I have 17 yr old twins who still see their pediatric dentist. I’ve tried to encourage them to start going to my family dentist but they don’t want to do it. I’ve spoken with their pediatric dentist about it too but she doesn’t seem to see the need for them to change. I am concerned about the wisdom teeth stage and any other adult oral health problems that might come up and the pediatric dentist isn’t trained to handle them. Then the girls will have to switch to my dentist and there will be no transition time. Does this make sense? I’m trying to be reasonable about this, but at the same time just need to know if there are some factors I haven’t considered. Do we need to switch the girls to my family dentist? Miriam
Miriam – There are no age rules for when your teenagers have to switch from a pediatric dentist to a family dentist. Many family dentists see children from their early years through adulthood. As children mature, a pediatric dentist’s office environment and young patient base often make them want to progress to a new dentist. But if your children are still comfortable there, it’s not necessary for them to move on just yet.
Generally after age 18, a pediatric dentist will refer children to a general dentist. Some offices allow them to stay longer. Although it’s not the case with your children, some pediatric dentists even retain certain special needs patients.
Over the next year or two, on occasion, you can speak with your children about their transition to your family dentist. Ask them to come with you to a dental appointment so they can see the office and meet the staff. When the time is right, their pediatric dentist can also explain why it’s time to switch.
If your teenagers aren’t experiencing any major dental issues, it’s best to let the switch happen naturally. They will gradually become more comfortable with the idea of going to your family dentist.
This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.