Adolescence is a transitionary period where kids leave childhood and become adults. This is a time when kids hit puberty, have raging hormones, and grow increasingly independent from their families. Understandably, this can be a frustrating period for parents who want to protect their kids and help them grow into good adults.
As your child enters adolescence, their dental needs will change. Follow this guide to prepare your kids for the coming years and ensure they have a great smile.
Start planning for braces.
As your kids start losing the rest of their baby teeth, you can get an idea of the orthodontic care they will need. Overlapping teeth, gaps, and overbites can hurt a smile and can cause physical dental pain in adulthood.
Start budgeting for braces as soon as your child starts losing their teeth. Research affordable braces so your child can get the care their need. When you meet with your orthodontist, ask if your child is a candidate for clear aligners like Invisalign. These are less invasive than traditional metal braces and they can be removed to eat or to attend special events.
By meeting with an orthodontist early on, your child can develop straight teeth that help them through adulthood.
Find a dentist close to your child’s school.
As kids get older, their schedules get packed. Not only is the school day busy, but kids also have after-school sports, clubs, activities, and studying. It’s not uncommon for dentist appointments to get pushed back because of a busy sports season or school play.
Look for an orthodontist and dentist who operate near the school. This way you can schedule appointments that are easy to get to and don’t require too much travel time. For example, Great Smiles AZ is centrally located in Surprise, Arizona, to help nearby families who need their care.
The closer your dentist is, the easier it will be to keep up with routine cleanings and care. You may want to look for a dentist near the local high school so you can stay with the same dental expert until your child graduates.
Make sure you have dental insurance.
Adolescents do a lot of damage to their teeth. Once they start earning their own money, they can buy food at the school and pick up snacks on the way home. Most kids will turn to soda, sugary coffee drinks, and other sweet treats that can cause cavities.
If you don’t have dental insurance, consider adding it to your health care plan. You can also see if your dental office has an internal insurance plan that offers discounts on treatment.
By planning for cavities now, you won’t have to pay as much out of pocket when the soft drinks and candy bars bite back.
Know which habits you can trust.
When kids are young, you can watch them brush their teeth to make sure they do it properly. However, this gets harder when you have preteens and teens. As your kids get older, learn which habits you can trust and which ones you need to enforce.
For example, you may need to watch to make sure your kids brush for long enough or that they floss after brushing.
As your kids get older, this basic hygiene will become normal to them. Like showering frequently and using deodorant, they will understand the brushing and flossing their teeth is important to stay clean. Sometimes these habits just take a little extra time to learn.
By planning for adolescent dental care now, you can teach your child to practice healthy habits when they get older. They will keep up dental appointments through college and can protect the perfect smile the orthodontic care was able to create.