Teens (13-17)

Your dentist is your biggest ally when it comes to good oral health. Regular dental visits keep your gums and teeth strong and give your dentist a chance to learn about your overall health.

In the early teens, wisdom teeth usually come in – completing the set of permanent teeth. It is important to continue regular dental check-ups throughout the teen years to ensure good oral health well into adulthood. As a parent or legal guardian, you play an important role by setting good oral health habits and making sure your teen gets regular dental check-ups. The Medi‑Cal Dental Program provides the following free or low-cost services for teens:

  • Dental exams (every 6 months)
  • X-rays
  • Fluoride varnish (every 6 months)
  • Molar sealants
  • Teeth cleaning (every 6 months)
  • Orthodontics (braces) for those who qualify
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Root canals
  • Partial and full dentures
  • Scaling and root planing
  • Tooth removal
  • Emergency services
  • Outpatient services
  • Sedation (if medically necessary)

During this time, the dentist may recommend new services like deeper cleanings or braces. To help keep your teen’s teeth both clean and strong, encourage healthy routines. The sugar in foods, like fast food and soda, can cause cavities and erode tooth enamel. Keeping a travel‑size toothbrush in a locker or backpack to brush after meals can also help reduce the risk of cavities and keep teeth bright (a boost to any teen’s self-esteem).

smiling teenager