The teen years are a crucial time in a person’s development. During our teen years, we acquire many of the views that we carry with us throughout our lives, even though they may later take on greater depth and complexity. Perhaps most importantly, our attitudes toward our bodies and our health take their fundamental shape during our teen years. This includes our attitudes toward our oral health. At PQ Family Dentistry, the family dentistry practice of Drs. Tim Belnap and W. Brandon Jergensen in Rancho Peñasquitos, CA, we look at the teen years as an ideal time to acquaint patients with the importance of caring for their teeth and gums and establishing good oral habits that will last for a lifetime.
Teenage patients have special needs that distinguish them from both pediatric patients and adult patients. The PQ Family Dentistry team is specially trained and equipped to meet these special needs and put teen patients at ease, making them feel respected without ever condescending to them. Drs. Belnap and Jergensen understand how to build bridges of trust with our teen patients, establishing relationships that will extend into their adult years.
If you are the parent of a teen and you are looking for a dentist who will provide outstanding care for your family, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Belnap or Dr. Jergensen at PQ Family Dentistry today.
What Are the Special Needs of Teen Dental Patients?
Teenagers are unique among all age groups. They are just a few years removed from having their primary teeth, yet they are progressing rapidly toward adulthood. In many ways, they feel like adults, and want to be treated as adults, yet they live with their parents, are enrolled in middle school or high school, and are legally considered minors. Most teens have the intellectual capacity to understand the honest consequences of poor choices; however, many don’t actually realize that these consequences could apply to them sooner rather than later. Many teenagers believe that poor oral health choices they make now may affect them when they are middle aged or older - a time that seems inconceivably far off. However, when they learn that tooth loss and gum disease could potentially affect their appearance by the time they reach college or even sooner, many teen patients snap to attention immediately.
Ultimately, the best way to reach our teen patients is to speak to them plainly, honestly, and respectfully, which we do. We do not try to make dentistry “cool.” We do provide them with simple facts and relate oral health to practical events in their lives. Most teens may not be terribly interested in the science behind oral health, but there are few teens that don’t care about their smiles. Once we make oral health a practical concern, our teen patients are generally responsive.
Learn More about Dental Care for Teens
If you would like to learn more about dental care for teens, please contact PQ Family Dentistry today.