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Pediatric Dentist Encino Expert

Pediatric dentist Encino CA

Pediatric dentists are to dentistry what pediatricians are to internal medicine. This is an important fact to remember when deciding which dentist to take your child to. Pediatric dentists are trained to look for and treat problems that are unique to children and adolescents.

The primary focus of a pediatric dentist is to promote the dental health of children and to be an educational resource for parents. Most pediatric dentists recommend that a child be seen by the time a child is one year old. This type of early oral exam helps to aid in the early detection of tooth decay and other problems that can be corrected if found early on.

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Prevention is the core when treating children. Once early problems have been screened for and if necessary, a treatment plan is in place, a pediatric dentist will target prevention. This is done in several ways. Of course, regular appointments for cleanings and exams are necessary, but prevention goes beyond that. Counseling on proper brushing techniques, flossing, and good nutrition are talked about with kids and their parents. Dentists want the same thing as parents, for kids to have good, healthy, clean teeth. Keeping kids’ teeth clean and healthy throughout childhood is a team effort.

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A pediatric dentist and their staff are trained to work with kids. They are experienced and sensitive to both children and their parents. The pediatric team is used to dealing with fears and frustrations felt by children as well as parents who may feel nervous about procedures being done on their children. A pediatric dentist office is child-friendly, with a welcoming decor and toys to play with. These kinds of amenities go along way in making a child feel comfortable and parents feel at ease once they see their child calm and at play. Seeing other kids at a dental office, and watching how other kids calmly and happily go through their exams, also goes a long way toward putting children at ease.

Pediatric dentistry is an important facet of dentistry today. Forming childhood long relationships is important and helps with ongoing exams, cleanings, and treatment. A pediatric dentist understands how to introduce and provide dental services to children. He understands how to counsel children and adults regarding prevention. He understands how to be sensitive to nervous children or parents.

Dr. James is an experienced and kind pediatric dentist who does wonderful work for kids. Parents trust him and kids feel at ease around him. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist who understands how to treat children throughout their childhood, then you need to look no further. Dr.James is among the best.


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Turrittin received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Pediatric Dentistry from Boston University. She performed residencies at Franciscan Hospital for Children …

When should my child see a dentist? And other FAQs

kghyr8 July 22, 2014

A lot of parents have these questions, so I’m going to lay it all out. If you have any other questions about your little one’s teeth or pediatric dentistry in general, drop them in here and I’ll reply. These answers are based on recommendations set by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Other countries may have different guidelines.

**Q: When should my child see a dentist?**

A: By age 1 or within 6 mo of the eruption of the first tooth. Whichever is earlier.
Reason: Prevention. Previously it was recommended that children visit a dentist by age 3. The problem is, by age 3 many children already have cavities. Prevention has to start earlier by assessing the child’s risk and educating parents on how to take care of the baby teeth. If your child has teeth, it’s time.

**Q: What will the dentist do at my child’s first visit?**

A: Generally an exam and cleaning with a toothbrush. Mostly this appt is about talking with the parent, assessing the child’s caries risk, and talking all about how/when to brush and how the diet with affect the teeth. Then the dentist will decide when to see them again. For most kids, that will be about every 6 mo. For kids with high risk or existing decay, it could be more like every 3 mo.

**Q: Baby teeth are just going to fall out. Why bother fixing them?**

A: Thats true! They will fall out. But here is the thing: many of those baby teeth are in the mouth until around the 12th year. Cavities are infections. They are caused by bacteria just like the infections anywhere else in your body. Could you imagine having an infection any where else on your body and just choosing to leave it untreated for years? Children with severe cavities have pain that prevents them from eating well, focusing in school, sleeping well at night, etc. Those cavities can progress into infections that abscess and can spread to other areas of the face, neck, brain, etc. Children have died from dental infections. Secondly, baby teeth are the placeholders for the permanent teeth. Lose them early, and you could be looking at delayed eruption of permanent teeth and migration of teeth. This means permanent teeth have a higher chance of coming in in the wrong place, and more $$ down the road in orthodontic treatment.
Third (and I’ll stop here), when there is decay in the mouth, the bacteria are present in high numbers. As the permanent teeth erupt, they are bombarded by bacteria, and quickly become decayed. Treating cavities in baby teeth will lower the risk of getting cavities in permanent teeth. In fact, the #1 risk factor for cavities is previous decay.

**Q: My child’s teeth have spots on them that look [like this](http://www.dentalcrest.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/DentalCaries3_HR_5211.0-1038×583.jpg). What is it?**

A: Those are cavities. Go see you dentist soon.

**Q: My child has bad/soft teeth. Is it genetic?**

A: There ARE some genetic factors/conditions that can effect the teeth, however, they are rare. In most cases, the decay on a child’s teeth is a product of the child’s diet and habits. I often hear “My kid won’t drink water, she just gets the juice out of the fridge herself!” To put it bluntly, the child is not doing the shopping, and they will not starve themselves. Provide healthy options.

**Q: Can I take my child to my dentist, or do they need to go to someone else?**

A: Any dentist can see children. Call your dentist and ask them if they would be willing to see your child. The important thing is that you go to someone that you are comfortable with and that the dentist is comfortable treating children. Your dentist may decide to see/treat the child themselves, or they may decide to refer you to a Pediatric Dental Specialist. It is really provider preference. With that said, there are dentist that pursue specialized training in pediatric dentistry (2 years). Generally these providers are more comfortable treating children and have more treatment options available to them (such as sedation and hospital dentistry). If you want to find one, just google for Pediatric Dentists in your area.
**Note to providers**: If you are not willing to see children in your office, please refer to someone who will. I can’t count the number of times parents have said “I called 4 different places and no one was willing to see my 2 year old.” Generally after being turned down a couple times, the parents give up trying to find a provider for their children.

**Do/Dont’s of Infant Oral Health


– wipe your baby’s mouth after feedings

– brush 2 min 2x daily with toothpaste. A smear for children under 2, a pea size for children up to 5.
[See image.](http://www.oakharborkidsdds.com/wp-content/uploads/smear-vs-pea.jpg)

– Help your kids brush until they can tie their shoes.

– Take your child for an exam and have cavities treated if they are present.

– Call your child’s dentist immediately if they have an accident that injuries their mouth/teeth.


– Put children to bed with a bottle/cup of Juice, Milk, Mountain Dew, ANYTHING.

– Let your child snack all day long or carry a sippy cup full of juice/soda/etc.

– Share food, cups, utensils between siblings/parents or chew your child’s food. The bacteria in your mouth will transfer to your child’s mouth.