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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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    How Do I Know If My Child Is Having a True Dental Emergency?

    How Do I Know if My Child Is Having a True Dental Emergency?

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we understand that dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly and cause pain and stress. We are pleased to offer emergency dental services to alleviate your child’s discomfort, treat infections, and save damaged teeth. The question is, how do you know if your child is having a “true” dental emergency?

    What Constitutes a True Dental Emergency?

    If you are unsure whether your child’s dental problem is a true emergency, consider the following questions:

    • Is your child experiencing severe, persistent tooth pain?
    • Does your child have a bump or pimple on their gum tissue?
    • Are there any cracked, loose, or knocked-out adult teeth?
    • Is there swelling in the gums, mouth, or face?

    If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your child is likely experiencing a dental emergency requiring urgent care. Please call our office immediately. Our staff members will evaluate the situation and offer you guidance until we can see your child in person.

    If your child is an existing patient and has an emergency after hours, please send our office an email with your child’s name, medical history, date of birth, and a photo capturing the emergency so we can address it. If your child develops facial swelling or has a knocked out or loose permanent tooth after hours, please head to Rady Children’s Hospital and ask for the pediatric dentist on call to receive immediate care.

    Common Dental Emergencies

    Here is a look at the most common dental emergencies:

    Severe Toothache: Clean the area, rinse with warm water, and use dental floss to dislodge any trapped food. If the pain persists, contact Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos immediately. Meanwhile, children’s Tylenol can help with pain management.

    A Knocked-Out Tooth: If a baby tooth gets chipped or knocked out, we will evaluate your child’s condition and determine whether a filling is needed or if the tooth should be smoothed out or left alone to heal. If an adult tooth is knocked out, hold it by the crown without touching the root, and rinse it in water if it’s dirty. Gently return the tooth to its socket as soon as possible or carry it in a cup of milk and head to the hospital if it is after our office hours. Time is the most critical factor in saving and being able to reimplant the tooth. Call us for an emergency appointment right away.

    Injury to the Lips, Tongue, or Cheeks: Apply light, firm pressure to control any bleeding, and contact us for an appointment to evaluate the area. If you can’t control the bleeding or the wound is completely split open, head to the nearest emergency room, as your child may need stitches and antibiotics.

    Other Dental Emergencies: Some pediatric dental emergencies can wait until the next day, such as chipped teeth or broken baby teeth. Contact our office for guidance. It is important to seek professional dental care for any emergency because even minor problems can quickly become serious if left untreated.

    Emergency Dental Care Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, restoring your child’s smile is always our top priority. Our dedicated pediatric dentists pride themselves on providing exceptional emergency care to children of all ages. If your child experiences a dental emergency, call us at 760-798-2825. We are here to support your child’s smile every step of the way!

    Why Does My Child Keep Getting Cavities?

    Why Does My Child Keep Getting Cavities?

    As parents, we always want what is best for our children, especially when it comes to their health. Unfortunately, even with the best oral hygiene habits, some children are prone to developing tooth decay. If your child seems to be getting one cavity after another, talk to your trusted team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos. We will outline a preventive treatment plan to improve your little one’s dental health. 

    The Prevalence of Tooth Decay in Children

    Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of children ages 6-8 have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and more than half of adolescents ages 12-19 have had at least one cavity in a permanent tooth. 

    Preventive Dental Care for Long-Term Healthy Smiles

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we believe in prevention as the main line of defense against tooth decay. Here is a look at some of our preventive services: 

    Regular Dental Exams: Most children need to see the dentist for routine dental exams and cleanings every six months. However, children at a higher risk of cavities and other dental problems may need more frequent visits. We will screen your child for signs of tooth decay and treat as needed to prevent the condition from progressing and requiring more extensive treatment down the road. 

    Dental Hygiene: Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that is the leading cause of cavities and gum inflammation. If not removed, it will harden over time and can only be removed using dental instruments. Removing plaque and tartar deposits during your child’s twice-yearly dental visits will lower the risk of tooth decay, promoting long-term healthy smiles. 

    Fluoride Treatment: Fluoride, is what we consider “nature’s cavity fighter.” Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in many foods and water. It remineralizes teeth, strengthens tooth enamel, and disrupts the harmful oral bacteria’s ability to produce acids, leaving your child’s teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride treatments are highly effective at preventing cavities and stopping early tooth decay from progressing. 

    Dental Sealants: Your child’s back molars have deep pits and grooves on their chewing surfaces that trap food and bacteria. These hard-to-reach teeth are challenging to brush and floss properly, increasing the risk of developing decay. Dental sealants are  protective coatings that provide a barrier between vulnerable tooth surfaces and food and bacteria, significantly reducing the risk of cavities. Please review our blog regarding sealants for more details.

    Healthy Habits for Healthy, Cavity-Free Smiles

    While it’s important to maintain dental exams and cleanings every six months, it is also essential to care for your child’s smile at home. Encourage your child to brush at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and food debris before tooth decay can develop. 

    It’s important for your child to limit sugary and sticky foods and maintain a balanced diet to provide the nutrients needed for healthy teeth and gums. Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos is happy to answer any questions and offer tips on caring for your child’s smile. 

    Preventive Dental Care Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    Visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to learn more about our preventive services for healthy, cavity-free smiles. We look forward to working alongside you to set the stage for long-term oral health. Call 760-798-2825 to schedule your child’s appointment, or complete our online appointment request form today!

    Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for My Child?

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we are committed to providing safe and comfortable dental care to ensure our young patients develop positive associations with the dentist. We are pleased to offer a range of safe sedation dentistry options to help even the most anxious child relax while receiving outstanding dental care. Our goal is to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

    Sedation Dentistry: An Overview 

    Sedation dentistry involves using medications to create a calm and relaxed state, which helps guide good behavior, prevents sudden movements, and reduces the pain and fear of future dental care.

    Sedation dentistry is ideal for any child needing a little help to relax because, let’s face it, most dental procedures require a patient to be perfectly still with their mouths open for about thirty to forty-five minutes, which can be difficult even for adults to tolerate. Sedation dentistry is especially helpful for the following:

    • Children with high fear or dental anxiety
    • Children with sensitive teeth
    • Children with a strong gag reflex
    • Children requiring complex or lengthy treatments
    • Children who are unable to sit still for long procedures
    • Children with past traumatic dental experiences
    • Children with special health care needs

    What Are the Forms of Sedation?

    At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we offer the following types of sedation services depending on your child’s unique needs:

    Nitrous Oxide: Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide sedation is recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as a safe and effective technique to reduce anxiety in children undergoing dental treatment. Your little one will breathe nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen through a mask and will stay awake and communicate with us throughout treatment. As soon as we turn off the gas, the effects of sedation will wear off completely.

    Laughing gas is the lightest and safest form of sedation we offer, with most children feeling completely normal during its use. Nitrous oxide reduces the gag reflex and relaxes the jaw muscles, so your child is not as tired due to keeping their mouth open. Laughing gas also helps with pain management, so some minor procedures can even be completed without additional local anesthesia shots. Laughing gas has an incredible safety record and has been used for over 150 years in dentistry!

    Oral Conscious Sedation: If your child needs more help to relax, we may recommend oral conscious sedation, which involves giving your child an oral medication before treatment. We typically use oral conscious sedation for short treatments and in limited circumstances, as there can be mixed results with effectiveness. Your child will be comfortable and remain awake and responsive to directions.

    Oral sedation acts almost like a “glass of wine” before dental treatment, where most children can feel more relaxed. It helps them tolerate the laughing gas and procedures better. Some children, however, may feel drowsy and irritable as they have less control over their emotions.

    General Anesthesia: If your child is too young or unable to tolerate extensive or lengthy procedures, we may recommend general anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Your child will remain asleep during treatment and will have no recollection of the procedure. This is similar to what you can expect when wisdom teeth are removed but with the same precautions taken when a child is asleep for surgery in a hospital.

    We consider treatments performed under general anesthesia mini dental surgeries, so parents will remain in the waiting area, just as you would in a hospital setting. We utilize the services of the best and most experienced anesthesiologists and take maximum safety precautions. Our anesthesiologist will contact you the night before treatment to discuss the pre-operative instructions, anesthetic plan, risks, benefits, and alternatives. We are always happy to answer your questions.

    Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Your Children?

    Sedation dentistry has an incredibly high safety record when administered under the care of an experienced dental professional. At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we evaluate your child’s medical history and unique needs before sedation. We also adhere to all safety protocols and monitor your child’s vital signs throughout treatment. Moreover, Dr. Allen and Dr. Bala are board-certified pediatric dentists and both are attending doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dr. Allen and Dr. Bala teach sedation dentistry safety and techniques to new dentists in training to become pediatric dental specialists. With our extensive experience and expertise, you can rest assured that your child is in the safest hands!

    When it comes to general anesthesia, we select only the best board-certified anesthesiologists who administer and oversee the entire procedure. Whether your child requires laughing gas, oral sedation, or general anesthesia, we never spare any effort to ensure your child is comfortable and safe while receiving outstanding dental care!

    Pediatric Dental Sedation Services Near Me in San Marcos, CA

    Our board-certified pediatric dentists and team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos are committed to ensuring every dental visit is a comfortable and happy experience. Our gentle approach and sedation dentistry options will ensure your child is relaxed while receiving the highest level of care. We invite you to call 760-978-8285 to schedule your child’s appointment or complete our online appointment request form today!