How to Help Your Teen Get Through Significant Dental Procedures

Adolescents have it rough, as well know all too well. Even if you’re not a parent to an adolescent, you’re probably dreading the day that puberty hits your kids and turns them into hormonally charged impulsive young people. From New York City to Hong Kong—no one gets a break when going through the teen years.

If you’re a parent to a teen, and that young person has a dental procedure coming up, you might be nervous about the aftermath. Dental implants or other major dental treatment plans can be hard to recover from, and young adults are notoriously nervous about their looks and moody about pretty much everything. You love your teen, and you want to support them, but how can you do so?

The good news is that there are some concrete actions that you can take to make a trip to the dentist for an implant or a similar treatment easier on the adolescent you love. Let’s dive into some of the ways in which you can be there for the young adults in your life as they navigate life with new teeth.

Opt for a faster implant process.

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The first step to take is to find a dentist who can treat their dental needs quickly. Drawing out the process of replacing missing teeth only makes things harder and more frustrating for everyone involved. By going for a teeth in a day procedure, you make things faster and can move on to the healing process more quickly.

Dentists and oral surgeons who specialize in a one-day procedure can describe how the process of restoring missing teeth through an implant treatment and matching the teen’s natural teeth will go—they’ll walk you through the entire procedure. Make sure to take the time to discuss all the ins and outs of the dental implant procedure ahead of time so that your teen has confidence in the process and mitigates potential fears.

Look for therapists who specialize in working with adolescents

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Even when you’ve walked through the details of the surgical procedure, it’s very natural for anyone to remain apprehensive about an implant. They may be looking forward to a new smile, or they may be scared that their new teeth won’t look right. They may be self-conscious about the missing teeth they’ve been contending with. This is why you need to find a therapist to provide extra support.

Caring for mental health is a part of the healing process as well, and finding psychologists with the right expertise can be as easy as a Google search for “New York therapy for teens” if you’re in New York, for example. Whether it’s group therapy or one-on-one CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), finding a therapist for your teen will go a long way towards supporting them during this complicated time.

Get some fun soft foods for them to eat throughout the healing process

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No one likes eating mushy porridge while waiting for their new set of teeth to heal. Try and make the healing process more fun by getting some fun foods while they adhere to a soft diet. Squeeze packets of baby food, ice-pops, and other fun foods can make the next steps much more fun to navigate. Plus, your teen will appreciate that you took the time to find foods they’ll enjoy.

Communicate their needs to family members and friends

The best way to maintain healthy boundaries with extended family members during this time of healing is to be very clear about needs and expectations. Your teen has enough to think about, what with having just undergone an implant procedure, so take the time to speak to your extended family about needs.

If they need to miss Sunday dinner with Grandma for a few weeks, make sure that this is clear ahead of time. If they won’t make it to a cousin’s wedding because they’ll be at home healing, be sure to let that cousin know. Make sure all your teen has to think of is making it through a single day at a time and enjoying their new, beautiful smile.