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    Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos


    Call today for your appointment!

    955 Boardwalk, Suite #301
    San Marcos, California 92078

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    What Are Dental Sealants and How Do They Work?

    What Are Dental Sealants and How Do They Work?

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we believe in prevention as the first line of defense against tooth decay. We are pleased to offer a range of preventive services, including dental sealants, to keep your child’s teeth strong and cavity-free. We’re all about maintaining healthy, happy smiles for life!

    Dental Sealants – An Overview

    Your child’s back teeth, or molars, have grooves and pits on their chewing surfaces that trap food particles, plaque, and debris, providing harmful bacteria an ideal environment to flourish. Even the most meticulous brush and flossing cannot reach every nook and cranny, leaving your child’s smile at risk. Research shows that almost 70 percent of children develop cavities on their permanent molars before adulthood.

    Dental sealants have been used for nearly 50 years and the body of evidence supporting sealants is very strong. Our dental sealants are a thin, BPA-free coating that we place in the fissures of the chewing surfaces of a child’s molars, essentially sealing out bacteria, plaque, and food particles. The application is simple, quick, and painless. Dental sealants lower the risk of tooth decay and cavities by almost 80 percent.

    When Should Your Child Have Dental Sealants Placed?

    Dental sealants are typically recommended for children and teens as soon as their permanent molars come in, usually around age six for the first set and age 12 for the second. In some occasions we will recommend sealants in baby molars if we see signs that indicate your child is cavity prone. Placing sealants as soon as the permanent molars emerge provides protection right from the start, keeping your child’s teeth healthy and free of decay.

    Placing dental sealants on your child’s teeth is no substitute for maintaining proper oral hygiene practices. Encourage your child to brush and floss regularly and limit sugary and acidic food and drinks. It’s also important to keep up with your child’s twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings.

    What Is the Dental Sealants Procedure?

    We will start by carefully cleaning, rinsing, and drying your little one’s teeth, then place a special cleaning solution on the tooth surfaces to help the sealant material stick to the tooth. Next, we will place the liquid sealant material onto the grooves of your child’s teeth and use a special light to harden it. We also have sealants that can be placed with one step for younger children who may have a strong gag reflex. Once in place, dental sealants act like shields, protecting your child’s teeth and lowering the risk of tooth decay.

    How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

    Dental sealants can last for years deep in the grooves of the teeth where is it not visible to the naked eye. The lifespan of your child’s sealant will depend on factors, including oral hygiene, wear and tear, and lifestyle habits. When you bring your child in for regular dental check-ups, we will evaluate the sealants to rule out signs of damage or wear. Sealants are usually retouched every 3 years or so, but depending on your child’s situation we may recommend it sooner or not at all.

    Dental Sealants Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    Visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to learn more about protecting your child’s smile with dental sealants. Our team is committed to providing quality preventive services for long-term healthy smiles. We look forward to caring for your child’s dental needs. Call 760-978-8285 to schedule your child’s appointment, or complete our online appointment request form today!

    Are Digital Dental X-Rays Safe for My Child?

    Are digital x rays safe for my child

    Dental x-rays are an integral component of preventive and diagnostic dental care, visual examination only covers 60% of the tooth surfaces, the other 40% is contacting each other and evaluated by x-rays. Today’s modern digital dental x-rays are safer, more comfortable, and more precise than ever before, enhancing patient care. Visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to experience pediatric dental care at its best!

    Why Are Dental X-Rays Necessary?

    Digital dental x-rays help us detect tooth decay between teeth that we cannot see during routine examinations. The intricate images give us a clear picture of what is happening beneath your child’s teeth and gums, allowing for early prevention and treatment when needed. The vast majority of cavities are in between the teeth on children, which is why x-rays are considered a standard of care and mandatory at the proper intervals.

    Dental x-rays are recommended for children with minimal spaces between their back teeth. They are also helpful in monitoring growth and development and evaluating the oral health of children with extra or missing teeth. 

    With digital x-rays, we can detect cavities in between the teeth, plan orthodontic treatment, evaluate for abnormal growths, and evaluate the healing of a tooth after injury. We can also determine whether your child’s mouth has sufficient space to accommodate the incoming adult teeth. Digital x-rays provide a wealth of information not visible to the naked eye.

    Are Digital Dental X-Rays Safe?

    Yes! Newer Digital x-rays with our handheld system provide us images at the lowest possible exposure to your child. For instance, a regular set of x-rays at our office is equal to less than half of the background exposure you would have on an average day. At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we are committed to ensuring our young patients are safe in our care. We are proud to utilize the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle to minimize radiation exposure. 

    Our doctors have carefully evaluated and selected the newest digital dental x-ray technology, delivering quicker, safer, and more comfortable care. Our system produces 80 to 90 percent less radiation than traditional film x-rays and reduces x-ray scatter by 50 percent, making it safe enough for a dental assistant to capture images standing next to your child. This is a night and day difference from the x-rays that are taken in a medical office.

    What Are the Advantages of Digital Dental X-rays

    Digital dental x-rays offer numerous advantages compared to traditional x-rays. One of the main advantages is the speed at which images are captured. With digital x-rays, the images are available on a computer screen within seconds of being taken, allowing us to immediately review and diagnose any problems. The result? Less wait time and shorter dentist visits. 

    Digital dental x-rays produce images with incredible detail and clarity, making it easier to diagnose and create effective treatment plans. The images can be enlarged and show the finest details, allowing us to diagnose and treat conditions in their earliest stages. That helps prevent the need for costly and involved treatments down the road. 

    The most important advantage of a digital x-ray system is the ability to minimize x-ray exposure to your child. Again, our modern, up to date system was carefully selected to have the least x-ray exposure possible, and a regular set of x-rays is less than half of what you are exposed to on an average day.

    Quality Pediatric Dental Care Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    Visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to learn more about our digital dental x-ray technology and the safe, comfortable care we provide. We look forward to caring for your child’s smile. Call 760-978-8285 to schedule your child’s appointment, or complete our online appointment request form today!

    What Is Special Needs Dentistry?

    What is special needs dentistry

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we believe that all children deserve quality dental care. We are proud to that our doctors are some of the most highly trained in Special Needs Dentistry, and in fact, teach other dentists in the latest Special Needs dental care techniques at Rady Children’s Hospital. We are pleased to provide special needs dental services and are happy to make accommodations to ensure your child’s dental needs are met in a the most comfortable and happy environment possible.

    The Unique Oral Health Concerns of Children with Special Needs

    Children with special needs are often at a higher risk of dental disease due to genetic conditions that can cause malformed enamel, tooth eruption delays, and crowding, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health complications. Other factors that increase the risk of dental problems include developmental defects, teeth grinding and clenching, dry mouth, medications containing sugar, and physical challenges that interfere with proper brushing and flossing. Additionally, many patients with cardiac defects, or immunocompromised health are especially vulnerable to the risks from dental cavities or gum disease.

    Regardless of your child’s unique needs, our team strives to provide cutting-edge care for long-term healthy smiles. We value the unique qualities of each young smile we treat and strive to ensure every visit to our office is a happy, positive one.

    The Importance of Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings

    We understand that parents of children with special needs can have so many other appointments for medical and behavioral care, that dental care can be easily overlooked. Routine dental exams allow us to uncover potential oral health problems early on, preventing the need for extensive treatments involving sedation or surgery down the road. Moreover, regular cleanings help lower the risk of cavities and gum disease, safeguarding your child’s dental health. Our team will work with you to establish proper brushing and flossing techniques at home and recommend any needed accommodations to ensure your child’s smile stays bright and healthy between dental visits.

    Finding the Dental Provider for Your Child with Special Needs

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, Dr. Allen and Dr. Nadia are both board certified pediatric specialists, that undergone extensive training to manage and treat medically compromised children and children with special needs. Moreover, they both teach special needs dentistry at Rady Children’s Hospital and have trained numerous pediatric dentists in the most up to date, compassionate, dental care techniques to help to meet your child’s unique oral health needs.

    We are pleased to have our entire staff trained, and office oriented towards children with special needs, including children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, or children who use wheelchairs exclusively, so you and your child will be in good hands. Please let us know when booking your upcoming appointment if your child requires special accommodations for a safer, more comfortable, and more effective visit.

    Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos recognizes that children with special needs may be anxious about getting their needed dental care and may find it challenging to sit still during dental procedures. We also offer a range of sedation dentistry options, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or general anesthesia, if needed to help your child relax while receiving the highest level of care.

    Special Needs Dental Care Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    Visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to learn more about our special needs dental services. Our team is fully equipped and prepared to adapt to our young patients’ individual needs and will do everything we can to provide your child with exceptional care. We look forward to working alongside you to ensure your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy smiles. Call 760-978-8285 to schedule your child’s appointment or complete our online appointment request form today!

    When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Visit?

    Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos is excited to share your child’s first dental visit with you. We are committed to providing state-of-the-art preventive care to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. We can’t wait to meet you and your little one!

    Limited Time Offer: We are happy to offer free new baby exams for children under 24 months for parents without dental insurance. Please contact our office for more information.

    When Should Your Baby or Toddler First Visit a Dentist?

    According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA), your child should see a dentist when the first tooth erupts and no later than the first birthday. 

    The Importance of Maintaining Healthy Baby Teeth

    One of the most frequent questions parents ask is, “Why do we have to fix a baby tooth if it’s going to fall out anyway?” Baby teeth are essential for your child’s long-term oral health, as the adult teeth grow from their roots. Left untreated, cavities can damage the developing permanent teeth before they are even formed, or worse yet, an infection can spread through the face and body, causing serious health complications. 

    Baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth yet to erupt, ensuring they come into the correct position. Losing a baby tooth prematurely can cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment, preventing the adult tooth from being able to come in.

    The most current research shows that 28% of children under age three and 60% of children under age five already have cavities. Bringing your child to a pediatric dentist by the first birthday will help detect and prevent cavities early on so that your child can enjoy excellent dental health later in life. 

    What to Expect at Your Baby’s First Dental Visit

    Our kid-friendly dentists and staff at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos are pros at putting children and their parents at ease. While first visits may differ based on a child’s unique needs, here’s what you can generally expect:

    • A Warm Welcome: We will start by welcoming you and your child. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help your child’s first dental appointment be a happy one.  
    • History Review: We will review your child’s medical and dental history. Please let us know if you have any questions or specific concerns. 
    • The First Exam: We will perform a quick but thorough exam to check for signs of decay or any problems. We will also assess your little one’s oral growth and development. 
    • Dental Cleaning: Most children will just require a toothbrush cleaning during the first visit. However, if your child is age 3 or 4 and can tolerate it, we may attempt to clean those pearly whites to aid in the doctor’s exam process.
    • Fluoride Treatment: After cleaning your child’s teeth, we may recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride has been shown to strengthen the teeth, lowering the risk of tooth decay and cavities. 
    • Parent Education: We will discuss your child’s habits, including bottle use, pacifiers, thumb sucking, and more. We’ll also demonstrate how to clean your baby’s teeth at home. 
    • Recommendations: We will provide personalized and specific recommendations to keep your child’s smile healthy and prevent cavities.

    Quality Pediatric Dental Care Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    We look forward to working alongside you to establish healthy oral care habits for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Call 760-978-8285 to schedule your child’s appointment, or complete our online appointment request form today!