Life can become more complicated once your children reach their teenage years. Suddenly, there’s a lot of pressure from every angle – they’ve got to keep up with good grades, maintain friendships and relationships, and even start thinking about college. Rest assured, though, that they still have a place here at Bright Pediatric Smiles. Dr. Sam works with older children all the way up to 18 years old so that they embark into young adulthood with the strongest, healthiest smile possible. If you have any questions or are ready to start planning an appointment here in Poway, contact us today.


It’s important that teenagers attend at least two professional dental checkups and cleanings in a calendar year, or one session every six months. Our team will use this time to comprehensively evaluate their oral health, including the surface of each tooth, the gum tissue, the jawbone, any existing restorations, and much more. We want to catch any issues right away so that they can be cared for quickly and conservatively! Additionally, a dedicated professional cleaning will clear away accumulations of harmful plaque and tartar and leave their smile feeling refreshed.


The back teeth (also known as premolars and molars) contain deep pits and grooves in the chewing surfaces, which are prime targets for food particles to get trapped in and cause decay over time. What’s worse is that these teeth are in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth and may not get the diligent brushing and flossing attention they need to stay clean from your teen. Thankfully, sealants are available as an easy and effective preventive measure. They’re made of a tough, plastic-based substance that can be directly applied to the chewing surfaces. Once hardened, they’ll block out decay-causing bacteria and reduce the risk of cavities.


In a busy teen’s life, being able to grab a bottle of water on their way out the door may seem like a valuable timesaver – but they’re actually missing out on fluoride! This mineral appears in most tap water supplies, and it actually helps tooth enamel become stronger and more capable of re-mineralizing in the face of tooth decay, potentially reducing the risk of cavities. If your son or daughter isn’t receiving any fluoride exposure throughout everyday life, Dr. Sam can provide quick, topical applications during their routine checkups and cleanings.


While it’s very important for your busy teenager to attend regular checkups and cleanings with a trusted pediatric dentist like Dr. Sam, maintaining a strong oral hygiene routine at home is equally crucial. Of course, there’s a dizzying array of mouthwashes, toothpastes, and other products on the pharmacy shelves – how can parents tell what’s best for their family? Feel free to ask our Poway team; we’d love to offer some recommendations that are specifically based on your child’s unique dental needs!


Sometimes, even the smallest smile imperfections can send your son or daughter running for cover when a relative pulls out their camera. If they’ve got a pesky chip in the enamel, gap between teeth, or other minor dental annoyance, talk to Dr. Sam about the possibility of direct bonding. This service involves the application of tooth-colored composite resin; Dr. Sam will carefully sculpt it into an artistic, subtle shape that blends right in well with their teeth and hides the issue safely from view at last. In most cases, direct bonding only takes one appointment, which means your teen can walk out of the dental office that same day with newfound confidence!


While Dr. Sam would love to help all of her patients reach their young adult years without any spots of decay to worry about, that doesn’t always happen. Thankfully, tooth-colored fillings can help repair the damage caused by cavities in a conservative and seamless fashion – which is perfect for image-conscious teenagers! The composite resin is carefully shaded to match their natural enamel and then sculpted into place to rebuild the affected tooth.


Dr. Sam and the rest of the Bright Pediatric Smiles team will always do everything possible to help teenagers avoid the need for tooth extraction. However, sometimes it’s the right choice to keep their smiles healthy and safe. For instance, we may recommend this service if:

  • Orthodontic treatment is necessary but there isn’t enough available room in the mouth to accommodate tooth movement
  • Advanced tooth decay is present and can’t be successfully treated with a crown or filling
  • A traumatic dental fracture or similar physical injury has occurred

Is your son or daughter nervous or uneasy about their upcoming appointment? Tell them not to worry – sedation dentistry is available to create a calm, relaxed environment. Their comfort is our top priority!