There is a lot of conflicting information available for parents regarding dental care for their children. Some people think children don’t need to go to the dentist until they start school. Others say you should take your infant as soon as they start teething.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, you’re probably wondering, “What is the best age to start and to stop seeing the dentist?”
At least by the time you have your first teeth, you should see a dentist. At Children’s Dental FunZone, we recommend “First Birthday, First Visit.” Once started, checkups every six months give the dentist a chance to monitor the growth and health of your teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw. You should see a dentist for your entire life. Even elderly people with dentures still visit the dentist to check for gum disease and ensure their oral hygiene is in good shape.
How Young Can My Child Be to Visit a Pediatric Dentist?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should address oral care as soon as your baby gets their first tooth. You can take them to a dentist as early as 6 months if they’re teething, but many parents wait until their child turns one or two years old.
Some children feel scared or anxious before they first visit a dentist, so you might wonder, what is the age limit for pediatric dentists? To help them feel at ease, you’ll want to find a pediatric dentist. These dentists are specialized in pediatric oral care. Your child will visit them for a checkup every six months.
Your child’s pediatric dentist will help you both navigate losing teeth, new teeth coming in, and questions about the best oral hygiene. If your child needs braces, the pediatric dentist can refer you to a great orthodontist.
A pediatric dentist will see your child when they’re an infant, toddler, and elementary school student. They can continue caring for your child as they develop into a preteen and teen.
In addition to losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth, their face shape and jaws will also grow and change. A pediatric dentist who studies this information can help ensure everything’s happening normally.
Over the years, your child will develop a relationship with their pediatric dentist. This can make it difficult to start seeing an adult dentist. A pediatric dentist will continue to see your child until their last adult teeth come in. At Children’s Dental FunZone, our patients usually age-out after their 14th birthday. Most adolescents get all of their adult teeth between the ages of 12 and 14, but there’s no exact pediatric dentist ages limit for patients.
If you’re wondering when to have your kid stop dental visits, there’s nothing set in stone as far as a pediatric dentist age limit. They might feel ready for a change and choose to start seeing a regular dentist by the time they’re in their late teens.
Most people usually go to a regular dentist by the time their wisdom teeth grow between 17 and 25. These are the third molars to grow in your mouth, so some people experience discomfort when they grow in.
It’s possible to have impacted wisdom teeth that don’t grow properly. In that case, your teen might need to have them removed. Whether it’s still their pediatric dentist or a regular one, that’s something their dentist can help everyone decide.
Differences Between a Pediatric Dentist and Regular Dentist
A pediatric dentist has all of the education as a regular dentist, with some child-specific training. They typically spend two years studying pediatric and adolescent oral development and care. This specialization makes them ideal professionals for your children.
Pediatric dentists gear their offices towards children. Your child will feel more comfortable in this type of office. They’ll have things to do while they wait. The decor is usually bright and colorful, so children can engage with it and get distracted from their upcoming dental visit.
A pediatric dentist will not only make your child feel more comfortable in the exam chair but can also help you out. You can ask any questions about your children’s oral habits, loose teeth, the potential need for orthodontics, and more.
Regular dentists can treat children, but they don’t have the additional training in child development. They’re more experienced in caring for adults and the elderly. If your child is anxious or has special needs, a regular dentist might not have the ideal approach to handle their behavior.
Should Teens See a Pediatric Dentist?
No matter what, your child should feel comfortable with their dentist. Talk to the pediatric dentist if they’re a teenager but don’t feel quite ready to move on. They might have some tips on how your teen can maintain oral care while transitioning to the next stage.
Once your child starts seeing a regular dentist, they won’t have to transition again. While they might need a new dentist if they move away, they won’t need a specialist like a pediatric dentist. Regular dentists treat adults of all ages, so you can continue seeing them for the rest of your life.
When to Stop Seeing a Pediatric Dentist
One of the most critical aspects of transitioning to a regular dentist is making sure your child is okay with it. Teens might tell you that they’re ready because they don’t like the idea of seeing a pediatric dentist that treats children.
You can talk to your child about this transition by checking the status of their teeth, also. If they have all of their permanent teeth, it might be time to move on. It’s not a rule, but it might help your child realize they’re growing up and need to find the best care for their age.
Their pediatric dentist might talk to them about moving on. They can explain how another dentist can better care for their adult teeth. Discussions like this between you, your child, and your child’s dentist will make the transition happen smoothly. Children’s Dental FunZone has great relationships with many general dental offices near all our locations. Ask our staff and they’ll be glad to give you some suggestions.
Pediatric dentists have special training to treat children and adolescents. They’ve studied oral care to help when kids are losing baby teeth and growing adult teeth.
These dentists can see your child from the time they get their first tooth until they are teenagers or college students. Find a pediatric dentist near you to take the best care of your child’s teeth and discuss what age to stop seeing pediatric dentists.
Evelyn Lahiji, Children’s Dental FunZone Executive Director, joined the company in 2007 with her extensive knowledge of the dental field due to years of working in every position at multiple dental offices. Under her leadership, 12 additional offices opened and quickly became successful. Evelyn works hard to ensure all operations are running smoothly both in the offices and at home raising 2 energetic young boys.