible orthodontic issues. The dentist can review your teen’s facial and jaw development and make a recommendation for the next step.
Does your teen need a checkup with a children’s dentist? Contact Kids Choice Dental/All About Kids Dental for more information.