School is in swing and your teen has a full plate with homework, friends, and perhaps a part-time job or first love. They’re likely implementing privacy barriers (i.e., closed bedroom doors and secret text messages) and trying to take charge of their own, separate lives.
This coming of age is a tough transition for parents and teens alike. You’re at a crossroads when you set up health appointments for your child and trust him or her to both attend the appointment and accurately relay medical information back to you. You want to give your child space and demonstrate your trust, but feel it’s your duty as a parent to ensure his or her health and well-being.
I know this is an important transition for families and like to partner with them to bridge the communication gap that frequently occurs during this time between parent, child, and provider.
I’d like to share with you helpful tips to transition your teens into taking charge of their own dental health.
– Remind your child to arrive 10-15 minutes early to check-in and complete any paperwork.
– Prior to the appointment, have them write down any dental concerns they would like to
discuss with the dentist.
– Equip them with their insurance card and co-payment monies as applicable.
– Schedule the appointment so a parent can attend if it pertains to major decisions such
as cosmetic dentistry, orthodontia alternatives, or dental repair work.
We welcome teens to come alone to their appointments and will work to make their experience a positive one through a timely appointment and a detailed explanation of their oral check-up. We’ll also provide them with post-appointment instructions on how to maintain their oral health care.
Additionally, our office staff will follow up with a phone call to parents to relay any pertinent information about their child’s visit. As a family-centered practice, we understand this time of transition and have the tools in place to make it a success for everyone involved! As always, we invite open discussion and ask you to call or stop in any time we can help your family with dental care questions or concerns.
Which dental health practices do you need help reinforcing with your teens? Flossing? Routine brushing? Which behaviors would you like us to help curb? Teeth grinding? Nail biting? Chewing on pen caps? We’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, be well!
Dr. Ushma Patel