My daughter is 16 and still goes to her pediatric dentist. I think that’s too old, but she likes her dentist. What is the right age to switch to a different dentist?
Truth be told, every young person is different as to when they want to transition from a pediatric dentist to an adult dentist. Every pediatric practice has there own policy as well at which age they no longer will treat patients.
In your place, the first thing I’d do is ask her pediatric dentist what the age limit is in his or her practice. If it’s 16, then you have a good excuse to tell your daughter it’s time to switch. However, if she’s reluctant, she may be better served if you switch her to an adult practice which also treats children. They’re more likely to have the gentle, patient manner she’s comfortable with.
If the practice says 18, then you have two choices. You can just let her stay until she’s ready or sit her down and talk to her about the need for an adult dentist.
Difference Between Pediatric and General Dentists
Aside from pediatric dentists having two additional years of specialized training in children’s care, there are other differences. Because pediatric dentists spend their time treating children, they don’t get a lot of practice with us old geezers.
Adults (and your daughter is almost one herself) have different dental needs. If an issue were to come up that her pediatric dentist wasn’t as used to treating, she could end up seeing an emergency dentist who she’s completely unfamiliar with.
There is time, though, so no need to rush her. But, if you’re concerned you can start talking to her and preparing her. Believe me when I say, they grow up so fast as it is that I wouldn’t be too concerned about her wanting to stay with her current dentist right now.
There are so many changes in a teenagers life that are frightening. This might be one area you can just let her still be a kid for a bit.
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