At La Jolla Family Smile Design, we strive to create a home-y, family-centered office atmosphere. We love getting to know our youngest patients and we treat everyone with a gentle touch and a friendly smile. We want children to feel safe in our care, and we have the experience and qualifications to handle children’s unique dental needs. By establishing positive associations with dental care from a young age, our hope is that our pediatric patients maintain healthy habits for life.
To learn more about family dentistry services for parents and children, please call La Jolla Family Smile Design at (858) 454-3044 today and schedule your first appointment. We are proud of our comfortable, inviting office located in beautiful La Jolla, California.
Family Dentistry Services Offered
Good dental health is crucial to overall well-being. Parents should teach the importance of brushing, flossing, and eating right to kids from an early age to prevent unnecessary pain, illness, and expense later in life.
Regular appointments with a family dentist are also important for maintaining oral health. To provide the healthy foundation for a beautiful smile, we offer services to La Jolla patients of all ages such as:
- Teeth cleanings
- Digital X-rays and other imaging tests
- Dental sealants to prevent cavities in kids
- Treatment for gum disease
- Dental care during pregnancy
- Tooth-colored fillings and other dental restorations
Along with preventative care and diagnosis and treatment for oral health issues, our dentists always balance what’s best for your dental health with ways to enhance the appearance of your smile.
Your Child’s First Dental Visit
We recommend that parents schedule their child’s first dentist visit at the age of 3. This first appointment is a key milestone in your child’s life because it could potentially make them form a positive or negative association with dental treatment that could last a lifetime.
Because this first impression is so important, we take a careful, comfortable approach for each child’s first visit. Here’s what you can expect when you bring your little one in for the appointment:
- A soothing atmosphere
- No rushing – we’ll take all the time you need to answer your questions, talk about your concerns, and let your child look around the office
- All ambiance – we won’t perform any type of treatment during this first visit
People who develop a fear of the dentist at a young age often suffer serious oral health problems without seeking necessary treatment. With many years of experience as a family dentistry practice, we know it takes setting early, positive expectations to avoid “dental phobia.”
Invisalign is not just for adults — it is also an effective treatment for teenagers. Most kids have fully developed adult teeth by the age of 13. If these teeth appear crooked or out of alignment, it is appropriate to start orthodontic treatment at that point.
Most teens prefer Invisalign to traditional braces because the clear aligners hide more easily in the mouth than metal wires. Since they can take out the aligners when they eat, this also makes it easier to keep their teeth clean and free of food particles.
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Why do kids need dental care if baby teeth are not permanent?
A lifetime of strong oral hygiene begins with good dental habits in childhood. While it is true that baby teeth eventually fall out, they play an important role in allowing your child to chew and speak. If a baby tooth decays and falls out prematurely, it may cause the other teeth to shift out of place and lead to serious misalignment of the adult teeth. Furthermore, gum health can deteriorate at any early age, with infections getting in the bloodstream and potentially affecting the health of other organs.
How soon can my kids start brushing their own teeth?
Although kids can begin to “help” with the brushing process beginning around the age of three, we recommend waiting until your kids are at least six before letting them handle this task completely on their own. Before the age of six, kids lack the dexterity and sometimes focus to clean every tooth. They also tend to want to swallow the toothpaste. Until your child shows the responsibility to handle toothbrushing on their own, continue helping them with this activity each morning and night.
Should I get dental sealants for my child’s teeth?
The dentists at La Jolla Family Smile Design usually recommend dental sealants for children to protect their molars. Sealants are a thin, protective coating that goes over the jagged, uneven edges of the back teeth. The reason children in particular can benefit from this treatment is that they do not tend to do as good a job cleaning the nooks and crannies of their molars, which leaves them susceptible to decay. By covering the rough tops of the molars, sealants can reduce the chance of developing a cavity in these teeth by roughly 80%.
Why does my child need fluoride treatment and fluoride toothpaste?
Fluoride is a mineral that improves the health of a child’s teeth. In addition to preventing or slowing the formation of cavities, it helps to strengthen the enamel on young teeth. Our dentists recommend your child undergo fluoride treatments through their teenage years. If your local water supply does not contain fluoride, you may also want to provide your child with fluoride supplement pills.
How often should my child visit the dentist?
Regular dental appointments are important for adults and children alike. For that reason, we encourage you to schedule dental visits for your kids every six months. Since La Jolla Family Smile Design cares for patients of all ages, you can schedule appointments for yourself at the same day as your children. Not only is this convenient for your schedule, but it also demonstrates to your kids that they have nothing to be afraid of while visiting the dentist.
Please contact La Jolla Family Smile Design today to schedule your initial family dentistry appointment at our comfortable office in La Jolla.