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How Long Should People Go to a Pediatric Dentist?

Posted in Pediatric

When most people think of pediatric dentistry, they imagine a dentist who specializes in seeing little children. In reality, this image is only partially true. The reality is that a pediatric dentist in Sioux Falls will treat young people until they are completely finished growing. Growth typically isn’t completed until around the age of 18, and in some people, it may continue for a couple of years after that.

By going to a pediatric dentist even into the teen years, patients can be sure that any problems that arise during this time are spotted before they become major. At this time, such problems can take the form of wisdom teeth that don’t erupt properly, misalignment of one or more teeth during the final stages of jaw growth, and more. Dentists who focus on children and teens know to look out for these things because the jaw and the rest of the head are still expanding. A dentist who focuses on adults, on the other hand, will be used to seeing a fairly static bone presentation and might miss the significance of some of the unfolding events.

Most people first see a pediatric dentist long before they have to worry about wisdom teeth, but this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing unique about younger children’s mouths. The eruption of the permanent teeth, for example, should be closely monitored to make sure everything is progressing smoothly. If one or more teeth grow in crooked, corrective steps should be taken right away to prevent problems that’ll persist into adulthood.

Pre-school children are often thought of as having carefree mouths, but this usually isn’t at all the case. They can still get cavities, develop improper brushing habits, or even have alignment problems with their initial set of teeth. At this age, most patients will need to focus on learning how to brush right. The pediatric dentist will monitor their success and provide pointers for improvement. For many children, this monitoring will continue into grade school. Any other problems that are spotted, such as cavities, will also need to be taken care of for continued oral health.

As this shows, there are many good reasons to see a pediatric dentist until all growth has truly stopped. Therefore, it’s possible to see people in their late teens in the same office as those who are only 1 year old. This helps to ensure that everyone who is still growing will get the specialized care they need.

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