As any parent will tell you, raising a teen is not for the faint-hearted. Their lives are busier than ever, the prospect of life after high school is becoming a reality with each passing second, and often, it’s easy for their dental care to go completely out the window. At Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we’re here to give you and your teen one less thing to stress about. With regular checkups and various restorative services, whatever is coming up next for your teen, we’ll ensure their smile is ready for it!
Dentistry for Teens – South Loop • Chicago, IL
Dental Care without the Drama
Why Choose Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics for Teen Dentistry?
- Dr. Justin: Board-certified pediatric dentist
- Kind, friendly, & highly-skilled team
- Accept PPO dental insurance plans
Dental Checkups & Teeth Cleanings
At this age, your teen’s routine appointments will start to more closely resemble your own. Dr. Justin will give them a thorough oral exam, looking at their teeth, gums, and jaw, and then they’ll receive a professional cleaning from one of our hygienists. If we spot any signs of dental decay or damage, we can go over your child’s treatment options so we can take care of it right away.
Even teens (and adults, too) can have difficulty adequately cleaning their back teeth because of their location, which is bad news because their wide and grooved surfaces make them very susceptible to developing cavities. Fortunately, dental sealants allow us to literally shield these teeth using a thin, clear layer of composite resin. We just apply the resin directly to the teeth, and it hardens into place, creating a barrier that plaque, food particles, and acids cannot penetrate.
Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Treatments
SDF is a liquid substance we can apply to your child’s teeth to stop the progression and spread of an active cavity. This treatment is different from traditional fluoride applications, as the silver acts as an antimicrobial agent that also strengthens the underlying layer of the teeth called dentin, and the fluoride puts a stop to tooth decay and prevents any more from developing. This is a quick and painless treatment that helps us protect the teeth while also preserving as much of the enamel as possible.
At-Home Hygiene Products
Rather than randomly picking a toothpaste or toothbrush for your teen, just ask our hygiene team which oral healthcare products would be best for their particular smile. We’ll be more than happy to give you a recommendation! We can actually provide you with many of the products ourselves, including prescription strength toothpaste and mouthwashes that you won’t be able to buy on your own.
Does your child frequently wake up with a headache or sore jaw? Do their teeth appear to be worn down? If so, they might be grinding them while they sleep, and we can make sure they don’t damage their smile by having them wear a nightguard to bed.
Or, if you have a rising sports star at home, we can keep their teeth protected on the field, mat, or court with a custom-made sportsguard. Smaller, sturdier, and more comfortable than generic guards you’ll find at the store, this will give you one less thing to worry about every time your teen goes out to play.
Should your teen develop a cavity, know that it’s not the end of the world, and we can actually fix it in just one appointment using a tooth-colored filling. Instead of gray metallic material, our fillings are made of a composite resin we can shade to completely blend into your child’s smile, ensuring that the restoration itself is practically invisible. And, because they’re 100% metal-free, your teen won’t experience any increased temperature sensitivity as well.
While our number one goal is to help all of our patients keep their natural teeth for life, in cases of severe dental damage or decay, sometimes an extraction is the only viable option. If we’re removing a baby tooth, we’ll make sure the incoming adult tooth has plenty of room to erupt correctly. Or, if a permanent tooth has to be removed (which we will only do as a last resort), we can help your teen replace it as quickly as possible to minimize any time spent with an incomplete smile.
Frenuloplasties & Frenectomies
Everyone’s mouth has three small bands of tissue called frenulums. There is one for each lip that connects it to the gums, and another is between the tongue and floor of the mouth. If a frenulum is too short or thick, it can actually hamper oral function and make it very difficult for a teen to speak, eat, or even breathe properly. Thankfully, we can fix this problem right in our dental office using a short, painless procedure that involves a soft tissue laser. If needed, we can connect you with local speech and language therapists as well to help your child regain their normal oral function.
Orthodontics for Teens
Instead of having to tirelessly coordinate care with a separate practice when your teen is ready for braces, our dental office has already brought the specialist to your family instead! Dr. Dale and Dr. Amy, our in-house orthodontists, look forward to guiding your son or daughter through the treatment process smoothly so that they can achieve a straighter, healthier, and more confident smile on the other side. If they’re nervous about wearing metal brackets and wires, clear aligners are also available as a much subtler and more image-friendly alternative to the traditional model.