Kids Dentistry in East Los Angeles, CA
At PhD Dental, we offer comprehensive, personalized care to family members of all ages, from babies to grandparents. But we admit to having a special place in our hearts for our youngest patients! The care we provide for them now sets the stage for a future of happy, healthy smiles, and our team is honored to be a part of it.
If you’re looking for a children’s dentist in LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, or Pico Rivera, please call us so we can arrange a dental appointment.
Take a look at the information below and find many of your questions about children’s dentistry answered before you even come in.
- Why are baby teeth so important if kids will just lose them anyway?
- When do you recommend that I bring my child in for the first dental appointment?
- What do you do to make children comfortable at the dentist?
- How do dental sealants and fluoride protect my child’s teeth?
- How does dental care change as my child gets older?
- What can I do to promote good dental care in my child?
- What should I do if it’s time to bring my child in for a first dental appointment?
Why are baby teeth so important if kids will just lose them anyway?
Parents are often surprised to hear that we see children as young as just a few months old. Since primary (baby) teeth fall out anyway, it’s easy to make the mistake that they’re not that important. The truth is that we need to protect baby teeth from coming out too soon to avoid problems that put their future oral health at risk.
Baby teeth play a crucial role; they help your child chew their first solid foods and speak clearly. They also hold a space open for permanent teeth that will soon follow.
Without proper care, baby teeth can get cavities, and your child can even develop a gum infection. A baby tooth that’s lost too soon for these reasons can affect the health and spacing of permanent teeth that may eventually require orthodontics to fix.
When do you recommend that I bring my child in for the first dental appointment?
At our LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, and Pico Rivera area dental practices, we recommend that they have their first visit as soon as their first baby tooth appears, but no later than their first birthday. It’s important to monitor your child's oral health from an early age, but we typically use these initial visits to help them get used to the experience of being at the dentist.
It’s a lot for a very young child to take in – new faces, lots of strange-looking equipment, and an unfamiliar environment. We always let kids dictate the pace of their treatment because we don’t want them to get the idea that visiting the dentist is stressful.
What do you do to make children comfortable at the dentist?
When you bring your child to PhD Dental for the first time, our team will do whatever we can to put him or her at ease and ensure that they're comfortable with us. We’ll start by counting their teeth, letting them look in the little mirror, and giving them a ride in the chair. If they allow us, we’ll do a children's dental exam at our LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, or Pico Rivera area dental office; if not, we’ll provide them with a toothbrush to hold.
Using this approach builds their confidence a little more each time they visit. When we know your child feels safe and secure with us, we’ll perform an exam and clean his or her teeth.
These early visits are also the perfect time for parents in LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, or Pico Rivera to ask questions about childhood dental issues like nutrition, correct oral hygiene, bottle feeding, and habits like thumb-sucking and the use of pacifiers.
How do dental sealants and fluoride protect my child’s teeth?
One of our goals is to protect your child’s baby teeth because they are so essential to your child’s dental development. Before they fall out to make room for permanent adult teeth, they act as “space holders,” which helps to ensure that adult teeth grow in properly. A baby tooth that is lost too soon because of tooth decay or trauma can impact the health of incoming teeth. It can also mean chewing or speaking properly is a challenge.
With preventive children’s dentistry treatments in LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, or Pico Rivera, such as fluoride and sealants, we can do our part to protect the baby teeth from early decay.
Fluoride works by helping to strengthen the outer shell of your child’s teeth, helping to resist the acids that form in the mouth and cause cavities. A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that we apply to the back molars, where the deep grooves tend to attract the collection of bacteria. We can use sealants on both baby teeth and permanent teeth.
How does dental care change as my child gets older?
As your child grows, we’ll be there every step of the way to provide preventive services like dental exams and cleanings that they need for a healthy smile. We’ll also let you know if we think they would benefit from dental sealants or fluoride applications to further protect and strengthen their teeth.
If we determine that your child in LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, or Pico Rivera needs braces, you’ll be pleased to know that we have orthodontists on staff to provide the high-quality dental treatment kids need here in one familiar location with dentists and hygienists they know and trust.
Keeping Your Child's Smile Healthy
Since we only see your child every six months in our LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, and Pico Rivera area dental office, it’s up to you, as a parent, to be proactive about helping kids take good care of their oral health between visits. Here are some ideas to institute into your home care routine to ensure that your children create healthy habits that promote good oral health:
- Keep up with scheduled dental appointments. We know that schedules are busy, and dental visits are just another item to add to the to-do list. But keeping up with these appointments is the best way to ensure your child’s dental development is where it should be and to detect any potential problems while they are still in their earliest stages.
- Help your children clean their teeth. Most kids don’t have the motor skills to properly brush their teeth until they are about six years old—or right around the time they learn to tie their shoes. Until that point (and probably beyond!), it’s up to the parents to ensure they are brushing and flossing properly.
- Make food choices that promote good oral health. We can go over which foods are best to avoid. Also be sure to be aware of the sugar content of foods and beverages. Sometimes what you think is a healthy drink or snack is actually loaded with sugar.
- If your LA, Inglewood, Lynnwood, or Pico Rivera area child is involved in sports, make sure he or she wears a mouth guard to protect the teeth from damage.
What should I do if it’s time to bring my child in for a first dental appointment?
If you have questions or would like to schedule your child’s first dental visit, please call our LA, Inglewood, Lynwood, or Pico Rivera dental offices to arrange an appointment. We accept Medicaid (Medi-Cal) and most PPO insurances and also offer financing options for your convenience.
We look forward to welcoming you and your little one to our family-friendly dental practice!