The teenage years are a crossroads when it comes to forming opinions about health care, and dental care in particular. Many teenagers do not yet have a fully formed sense of what consequences are because they haven’t yet suffered that many. Therefore, even though the American Dental Association advises them to go to their local dentistry practice at least twice a year for professional cleanings and thorough oral exams, they might not see the point in it. My teeth are fine, they might think. Why should I go to the dentist when my teeth are fine?
Of course, as a parent, you know that you have a small window of time during which you can take your children to visit the dentist whether they like it or not. The quality of that dental experience, however, will determine the relationship your teen has with dentistry for the rest of his or her life. At Van Zyl Center for Advanced Dentistry, we do not strive to make dentistry artificially “cool” for our teen patients. To do so would only have the opposite effect.
Instead, we place the emphasis on providing exceptional dental care for teens at our Memphis, TN family dentistry practice, shooting straight with them and treating them with the same respect, courtesy, and honesty with which we treat our adult patients. At the same time, we recognize that they are not adults and that they do have special needs, which we cater to without ever being condescending or patronizing. As a result, we instill good oral health habits in them that will last a lifetime.
Partnering with Your Teen to Provide Outstanding Oral Health Care
In providing your teen with dental care, we recognize that our role is not only to act as dental professionals, but also as dental instructors. Teens generally do not respond well to preaching (“brush and floss twice a day because it is the right thing to do!”) or the sort of lectures that they receive every day in their classrooms, so we boil things down to practical facts. What many teens do not fully realize, even if they “know” these things on an intellectual level, is that:
- They are now in possession of their permanent adult teeth - the very same teeth that they will have when they are 30, 40, 50, 60, and beyond.
- These teeth will not grow back if they are damaged or lost.
- The cavities they suffered in their pre-adult teeth will now cause permanent damage - there will be no do-overs.
- The choices they make today will influence their dental health for the rest of their lives. This includes good choices as well as bad.
- By taking good care of their teeth now, they never need to know what it is like to experience tooth pain, tooth loss, or extensive (and expensive) restorative dentistry procedures.
By communicating with teens in this practical, straightforward manner, while providing them with the preventive and proactive dental services they need to ensure good oral health, we help to establish the positive attitudes toward dentistry that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Learn more about Dental Care for Teens
To learn more about dental care for teens, please contact the Van Zyl Center for Advanced Dentistry today.