Teenagers tend to think that they are all grown, but this is not the case. Developmental changes and growth happen to their faces, jaws and mouths. These changes can impact their oral health; therefore, teens should continue to see their pediatric dentist.
There are unique dental issues that may be encountered in teen years, making it essential for teens to see a dentist specializing in diagnosing and treating those issues. For that reason, many teens prefer their childhood pediatric dentist until between the ages of 18 and 22. At that age, their mouth is fully developed and grown.
Developmental changes occur in a teen’s teeth and mouth, leading to impaction or overcrowding teeth that may require orthodontic treatment. Therefore, pediatric dentists possess the skills to monitor those changes and notice problems early enough before they become an issue. Awareness of teenagers’ unique oral health challenges is essential to all parents.
Teenagers are at high risk of cavities and gum diseases because they are prone to neglecting proper oral hygiene. Pediatric dentists can help your teens understand the merits of good oral hygiene and give them tips on how to take care of their teeth. With that, teens can handle even the orthodontic treatments, which require detailed attention and diligent oral care.
Pediatric dentists can detect oral problems associated with the emergence of wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars between 17 and 25 years. They are located at the back of the mouth and often cause pain, overcrowding or even tooth decay. It is difficult to clean that area which makes it vulnerable to bacteria, leading to cavities and gum disease.
As teens grow, their jaws may not be able to handle permanent teeth, which could lead to overcrowding and impaction. A pediatric dentist can spot any orthodontic problems early enough since they continuously your teen bite as the jaw develops.
Even though teens have replaced all their baby teeth with permanent teeth, their faces and jaws are still developing and growing. Pediatric dentists are trained to monitor changes in growth and development throughout their teenage years.
Many teenagers have challenges with their dental health, such as diets with high carbohydrates and sugars, sports injuries and the presence of orthodontic appliances. They need help in developing the ability to make healthy nutritional choices, how to handle their dental needs independently, and future decision making when parents are no longer around. By the age of 18, teens have usually stopped growing, undergone orthodontic treatment, had wisdom molars managed and are capable of taking care of oral health responsibly.
So, should your teen still visit a pediatric dentist? Well, the choice is between you and your child. But a piece of advice, it can be helpful to book an appointment with your pediatric dentist to enquire about any concerns about your teen’s oral health.