12-18 years of age
By 12-13 years of age, all of your child’s baby teeth are usually gone, and all of the permanent (adult) teeth have arrived except for the third molars (wisdom teeth), which most often arrive by age 21. As teens grow more independent and have further control of their diet and habits, it is common to see an increase in cavities. Soda, candy and lack of consistent or effective brushing and flossing are typically the culprits. Also during this time, self–awareness becomes more prominent, and your teen may notice if they have discolored or crooked teeth. Talk with our team regarding options for braces and whitening.
Additionally, we take a panoramic X-ray (radiograph) of your child’s jaws to check the development of third molars (wisdom teeth), and, when indicated, will refer your child to an oral surgeon for removal. Be sure to let our office know if your child is experiencing pain from their wisdom teeth.
Unfortunately, substance abuse may also begin during these ages (90% of adult smokers began smoking before age 19). It is important to monitor your child for signs of tobacco or alcohol use. Finally, eating disorders are also common and can damage the teeth…in addition to causing many other serious issues. Please talk with our office regarding assistance with any of these common issues of adolescence.
If you are happy with the alignment and spacing of your teeth, a tooth whitening procedure may be all that separates you from a dazzling smile.