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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!

    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!