Category Archives: Pediatric Dentistry

Children’s Dentistry at Landmark Dental

Children's Dentistry Santa Cruz

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4 Facts You Need to Know About Your Child’s Primary Teeth

Tooth development begins early, and the habits your child learns now can affect them for life, which is why bringing your child to the dentist early on is incredibly important. Check out these four facts you need to know about your child’s primary teeth, so you can keep their mouth healthy.

The Teeth Start to Form Before Birth

Although it takes a while for your baby’s primary teeth to erupt, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Baby teeth actually start forming before birth and are hiding under the gum line. In fact, primary tooth buds can be discerned by only eight weeks after conception. By twenty weeks into pregnancy, even the permanent tooth buds start to form. This is why it is incredibly important to start taking care of your child’s teeth during pregnancy by eating healthy foods and taking prenatal supplements. Failing to do so can affect your child’s early tooth development (even of permanent teeth), which can negatively impact their oral health for life.

Baby Teeth Are Vulnerable to Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Just like adults, babies have to worry about tooth decay. Of course, for your baby, it’s up to you to ensure this doesn’t happen. One type of decay babies are prone to is baby bottle tooth decay. This type of tooth decay occurs from high exposure to liquids with sugar. This doesn’t only mean soda or high-sugar juices. Even the sugar in breast milk and formula can cause baby bottle tooth decay. Generally, your child is at risk for baby bottle tooth decay if you put your baby to bed or for a nap with a bottle filled with something other than water. The sugary liquid has a lot of time to pool in the mouth around the teeth and cause damage.

Primary Teeth Make Eating and Talking Easier

If you’ve ever had missing teeth, you know that it can make eating and talking difficult. The same goes for your child. Primary teeth will eventually fall out, but until they are replaced with permanent teeth, your child needs healthy baby teeth to eat and talk. If major decay causes the teeth to need to be removed, this can make it hard for your child to eat properly, which could lead to many other problems, such as malnutrition. Also, without the right amount of teeth, your child may not learn how to speak properly.

They Help Ensure Permanent Teeth Are Healthy

Primary teeth aren’t just important for now, however. They can also play a role in the health of your child’s permanent teeth. Primary teeth are place holders. They give a path for permanent teeth to grow. If the teeth are lost, the permanent teeth may not be able to grow in properly, and your child will need help from an orthodontist. Another reason baby teeth are important for the future is that having healthy baby teeth allows the jaw bone and jaw muscles to develop properly. If the bone and muscles can’t develop properly because of missing baby teeth, it can make permanent teeth less durable.

Dental health is important for everyone, and good dental habits should begin before birth. As a parent, you need to keep your child’s primary teeth healthy, which will impact them for life. For more information about children’s dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

5 Myths About Children’s Dentistry

5 Myths About Children’s Dentistry

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As a parent, you’re responsible for your child’s health, including their oral health. Knowing the right way to care for your child’s teeth can be confusing, but it’s important to be able to separate fact from fiction. Check out these five myths about children’s dentistry and learn the truth for yourself.

Myth #1: Primary Teeth Aren’t Important

Primary teeth are temporary and gone by about the age of 12, but they play an important role in your child’s oral health. If your child’s primary teeth decay, this can impact the health of permanent teeth. With a lot of plaque and bacteria sitting on the teeth and gums, it’s possible that permanent teeth can start to rot as soon as they erupt. Plus, if your child’s teeth have to be removed, it can make it difficult for permanent teeth to emerge properly because primary teeth are like guide markers for permanent teeth.

Myth #2: Children Don’t Need to See the Dentist Until They Are Older

It may not seem like a big deal to take your child to the dentist when they only have a couple of teeth, but it is. Don’t wait until your child has all their primary teeth, starts to develop permanent teeth or has a problem. Your child should be seen by a dentist for the first time once the first tooth erupts (but no later than the first birthday). It may seem silly to treat one tooth, but the dentist can determine if there are problems on the horizon, as well as teach you important at-home care.

Myth #3: Children Should Brush Their Own Teeth

This myth is partially true. Once your child is about seven years old (depending on their maturity), you should allow them to brush their own teeth. Until then, you should brush your child’s teeth for them. Once your child is old enough to start brushing their own teeth, don’t leave them alone. They may still not be able to thoroughly brush and remove all plaque and bacteria. You should continue to supervise them during brushing for a few years or until the permanent teeth are all erupted.

Myth #4: You Should Make Your Child Brush Directly After Eating

Brushing right after eating may seem like a good idea because it will immediately get rid of food particles and plaque, but this isn’t good for anyone, especially after consuming acidic foods or beverages, such as fruits, juices and soda. The acid in these foods and beverages soften the enamel. The harsh action of brushing can remove some of the enamel. Overtime, this can lead to serious problems. Have your child wait at least an hour before brushing after eating. You can have them rinse their mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum directly after meals.

Myth #5: Only Pediatric Dentists Can Treat Children

There are dentists called pediatric dentists who specialize in treating children’s teeth. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to take your child to a pediatric dentist. Family dentists are also perfectly capable of treating most children for most oral concerns. The benefit of choosing a family dentists is that your child can continue to see them as they grow, so they can develop a relationship that makes them feel more comfortable and confident at the dentist.

Your child’s oral health is important; it’s your job to ensure their smile is cared for properly at this young age. If you would like more information regarding children’s dentistry options, contact Landmark Dental Group today and start a conversation about your child’s oral health.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

5 Kids Dentistry FAQs

kids dentistry

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Knowing how to take care of your own teeth can be hard enough, but if you have a child, you also have to worry about their oral health. It can be difficult to know what is right. The most important steps are to find a good dentist that offers kids dentistry services and to know how to care for your child’s teeth at home. Check out these five FAQs.

How Do You Clean Your Baby’s Mouth?

Even if your baby doesn’t have teeth, you should keep the mouth clean. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm water or even a soft washcloth and warm water to remove any plaque or residue from their gums. This will help keep their teeth healthy and free of decay once they do erupt. Once their teeth erupt, continue cleaning teeth and gums with a toothbrush/cloth and warm water. Do this at least once a day just before bedtime.

When Should You First Take Your Child to the Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry urges parents to bring their child in for their first dental cleaning and examination by the time the first tooth erupts. However, you should bring your child in no later than the first year of age. During these initial examinations, the dentist probably won’t find decay or serious complications. However, they will take this time to get to know you and your child and your child’s mouth. The dentist will look for potential future problems and teach you how to care for your child’s mouth at home and what kids dentistry services are available. This is also a good chance to get kids used to people other than mom or dad brushing their teeth.

Do Primary Teeth Really Matter?

These first dental examinations are important. Even though your child will lose their primary teeth, they are still important to care for. For starters, failing to care for your child’s primary teeth can cause immediate problems. If decay occurs, it can lead to pain or even loose teeth, which can make it difficult for your child to eat and speak. However, the problems don’t end there. Primary teeth help create a path, and your child’s permanent teeth follow this path when they erupt. Without the primary teeth, this path is lost, and it’s difficult for teeth to erupt properly.

When Should Your Child Start Using Toothpaste?

Once the first tooth erupts, you can start using a small amount of toothpaste when cleaning. Simply wipe a tiny amount on the brush and clean the tooth. When your child is three to six years of age, you can start using a pea-sized amount. When your child is ready to brush their teeth on their own, allow them to do so, but make sure you supervise them and instruct them until they can brush properly and completely.

Should You Consider Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a popular kids dentistry procedure, and they are great at helping to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Back teeth have a lot of crevices (pits and fissures) on the chewing surfaces. Food and plaque can get caught in here and lead to decay. Sealants fill in these crevices. Your child can eat and talk like normal, but the food and plaque can’t get stuck.

Your child’s oral health is important, and you should begin teaching good oral hygiene habits at a young age. At Landmark Dental Group, the dentists have all the skills and kids dentistry procedures available to help treat your child’s smile and help it stay healthy for life. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Gentle Santa Cruz Dentist Offering Childrens’ Services

Children's Dentistry Santa Cruz

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Good oral habits should start at an early age, which is why Landmark Dental Group offers children’s services and urges parents to bring kids in as soon as they get their first tooth. If you have a child and are looking for a dentist, you should consider Landmark Dental. They offer gentle procedures that will keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.

Landmark Dental Welcomes Young Patients

It’s suggested by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that your child have their first dental visit once their first tooth erupts; Landmark Dental Group welcomes babies, toddlers and children alike. Of course, your child probably isn’t going to need much done at this point in time, but these primary visits are about getting to know your child and to make sure that teeth and gums are developing properly.

The dentist can evaluate your child’s oral health and hygiene, which helps anticipate and prevent any future problems. It’s also important for your child to continue visiting the dentist so he or she becomes comfortable with going. It’s easy to develop a fear of going to the dentist, but if you get your child used to visits, dental trips won’t become traumatic.

They Provide Gentle Services for Kids

Everyone wants their trip to the dentist to be effective, but pain-free. Children are no different. However, they’re probably more concerned with the pain-free part than the effective part. Luckily, at Landmark Dental Group, you don’t have to choose.

Whether for children, adults or geriatrics, all their services are effective enough to treat the problem — but gentle enough to prevent pain and fear of the dentist. These gentle services help engrave into your child’s brain that going to the dentist isn’t an ordeal. Visits are quick and made to be as comfortable as possible, so they won’t be inclined to skip visits as adults.

Doctors and Staff Help Educate Parents

The doctors and staff alone can’t keep your child’s teeth healthy. It’s a team effort, and you are a huge part of that team. However, Landmark Dental Group will give you the helping hand you need to help care for your child’s teeth at home.

Do you know the importance of primary teeth? Do you know when your child should start using toothpaste? Luckily, you don’t have to know everything because the doctors and staff at Landmark will help educate you and teach you what you need to know to help your child develop a healthy smile from day one.

Failing to care for your child’s oral health early on can cause terrible problems in their future. They won’t have the education or learned habits to keep their teeth healthy as adults. At Landmark Dental Group, you, the doctors, and staff will work together to teach those healthy habits and promote good oral health for life. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Kids’ Dentist Santa Cruz

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Oral Health and Your Child

Any kids’ dentist in Santa Cruz will tell you that promoting good oral hygiene habits from the start will give your child the upper hand in protecting their smile. It may seem like your child shouldn’t have to worry about oral care until their permanent teeth emerge, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Check out these five facts you should know about oral health and your child.

Your Child Needs Regular Dental Visits

Your child needs to visit their dentist for regular cleanings and exams. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child should start visiting the dentist once the first tooth has emerged or at least by their first birthday. During these exams, your dentist can get familiar with you and your child and look for potential future issues, such as crooked teeth. The dentist can also help educate you and your child regarding questions you may have, such as tips for at-home cleaning and care.

You Need to Care for Your Child’s Gums and Teeth at Home

Even before the first teeth appear, you want to clean your baby’s gums. A damp cloth is enough to remove any plaque and bacteria. Once the first tooth appears, it’s time to start brushing. Use a toothbrush designed for kids because they are small with soft bristles. Use a small dab of fluoride toothpaste when brushing. Remember that even once your child is capable of brushing their own teeth, you should continue to monitor them to ensure they are doing it correctly.

Primary Teeth Are Important for More Than Eating and Talking

Primary teeth don’t last long, but they do make it easier for your young child to eat and talk. However, primary teeth do more. Think of them as place holders. They create a pathway that allows your child’s permanent teeth to travel. If you neglect your child’s primary teeth and severe decay causes them to fall out, this path is lost. Orthodontic treatment may be required to help the permanent teeth grow properly. If your child develops tooth infections, that can impact the development of the permanent teeth, making them weaker for life.

Severe Primary Tooth Decay Can Affect the Jaw Bone

“Baby bottle tooth decay” is a common term that refers to severe tooth decay on the upper front teeth. Basically, this occurs when the teeth are exposed to a sugary liquid for a long period of time. A sugary liquid does not necessarily mean soda or sugary juice. It can be something as basic as milk. The sugar causes decay, which may even affect the underlying jaw bone. This can affect how the permanent teeth develop, which may lead to future oral problems, such as frequent tooth decay.

A Good Diet Can Go a Long Way to Protect Teeth

It isn’t just about keeping your child’s teeth clean. Everything your child puts into his or her body affects the teeth. Eating sugary beverages like soda or consuming sugary candy and pastries is detrimental to teeth. Encourage your children to drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins. The best way you can get them to do this is by setting a good example. Avoid sugary drinks and foods yourself and focus on healthy meals.

Choosing a good kids’ dentist is one of the most important steps in caring for your child’s oral health, but you also have to promote healthy habits at home. For more information about dental care for kids, or for a kids’ dentist in the Santa Cruz area, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Pediatric Dentistry in Santa Cruz

pediatric dentistry patient

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If you need a dentist for your child, Landmark Dental Group in Santa Cruz can treat all of your child’s dentistry requirements. We love to educate parents about how to care for their children’s teeth at home. If you’re in the process of choosing a dentist for your whole family, please see below for four reasons why Landmark Dental is a wise dental choice for treating the pediatric and adult population.

Services Are Gentle, but Effective

Even as an adult, you probably get a little squeamish about going to the dentist, so it’s no wonder your kids might feel the same way. However, know that when you choose Landmark Dental Group, your child will receive services that are gentle enough to ease away that fear, yet effective enough to protect your child’s smile. Plus, they have many services that are specifically designed for children, such as sealants.

It’s a Family-Oriented Place

Everyone at Landmark Dental Group does their best to welcome families and children. Seeing children as young as six months old is not something new to the doctors and staff. In fact, Landmark Dental wants to see children. The earlier you start routine dental care for your child, the better their chances of having good oral health for life. Of course, that doesn’t mean they only want to see children. Landmark Dental also offers treatments that are specific to adults and geriatric patients, making it a place that you can call home for your entire family’s dental needs.

The Environment Is Clean and Welcoming

Perhaps you’ve experienced walking into a waiting room and seeing stains on the floor or old, ratty furniture. No one wants to experience that, especially if you have kids with you. At Landmark, this isn’t the case. The inviting and clean office is designed to relieve the stress associated with going to the dentist — instead of adding more. Kids even have their own table where they can color or read while they wait. Also, each treatment room has small doors, offering some privacy.

Landmark Dental Group Educates Parents

One of the lasting reasons to choose Landmark Dental for your child’s oral health is due to the fact that they educate parents so they can better help their children at home. You’ll learn what to expect with your child’s teeth, such as when baby teeth and adult teeth erupt — or are expected to erupt. However, you’ll also learn about ways to help keep your child’s teeth healthy by learning when and how to brush, how to avoid cavities when using a bottle — and many other tips. Teaching you how to best care for your child’s oral health from day one is the best way to promote good oral health for life.

A good dentist that treats children isn’t hard to find. Just stop by Landmark Dental. With a focus on care for the entire family, Landmark Dental can treat your entire family. For more information about services, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Kids’ Dentistry Santa Cruz: The Top 5 Questions

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Dental care is important at every age, and teaching your child healthy dental habits from the start will ensure healthy teeth for life. If you have questions about how to care for your child’s teeth, check out the five frequently asked questions from our experience in kids’ dentistry listed below.

When Should Your Child’s First Dentist Visit Be?

According to the American Dental Association, you should bring your child for their first dental checkup as soon as their first tooth erupts, which can be as early as six months of age. At the latest, whether the first tooth has erupted or not, your child should see the dentist by their first birthday. This first visit is mostly about getting to know your child and your child’s teeth. The dentist will check for decay or potential future problems. The dentist will also educate you on how you can keep your child’s teeth healthy.

Do You Really Need to Care for Primary Teeth?

Your child will naturally lose their primary teeth, so is it really that important to keep them healthy? Yes, it is. Primary teeth play an important role in your child’s life. For starters, they help your child chew and speak clearly. However, their job doesn’t end there. Primary teeth are place holders for permanent teeth. They create a path through which the adult teeth grow. If you fail to provide proper care for your child’s primary teeth, they may decay, which not only causes pain, but can actually affect the health of the developing adult teeth.

How Do You Care for Your Child’s Teeth?

To care for your child’s teeth, you need to teach good oral hygiene habits, promote a healthy diet that is low in sugar and take your child in for routine dental checkups. Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and a child’s toothbrush can begin when the first tooth erupts. At first, use a small bit of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. When your child is around three to six years, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. You’ll need to brush your child’s teeth until they get the hang of it, but make sure to monitor their brushing until they can properly brush unsupervised, which can be until a child is 6 years old.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Sealants are something your child’s dentist may recommend to help protect the back teeth. Back teeth have pits and fissures that make decay easy. These tiny crevices give bacteria and plaque a place to hide, which leads to tooth decay. Sealants are thin plastic coatings that are used to fill in these pits and fissures, giving bacteria no place to hide. Although sealants withstand daily chewing well, they do eventually wear down and need replacing. Even with sealants, you still need to take good care of your child’s teeth to avoid decay.

When Do the Permanent Teeth Erupt?

The first batch of permanent teeth (the first and second molars) erupt around the age of six and seven, but they don’t actually replace any primary teeth. This is because there are fewer primary teeth than permanent teeth. Except for the third molars, the rest of the permanent teeth usually replace the primary teeth by the age of 13. The third molars (commonly referred to as wisdom teeth) don’t appear until your child is older (between 17 and 20).

Don’t cheat your child out of a healthy smile for life. Take good care of your child’s teeth from the start by instilling healthy habits. If you would like more information regarding kids’ dentistry in Santa Cruz, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Pediatric Dentistry: How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

Outdoor portrait of happy smiling infant baby boy

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Raising a child takes a lot of effort, and one piece of the puzzle is pediatric dentistry. Your children rely on you to care for their teeth and teach them how to do so on their own. Check out these five tips to help you care for your child’s teeth.

No. 1 – Clean Gums Before Teeth Appear

There’s no point in worrying about dental hygiene before your baby even has any teeth, right? Wrong. Even before teeth emerge, there’s still bacteria in the mouth. Without teeth, the bacteria can’t really do too much, but it’s still a good idea to keep the gums clean, especially as teeth are just starting to sprout. For babies under three months, it’s not necessary to use a toothbrush. Just get a washcloth or piece of gauze, and simply wipe the gums with warm water to get rid of the bacteria.

No. 2 – Start Brushing Once the First Tooth Appears

Once the first tooth finally appears, we suggest using a toothbrush to brush the tooth. Make sure you choose an infant toothbrush. You can use a very small amount of toothpaste if you’d like, but make sure to clean away any excess. Alternatively, a toothbrush and some water will also be sufficient to brush off any plaque.  Continue cleaning the gums with the toothbrush or washcloth. When the first tooth appears (or by your child’s first birthday) we recommend taking your child in to see us, or to another dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry.

No. 3 – Gradually Allow Your Child to Brush Their Own Teeth

Good habits start at a young age. Continue to brush your child’s teeth until they have the coordination to do so on their own, which usually occurs around the age of eight. You’ll still want to monitor them to ensure they are brushing properly. Even if your child has the ability to brush and floss properly, that doesn’t mean they’ll remember to do so every time. Help them by watching them brush and by reminding them of how to brush properly.

No. 4 – Educate Your Child on Good Oral Hygiene Habits Early

Primary teeth aren’t permanent, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as important as permanent teeth. Even though primary teeth are going to fall out, ensure your children take good care of their teeth. Not only will it prevent painful cavities, but teaching them how to care for their teeth early is crucial for healthy, lifelong oral hygiene habits. A child who learns the importance of thorough brushing and flossing is more likely to care for their permanent teeth in the same way!

No. 5 – Promote Healthy Eating Habits

Another good way to help your children’s teeth for life is to promote healthy eating habits from day one. Limit the amount of surgery foods and beverages to help prevent problems before they start. Just like with teaching good oral hygiene habits, teaching your child healthy eating habits early will help them as adults. If you allow your child to eat a lot of sugar, they’ll continue to eat a lot of sugar as adults, which is bad for their oral and overall health.

Caring for your child’s teeth is important for keeping a healthy mouth and promoting good habits. If it’s time for your child’s first dental visit, or if you just need more information, contact Landmark Dental Group, located in Santa Cruz.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz