At What Age Do You Stop Visiting a Pediatric Dentist?

Just like adults, children need regular visits to the dentist for preventative care to ensure their smiles grow happy and healthy.

But as your child gets older, you might wonder if it still makes sense to take them to a pediatric dentist. When is it time to switch them to your general dentist? 

This short article from Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry explores this topic more in-depth:

What Do Pediatric Dentists Do Compared to General Dentists? 

Both pediatric and general dentists are trained pretty much to use the same methods and tools to restore a patient’s oral health.

The biggest difference is that pediatric dentists receive additional training in order to meet the specific needs of children. This training involves not only handling the tooth development process but also learning how to deal with such young patients successfully.

So, for instance, could a general dentist and a pediatric dentist treat a cavity in a baby tooth successfully? Of course! 

However, a pediatric dentist may be better at spotting issues with the child’s tooth development and establishing a plan to allow their teeth to grow properly. 

Moreover, pediatric dentists are better equipped to treat children with special needs, who often require a different approach in order to get their oral health checked. 

When Should You Stop Taking Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentists typically see patients until they are 18 years old, which is when they can start going to a general dentist.

It can seem strange to take your teen to such a colorful and kid-friendly place as a pediatric dental practice, but even at this age, their teeth are still developing. Their pediatric dentist can help provide oral hygiene and even nutrition tips to maintain their smiles. 

Plus, if the pediatric dentist has treated your teen since they were young, you also have the added benefit of them being fully familiar with your child’s oral health history.

Should I Transition My Teen to a General Dentist?

If your teen doesn’t feel comfortable going to a pediatric dentist anymore, you can talk to them about going to a general dentist instead. They may feel strange going to their usual place now that they’re older.

Comfort is an important part of dental care, and note that the reverse can be true as well. If your teen bonded with and trusts their pediatric dentist, you might want to avoid transitioning them just yet, even if they’re already 18 or close to it.

The bond ensures better communication between them and their dentist.

How Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry Can Help 

Dr. Angie Sage is a board-certified pediatric dentist in San Antonio who can help your child develop a beautiful smile from when they’re an infant and well into their teen years!

Schedule an appointment at Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry online or call us at (210) 822-8381 to find out more.

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