In our previous post, we discussed the importance of helping your child care for their teeth through the baby and toddler years. That process begins with the parent’s responsibility over the situation, but as children age, parents give up a lot of that responsibility, and the children take over.
That’s what we are talking about today. Once your child reaches school, things begin to shift. You are still the parent, and you are still in charge, but your child is capable of doing more and more things on their own. Your role changes from doing it all yourself to simply checking to be sure it is done.
Let’s get started by talking about school-age children. These are some of our favorite patients here at our Plano, TX family dentist office!
Starting school is a significant experience for kids. For many, it is the first time they are experiencing something so significant without Mom or Dad there to help them navigate. As they become more independent, you will see shifts in the approach to oral health care as well!
The Transition – The change from baby teeth to adult teeth is hugely significant for your child. This shift will give us information about the likelihood that orthodontics will be needed. It is important that we see your child regularly so that we can monitor this transition and ensure that everything is going as it should.
Giving Up Responsibility – School-age children are capable and should be expected to take over their oral health. They should be brushing and flossing without the need for supervision. When they come to the dentist, we will talk to them about their habits. It is a shift of responsibility that most parents encourage.
Watching for Bad Habits – School age children don’t always make the best decisions for their teeth. They might begin bad habits like chewing on pencils, chewing ice, eating lots of candy, and more. Keep your eye out for these bad habits and try to stop them before damage is done.
Teenagers are quickly turning into young adults who are trying to make their own decisions. While they are not ready to be left completely on their own, teenagers are experiencing dental care from a new perspective. They will become more empowered and will want to begin making more decisions.
Orthodontics – This is often the time when kids turn to orthodontics to correct misalignments in their smiles. We can help you find a great orthodontist if Invisalign is not a good solution for your child.
Cosmetic Work – Older teens sometimes request cosmetic work. The final say always go through the parents, but don’t be surprised if your teen becomes interested in teeth whitening or veneers to cover childhood damage.
Making Adult Decisions – We encourage the teens in our practice to begin making adult decisions. Often that just means speaking with their parents about how to proceed. Sometimes it means talking with them about bad habits, like tobacco use or oral piercings.
Our Last Words
We’ve given you a lot to think about over the past two blogs, but we do have a few last words for you to consider. After all, you are the parent, and you make the decisions about how things will happen in your household. We simply have one piece of advice:
Know Your Kid
Whether we are talking about a toddler who is beginning their journey with our office or a young adult who is ready to step into adulthood, know your kid. You will be the one who knows how to approach great oral health care with your kid. With you on their side, your kids will experience great success!
Contact Our Office Today!
Is it time for your family to come back to the dentist office? Contact us today to set up appointments for your entire crew. We can’t wait to see you all very soon, so don’t hesitate to call!