Category Archives: Pediatric Dentistry

Your Entire Family is Welcome at our General Dental Practice!

family dentistry

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At every stage of life, your dental needs change – that goes for the whole family!

Kids and teens need braces, adults need regular cleanings and fillings, elders may need dentures – and little ones deserve a lollipop after doing a good job at the dentist’s office! Our general dental practice makes it easy for everyone to get the services they need.

Why a General Dental Practice is Your Best Bet for Family Dentistry

A general dental practice is a one-stop solution for the whole family’s dental needs. This makes things easier over the years, since you can build rapport and really trust your dentist. That’s much better than changing providers or keeping a whole list of specialists.

Using a general dental practice has a lot of advantages:

You Can Really Trust Your Dentist

People who have a good relationship with their dentist generally report higher satisfaction and feel better when they visit. One reason may be because the sense of relaxation and safety you feel with dentists you trust makes it easier to get through longer, more complex procedures.

At Landmark Dental Group, we strive to provide a peaceful environment for everyone. We believe in spending as much time with each patient as necessary to provide outstanding service. Plus, we have specialized options like sedation dentistry to maximize your comfort.

You Can Get the Services You Need

Sticking with your general dentist over time means you get real, personalized insight. As with any kind of healthcare, this means it’s easier to spot problems and get the right treatment faster. You won’t have to worry that someone you’ve never seen will read your x-rays or history wrong.

It’s not just age that affects dental wellness, but all kinds of personal habits. When your dentist gets to know you better, you’ll get advice that will make life easier. Just to give one example: There are easier ways to floss! Ask us how at Landmark Dental Group.

It’s Easier to Maintain Your Teeth

With an established general dentist, you’re more likely to take the plunge and visit regularly. That makes a huge difference over time. Prevention is the best dental strategy. Since most mouth issues start small, regular check-ups can help you catch problems faster.

Even if you are doing everything you can to protect your dental health, there may be a slight tweak that can help you now and in the future. Even brushing too hard, or with the wrong type of brush can cause problems down the line. We can help you get it all figured out.

Visit Landmark Dental Group, the Top General Dental Practice in Santa Cruz

From the first set of teeth to the first set of dentures, a general dentist is your best ally.

At Landmark Dental Group, we to make dentistry easy for the whole family. We know how to keep things light and simple for the kids, fast and convenient for the adults, and virtually discomfort-free for everybody. Visit us and see the difference!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Vital Kids Dentistry in Santa Cruz

kids dentistry santa cruz

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Thinking about kids dentistry? It’s absolutely crucial in helping kids grow up with healthy teeth!

When newborns first come home, it might seem they don’t have any teeth at all. The truth is, the crowns of the 20 “baby” teeth are almost completely formed from the very first day. That’s right: Dental health is already important!

A newborn should get his or her first dental examination no later than 12 months of age.

From then on, kids dentistry continues to play a role. Let’s take a closer look.

Kids Dentistry in the Younger Years

As the baby teeth start to erupt, it’s time to introduce your little one to a trusted pediatric dentist.

Most babies and toddlers will not have any problems with formation or eruption of their primary teeth. However, it’s still important to double-check with regular dental visits. The sooner an issue is noticed, the sooner it can be treated – and corrected.

It’s essential to examine a newborn’s mouth and ensure teeth are coming in straight, for example. Some habits, including thumb-sucking, can lead to problems with tooth spacing and alignment. Certain health conditions might impact tooth development as well.

These early years are also when adults should start to model dental health habits for kids.

Sure, it will be many years before a young child will be ready to brush alone. However, they should get used to the process with the help of a trusted adult. This makes it easier for them to develop their own healthy habits in the future.

Brushing without toothpaste can begin with the first tooth. Brushing with toothpaste? Age 3.

Kids Dentistry for Adolescents

As kids grow up, they start to take control of their own dental health habits. These formative years are critical. The more attention kids pay to their teeth now, the healthier they will be in the future. Don’t wait until the “adult teeth” start to arrive.

At first, kids should be supervised in their brushing. It’s important that they learn the right amount of toothpaste to use, how long to brush, and how to reach the challenging areas in the back of the mouth. Each brushing session should last at least two minutes.

Kids should also start connecting their eating habits with their brushing. It’s particularly vital that, when they enjoy a sugary snack, they should brush soon afterwards. Sugar is the most potent fuel for the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Adolescents should visit the dentist twice annually for the best results.

Kids Dentistry for Teens

As teens, kids should develop their own organized dental health habits. They have both the self-control and the dexterity needed to use floss, and should do so at least once a week – working up to daily use. Mouthwash can also help neutralize bacteria.

Teens should continue seeing a dentist regularly to prevent and treat orthodontic issues.

At any age, your family needs a kids dentist you are all comfortable with.

Contact Landmark Dental Group for expert help.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

It’s National Tooth Fairy Day, Make It Momentous!

National Tooth Fairy Day

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Kids love the tooth fairy – that’s no big surprise, especially if you put money under their pillow when they lose their teeth! But, did you also know that there is a reason that parents love her too? It’s true! February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day. This is a better time as any to start the talk to your kids about children’s dentistry, namely how they can take care of their teeth and gums and have better oral health. As a parent, you probably know just how important children’s dentistry is. Gathering your kids up each morning and night to floss and brush their teeth isn’t always the easiest thing in the world to do, but thankfully you don’t have to go it alone anymore. Now you have the Tooth Fairy in your corner to help you out. This is going to be a fantastic day to sit down with your kids and talk seriously about how to have better oral hygiene and why it’s so important to brush and floss daily. To make it even more Tooth Fairy-themed, there are even Tooth Fairy cartoons, books, and movies to help educate your kids and keep them entertained and have fun.

If you need a few more ideas on what to do on this special day, here are a few activities to consider.

Tooth Shaped Cookies

This is a really fun activity to do with your kids and its something they will love. Baking cookies or cooking with your kids gives you a chance to talk to them about the things that really matter. Its also a great way to keep the line open for communication with your kids.

Tooth Shaped “Fairy” Pillows

Parents have been leaving coins under their kid’s pillows when they lose a tooth for years. But, what if your family did something a little different? Tooth Shaped Fairy Pillows are something you can create with your kids. You can let them pick out the fabric, jewels, and any other decorations. Once the pillow is done they can keep it as a keepsake and put it on their dresser for when the Tooth Fairy Comes.

Tooth Fairy Coloring Books

Let’s be honest, everyone loves to color – even parents. This is a nice way to spend some time together and have loads of fun coloring in images of the Tooth Fairy and all things dental hygienic.

There’s no such thing as learning too early about children’s dentistry. If your kids can talk and understand directions or instructions, they can understand well enough for you to start talking to them about their teeth and how important it is to take care of them! It’s also a good idea for you, as the parent, to schedule a visit at Landmark Dental today. Together you can come up with a dental plan to keep your kid’s teeth healthy and strong and to keep them happy and confident.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

For National Tooth Fairy Day, Get Your Child’s Teeth Checked

tooth fairy day

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Nothing is more exciting to kids than seeing their first “baby tooth” fall out. Believe it or not, there’s a special day that comes around every year just for celebrating the wonder and excitement of losing a tooth … National Tooth Fairy Day!

Yes, National Tooth Fairy Day is February 28th every year. But, celebrating the day your child loses a tooth is actually nothing new. In fact, people all over the world have honored this special occasion for hundreds – even thousands – of years!

Just think about these traditions:

  • Vikings believed children’s teeth were lucky, and kept them for safety on adventures.
  • In Spain, the Tooth Mouse – El Raton de Los Dientes – would trade teeth for presents.
  • Many cultures would bury children’s teeth to return their magical powers to the earth.
  • In many Asian countries, teeth lost from the lower jaw get thrown up onto the roof!

Losing Baby Teeth Marks an Important Moment in Children’s Dentistry, Too

It’s interesting to think that so many different places and peoples all recognize the importance of losing these teeth, which dentists call primary teeth. Everyone starts out with 20 primary teeth. Between ages 6-12, all those teeth are replaced by 32 adult teeth.

That’s right – adults have many, many more teeth than children. Yet, they’re all in place before most people are even teenagers! That makes it especially important to start looking after kids’ teeth from a very early age.

Kids should start learning to brush independently at age 2 (with supervision until age 8), using a pea-sized bit of fluoride toothpaste by age 3. By the time teeth start getting loose, kids should be confident about their brushing skills. Even though primary teeth do fall out, they should still be kept healthy!

“Baby teeth” train kids for the big leagues of brushing like an adult and preventing cavities!

If You’re Celebrating Tooth Fairy Day, It Might be Time to See a Dentist

Children’s dentistry takes into account the fact that little ones have special challenges when it comes to keeping their teeth healthy. They need to develop good habits, see that their effort pays off, and get prompt help if their teeth start to grow in crooked or crowded.

Generally, primary teeth don’t loosen and fall out until underlying adult teeth are ready to come through the gums and replace them. Dentists call that process eruption. Sometimes, though, teeth can erupt in ways that are uncomfortable or even painful.

When teeth crowd each other, a trip to the dentist is needed right away.

At Landmark Dental Group, we look forward to meeting kids of all ages and helping them build great dental health habits. When teeth start to come out, it’s especially important to pick a caring, supportive, and trustworthy dentist’s office.

Come to Landmark Dental Group today for children’s dentistry services that will help your young one learn the lessons of Tooth Fairy Day and keep it exciting … this year and every year, until those shiny new teeth have all arrived!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Get Your Kids’ Teeth Started Off on a Healthy Track in 2017

Photo Credit:  Kalinovskiy | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Kalinovskiy | Adobe Stock

The beginning of the new year is a perfect time to start making changes for the better. If you have children, one great way to start the new year is by helping your kids learn the importance of good dental care. Check out these four things you can do to help your kids.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

As a parent, it’s important for you to take initiative for your child’s teeth by ensuring they visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. It’s recommended that your child sees the dentist by the time their first tooth erupts or by the first year. Even if your child doesn’t have any pain or problems, early and routine visits to the dentist can help your family dentist spot any potential future problems. They may even be able to stop them from happening. Help your child understand the importance of going to the dentist by setting a good example and making an appointment for yourself, as well.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home

Going to the dentist for regular cleanings is important, but they are not as important as daily, at-home hygiene. Ensure your children are brushing and flossing on a regular basis. If they are still young, you should be brushing their teeth for them, and once they start brushing on their own, continue to monitor them until you are positive they can brush correctly. Again, start by setting a good example. Brush and floss your own teeth on a regular basis. You can even make it a family event by brushing and flossing with your kids, so they see you do it and know it’s an important necessity.

Reduce Sugar Intake

It’s common to become addicted to sugary foods and drinks, especially soda. If you enjoy partaking in these types of treats, pay attention to your children because they may develop this same habit. It’s not fair to tell your child that they can’t eat sugar while you continue eating it. They do what you do, not what you say, and they’ll still learn the bad habit. Instead, work together as a family to reduce sugar intake. Healthy tips would be to cut out soda and cut back on the sweets. This will set a good example for your child that will stick into adulthood. It’s much harder to break a habit before it starts or just begins, than waiting until your child is an adult and used to these bad habits.

Consider Dental Sealants

Even if your child keeps their teeth clean and avoids lots of sugar, tooth decay can still happen. The back teeth are particularly a problem because they have narrow groves where plaque can hide. It may be difficult for the toothbrush to completely clean this area, leading to decay. Dental sealants are a temporary way to protect your teeth. Like sunscreen blocks dangerous UV rays from hitting your skin, dental sealants work as a barrier to protect your child’s teeth from sugar, plaque and bacteria.

It’s so important to help your child learn good dental habits now. If you fail to do so, you are putting them at a disadvantage. When they enter adulthood, they’ll have a harder time breaking these bad habits and may have to spend a lot of money having major work done to correct their teeth. Start now to give your child the best chance they have, and remember that it’s up to you to set a good example. For more information on how you can get your kid’s teeth started right, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Reputable General Dentists in Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Adobe Stock

4 Tips for Picking a Reputable General Dentist in Santa Cruz

Finding a good dentist can be hard. Instead of just picking one out of a hat, it’s a good idea to do some research. When looking for reputable general dentists in Santa Cruz, make sure you follow these four simple steps.

1. Choose an Office With a Caring Staff

Another important sign that you’ve found a great dentist is that the staff is caring. A caring staff will make you and your entire family feel more comfortable about going to the dentist, which is incredibly important since so many people have stress about dentist visits. A good way to see if a staff is caring is to watch how they treat other patients. Another good sign is that the office and waiting room is clean and welcoming. If it’s not, it may be a sign the staff doesn’t care enough to make you feel welcome. For example, at Landmark Dental Group, the waiting room is clean and relaxing so that you can feel calm before your appointment.

2. Ensure They Have the Skills Required

It’s important to make sure that the dentist has the skills necessary to perform the specialized services. If a dentist offers root canal therapy but has no special training in this process, they may do it wrong. At Landmark Dental Group, the doctors only provide services for which they are trained. They offer dental implants, and you know you can trust these implants because Dr. Weston, DDS has taken advanced training in implant dentistry. Similarly, Dr. Tran, DDS has taken courses in root canal therapy, so you can trust these services.

3. Find Someone Who Sees Patients of All Ages

If you have a family, it’s important to find a general dentist who sees patients at any age. Whether you have a one-year-old with their first tooth, or an elderly parent who is suffering from dry mouth and root carries, a family dentist can treat everyone. These dentists encourage parents to bring their kids in as soon as possible to begin down the road to good oral health. An added benefit of having a dentist who’ll treat your entire family is grouped appointments. When everyone has a different dentist, it’s difficult to get all the appointments on the same day — let alone around the same time. However, if your dentist treats your whole family, you can clump your appointments to save time.

4. Pick Someone With Diversity

General dentist don’t just clean your teeth. A reputable general dentist has a wide selection of services to meet just about every need. Of course, they’ll be able to provide important preventative care and minor restoration. However, great dentists go above and beyond to offer their patients more complex procedures, such as root canal therapy, so you don’t have to go to a specialist you don’t know, and who may be much more expensive. Last, choose a dentist who offers cosmetic services too, so they can beautify your smile if need be.

There are many general dentists in the Santa Cruz area. Be sure to shop around to ensure that you find one that is reputable and offers everything you need. For more information about general dentists and what they can do for you, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Family Dentistry: Can Our Entire Family See the Same Dentist?

Photo Credit:  ldprod | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: ldprod | Adobe Stock

Not all dentists can treat your entire family, but a family dentist specializes in providing care for anyone at any age. If you aren’t sure if family dentistry is right for you, check out these four benefits.

You’ll Save Time

One of the best reasons to choose a family dentist is because it allows you to save time. Just imagine if you, your spouse, your elderly mother and your children have different dentists. You would have a hard time grouping the appointments on the same day around the same time, and even if you did, you’d have to drive a bunch of places, wasting time.

If your family all has the same dentist, however, it’s no problem to group appointments. That way, everyone goes in at once on the same day at the same location. Yes, you may be there for a little longer than if you went on your own, but you’ll end up saving time and taking less time off work to take everyone.

You’ll Share Your Family History

Having everyone see the same dentist is also useful because it allows the dentist to get to know your family and their history better. Some oral issues run in the family or may be common among family members because of similar habits. For example, if parents drink a lot of sugary soda, chances are the kids have developed this habit, too.

A dentist can use family history to help diagnose problems. If a child has a lot of cavities from too much sugar, the dentist can speak with the parent about cutting back on sugar at home. This is a clever way for a dentist to learn more about each of your family members. As a result, you all hear the same advice and reinforcements, such as cutting back on sugar, eating more vegetables, etc.

You Won’t Sacrifice Services

You may think that a family dentist won’t be able to offer you everything your family needs, but that isn’t the case. Family dentistry is about providing many services to everyone. It doesn’t mean only providing the basic services like cleaning, X-rays fillings, etc. Most family dentists provide specialized services for any age.

In addition, many family dentists can offer your family more advanced treatments. Some are skilled in major procedures like root canal therapy. Thanks to a growing popularity in cosmetic dentistry, many family dentists also offer great cosmetic procedures to improve the look of everyone’s smile. At Landmark Dental Group in Santa Cruz, for example, you can get tooth whitening, porcelain veneers and even dental implants.

Your Children Will Be More Comfortable

One of the worst things about going to the dentist is being uncomfortable, and this is a common problem with children because they just aren’t used to going to the dentist. Having you and the rest of the family there as patients may help them feel a little more at ease. Instead of telling your kid, “it’s time for your dental appointment” you can say, “it’s time for our trip to the dentist.”

Also, switching doctors and dentists can be nerve-wracking. If you choose a pediatric dentist for your child who doesn’t see adults, they’ll have to go through the entire process again of finding a dentist and feeling comfortable once they are older. A family dentist, however, can continue to see your child as they age.

Don’t waste your time and money with several dentists. Family dentistry allows your entire family to have the same provider. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

5 Tips to Care for Your Toddler’s Teeth

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | Vitalinka

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | Vitalinka

Children have to be taught how to do just about everything, and caring for their teeth is no different. As a parent, it’s your job to foster good habits and help their teeth grow healthy.

Here are five tips on dental care for toddlers:

1. Set a Good Example

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to set a good example. If you eat a good amount of sugary food and don’t brush your teeth or floss, your child will naturally learn those habits. Even if you insist they eat healthy and brush their teeth often, they are more likely to adopt your bad habits. Set a good example by avoiding sugary foods and beverages. Let your kids see that you brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. By setting a good example, your child subconsciously learns these good habits without you having to say much.

2. Take Your Child to the Dentist

It may seem unnecessary to take your child to the dentist until they have permanent teeth, but that isn’t the case. Your child should start seeing the dentist by age 1. This is an important time in your child’s life. Not only is it a chance for you and your child to learn about good oral care, tooth development, etc., it also means your child’s primary teeth are cared for, which is important. Children with rotting primary teeth are more likely to have problems with their permanent teeth.

3. Help Relieve Pain From Erupting Teeth

As those first teeth emerge, it can be painful for your child. Help your child by relieving the pain from erupting teeth. Talk to your dentist about pain relief gels and medications for teething. At home, you can rub the gums with your finger or use a frozen teething ring. These are safe, effective ways to help alleviate some of the pain. If you notice your child develops a fever while teething, contact your pediatrician.

4. Brush Your Child’s Teeth Right

At first, obviously, your child can’t brush their own teeth. However, once they can, it’s still important to monitor them until they have it down, usually at 8 years old. Correct them if they miss a spot, go too fast or are brushing incorrectly. When brushing, make sure that only a small amount of paste is used and use a soft-bristled brush. When brushing, have your child start with the inside of the teeth, then the outside and finally the surface. The bristles should be angled upward toward the gum line.

5. Don’t Let Your Child Suck Their Thumb After Permanent Teeth Appear

It’s not uncommon for a toddler to suck their thumb or to use a pacifier, and that’s perfectly fine. However, once permanent teeth start to erupt, you need to help your child break that habit. Continuing to thumb suck at this point could cause teeth to grow awkwardly, which leads to premature tooth wear, dental decay and a misaligned bite. To help your child break the habit, praise them when they aren’t thumb sucking and try to solve any anxiety they have.

It’s up to you to care for your child’s mouth to ensure they have the habits and skills they need to take care of their teeth as adults. If you would like more information regarding dental care for toddlers, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Family Dentist

family dentist

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4 Things You Should Know About Family Dentists

If you’re looking for a great dentist in the Santa Cruz area, you must consider choosing a family dentist. Family dentists offer many types of treatments and have many advantages.

Check out these four things you may not know about a family dentist.

1. They See Patients of All Ages

Get your whole family’s treatments done in one location with Landmark Dental family dentist. It’s right there in the name: “family” dentist, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a family dentist like Landmark Dental in Santa Cruz sees patients of all ages. You don’t have to take your child to a pediatric dentist, your parents to a geriatric dentist and yourself to a general dentist. Landmark offers services targeted at different age groups, such as sealants for children.

The benefits of choosing one family dentist for your entire family are convenience and comfort. You can schedule all your cleanings in lumped appointments, so you don’t have to miss work on more than one day. Also, the dentist gets to know you and your family better, which makes everyone a little more comfortable about going to the dentist.

2. Many Offer Major Services

You may think that a family dentist can’t offer much more than cleanings, X-rays and yearly exams. While they do offer these important services, that’s not all they offer. Many family dentists also offer major services you wouldn’t expect. Many offer services such as extraction, dental bridge and dental crowns, so you don’t have to go see a specialist.

They may even offer more specialized services. For example, at Landmark Dental Group, you can have your root canal therapy performed without having to go see an endodontist. This is especially important because people tend to fear root canals. However, if you are able to have yours performed by your regular dentist, you know what to expect and feel less anxious than if you have to see a specialist you don’t know.

3. They Typically Offer Cosmetic Services

Cosmetic dentistry is exploding. To keep up with the demand, more and more general dentists are learning these valuable skills. So it’s no wonder so many family dentists offer cosmetic services. It isn’t surprising to find that a dentist provides treatments like tooth whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers and tooth-colored fillings.

Some dentists, however, go above and beyond to ensure their patients get a gorgeous smile without having to see a specialist. At Landmark Dental Group, if you have missing teeth, you don’t have to choose between a bridge or dentures because they offer dental implants.

4. They’ll Give You a Healthy, Beautiful Smile

The best thing about family dentists, however, is that they are dedicated to give you a smile you want. Of course, this starts with a healthy foundation of strong teeth. Therefore, your dentist will work with you to create a treatment plan that will get your teeth healthy with cleanings, fillings, root planing and scaling, etc. If you already have a healthy smile, your dentist will help you keep it that way.

For many people, however, having a healthy smile isn’t enough, but a dentist who only focuses on cosmetic dentistry may not be the best option. When you choose a dentist who also wants to keep your smile healthy, you’ll get a treatment plan that is perfect for improving the look of your smile without impacting the health.

Choose a dentist that can treat your whole family and provide a wide range of services. You’ll get a healthy, beautiful smile. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

National Brush Day!


The day after Halloween is dedicated to National Brush Day – a reminder to brush your teeth for 2 minutes, 2 times a day, every day.

Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of any good oral hygiene routine. It’s recommended to use a soft-bristled brush. The brush head should have a size and shape that will fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily.
The proper brushing technique includes:
• Position the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
• Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes
• Brush the outer, inner and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
• Tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth.
• Brush your tongue to remove bacteria.
Whether you have 1 baby tooth or all 32 adult teeth, try to make a healthy habit of cleaning your teeth for yourself and for you kids.