Everyone keeps pressuring me to transition my son to a general dentist now that’s he’s turned 16. Do I have to? We really like our pediatric dentist and our son is comfortable there.
I’m assuming by everyone, you’re not including your pediatric dentist. Most pediatric dentists will allow patients to stay through 18 years of age. Sometimes they can stay longer while they’re searching for a new “grown-up” dentist.
If your son is comfortable there, and your dentist is cool with it, I see no reason why your son can’t stay. We want patients to have positive experiences with the dentist. If his current one has made him comfortable and he enjoys getting his check-ups, removing him prematurely could do more harm than good.
If you’re already situated in a general care office and are happy there, it might not be a bad idea to start introducing your son to your caregiver. He can go with you to an appointment and meet everyone, observing the differences to where he currently goes. When he’s ready, he can transition.
It’s better to do this before it’s time to move on. Adults have different oral care needs than children. If it turns out he has an issue which comes up requiring advanced care, you want him familiar with your caregiver. The last thing you want to happen is for it to turn into a dental emergency.
If you don’t currently have your own dentist, there are general dentists who also enjoy working with children. You could try some of those offices to see if you think it would be a good fit for both you and your son.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Raymond Bolt.