Our Abiding Commitment to You ...
Every Time You Visit, We Commit Ourselves to:
Providing Your Child High-Quality Dentistry in a Caring, Comfortable, Friendly & Professional Environment;
Actively Listening to and Responding to Your Questions and Concerns;
Helping You Make the Most Informed Decisions About Your Child's Dental Health;
Earning your Trust ... and Exceeding Your Expectations ... with Each and Every Visit.
Thank You for Choosing Us as Your Child's Dental Care Provider...
Drs. Grace Lee & Team
Why Pediatric Dentist?
A lot of parents ask me: why should I bring my child to see a pediatric dentist?
Bringing children to see a pediatric dentist early ensures they receive age-appropriate dental care when they need it in a friendly, supportive environment, setting them up for a lifetime of good oral health and healthy smiles.
Age-appropriate means children needs different stages of dental care as they mature. Here is a high-level view.
- Infants (0-2 years):
- Clean gums with a soft, damp cloth after feedings.
- Start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush as soon as the first tooth appears.
- Avoid putting babies to bed with bottles containing sugary liquids to prevent early childhood caries.
- Toddlers and Preschoolers (2-5 years):
- Supervise brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- Encourage healthy eating habits and limit sugary snacks and drinks.
- Schedule the first dental visit by the age of 1 or when the first tooth appears.
- School-Age Children (6-12 years):
- Teach proper brushing and flossing techniques.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and consider dental sealants to prevent cavities.
- Monitor oral hygiene habits and address any orthodontic concerns.
- Adolescents (13-18 years):
- Continue regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
- Emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene habits, including brushing, flossing, and avoiding tobacco use.
- Consider orthodontic evaluation and treatment if necessary.
- Young Adults and Adults (18+ years):
- Maintain regular dental visits for preventive care and early detection of dental problems.
- Address any existing dental issues promptly to prevent further complications.
- Follow a balanced diet and practice good oral hygiene habits.
A pediatric dentist is a pediatrics specialist trained specifically to deal with the changing needs of children, from infants to toddlers to young adolescents, providing all along:
- Specialized Care: Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children, providing gentle and age-appropriate care.
- Child-Friendly Environment: Their offices are designed to be welcoming and fun, reducing anxiety for young patients.
- Early Detection: They can catch oral health issues early, preventing more serious problems.
- Education and Prevention: Pediatric dentists educate children and parents on oral hygiene and offer preventive treatments.
- Behavior Management: They use techniques to help children feel comfortable during appointments.
- Specialized Treatments: Pediatric dentists offer treatments tailored to children's needs, including fluoride and sealants.
- Building Trust: Regular visits build trust and confidence, promoting lifelong oral health.
When should I bring my child to see a dentist?
Another question I often get is: when should I bring my child to see a dentist? As soon as their teeth erupt - or latest by age one - whichever is earlier. Early visit allows the dentist to monitor the development of your child's teeth and provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices.
In a first visit to a pediatric dental office, your child will meet the dentist and dental team, have a dental examination, receive oral hygiene education, possibly undergo fluoride treatment or X-rays if needed, and discuss any necessary follow-up care.
Permanent teeth typically start to come in around age 6 or 7, beginning with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues through the teenage years and into early adulthood, with the full set of permanent teeth typically being in place by around age 12 to 14. However, this timeline can vary from person to person.
Whether your child's baby teeth are just starting to erupt or your child's permanent teeth are already already coming in, undergoing regular dental check-ups from an early age can help prevent potential issues and establish good dental habits for life.
What dental problems do children encounter? What dental treatments do children need?
Another question is: what are some of the dental problems children face? What dental treatments do children need? Here are some issues we often address during a dental visit.
- Tooth Decay: Tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, is one of the most prevalent dental issues in children. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that damage tooth enamel, leading to decay and cavities. Many our of parents are rightfully concerned about bottled tooth decay and how to prevent it.
- Gum Disease: Gum disease, or gingivitis, can occur in children, especially if oral hygiene practices are inadequate. Symptoms may include swollen, red, or bleeding gums.
- Malocclusion: Malocclusion refers to misalignment or incorrect positioning of the teeth or jaws. This can lead to issues such as overcrowding, overbite, underbite, or crossbite, which may require orthodontic treatment.
- Dental Trauma: Accidents or injuries to the mouth can result in dental trauma, including chipped or broken teeth, avulsion (knocked-out teeth), or fractures of the jaw or facial bones.
- Thumb-Sucking and Pacifier Use: Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use can lead to dental problems such as misalignment of the teeth or changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth.
- Dental Erosion: Dental erosion occurs when acids in foods, beverages, or stomach acid wear away tooth enamel over time. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and increased risk of cavities.
- Early Childhood Caries (ECC): ECC, also known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries, is a type of severe tooth decay that affects infants and young children. It often occurs due to prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, such as milk, formula, or juice, in baby bottles or sippy cups.
- Bruxism: Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can occur in children, especially during sleep. It can lead to tooth wear, jaw pain, headaches, and other oral health problems.
- Dental Anxiety: Fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist can prevent children from receiving necessary oral care, leading to untreated dental problems and potentially worsening oral health over time.
- Developmental Dental Issues: Some children may experience developmental dental issues, such as delayed eruption of teeth, missing teeth (hypodontia), or extra teeth (hyperdontia).
- Dental emergencies: pediatric dental emergencies include toothaches, knocked-out teeth, chipped or fractured teeth, loose teeth, objects stuck between teeth, dental abscesses, soft tissue injuries, and orthodontic emergencies like broken braces.
Regular dental check-ups and preventive care are essential for identifying and addressing these and other dental problems in children. Encouraging good oral hygiene habits, a balanced diet, and regular visits to the dentist can help promote lifelong dental health.
How to find the best pediatric dentist for my children?
Another question I get is: how do I find the best pediatric dentist near me? What qualifications should they have?
Pediatric dentists, also known as pedodontists, require specific and extra qualifications and training to provide specialized dental care for infants, children, adolescents, and individuals with special needs.
Here are some requirements:
- Dental Degree (DDS or DMD): Pediatric dentists must first complete a dental degree program from an accredited dental school, earning either a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
- Residency Training in Pediatric Dentistry: After completing dental school, aspiring pediatric dentists typically undergo additional specialized training in pediatric dentistry through a residency program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Pediatric dental residency programs typically last two to three years and provide comprehensive training in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental problems specific to children and adolescents.
- Board Certification: Upon completion of residency training, pediatric dentists are advised to pursue board certification through the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). Board certification involves passing rigorous written and oral examinations to demonstrate proficiency in pediatric dentistry. While board certification is not required to practice as a pediatric dentist, it signifies a commitment to excellence and may enhance professional credentials.
- State Licensure: Pediatric dentists must obtain a state license to practice dentistry in the state where they intend to work. Licensing requirements vary by state but typically include passing national and state dental board examinations, completing continuing education requirements, and meeting other criteria set by the state dental board.
- Continuing Education: Like all dental professionals, pediatric dentists are required to participate in continuing education courses to stay current with advances in dental research, technology, and treatment modalities. Continuing education helps pediatric dentists maintain their skills, expand their knowledge, and provide the highest level of care to their patients.
All our dentists are Board-Certified dentists who meet all of the above requirements. In addition, we are all "mommy dentists" - we all have children and understands the demands of parenthood on busy parents. We know how to give practical advice. We know how to get down to the level needed to communicate with children, whatever their age.
We specialize in children's and young adolescents' dental care. It is all we do. Our doctors attend Continuing Education (CE) training specializing in pediatric dentistry. Our staff are groomed and trained to work with children. We live and breath and "talk shop" with colleagues about Pediatrics Dentistry.
We also all live locally in the community. Besides being pediatrics specialists, we are also soccer (or baseball, basketball, whatever) moms you meet on the school fields. The doctors and staff are proud to live in and serve communities throughout the Silicon Valley, including the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay communities.