By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group

One of the most common concerns parents have about their children’s teeth is grinding. Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth, is very common in children and adults. Although most children limit their grinding to during the day, nighttime grinding (during sleep) is most prevalent. Bruxism can lead to a range of dental problems, depending on the frequency of the behavior, the intensity of the grinding, and the underlying causes of the grinding.

There are many psychological, physiological, and physical factors to grinding, including jaw misalignment (bad bite), stress, medications, and traumatic brain injury.

Common symptoms provide clues as to whether or not the child is grinding, including:

  • Frequent complaints of headache.
  • Injured teeth and gums.
  • Loud grinding or clicking sounds.
  • Rhythmic tightening or clenching of the jaw muscles.
  • Unusual complaints about painful jaw muscles – especially in the morning.
  • Unusual tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods.
  • Excessive wear pattern on teeth.

How is bruxism treated?

In most cases, bruxism spontaneously ceases by the age of thirteen. In the meantime however, the pediatric dentist will continually monitor its effect on the child’s teeth and may provide an interventional strategy.

In general, the cause of the grinding dictates the treatment approach. If the child’s teeth are badly misaligned, we may take steps to correct this. 

If grinding seems to be exacerbated by stress, we may recommend relaxation classes, professional therapy, or special exercises. 

In cases where young teeth are sustaining significant damage, we may suggest a specialized nighttime dental appliance such as a nighttime mouth guard, depending on your child’s age. Mouth guards stop tooth surfaces from grinding against each other, and look similar to a mouthpiece a person might wear during sports. Bite splints, or bite plates, fulfill the same function, and are almost universally successful in preventing grinding damage.

If you have questions or concerns about bruxism or grinding teeth, please contact us at (818) 849-5457 or at [email protected]


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: November 30th, 2016, Date Modified:November 30th, 2016 7:20 pm

Getting kids to take their vitamins can sometimes be a challenge. So when gummy vitamins came into the market, it seemed that this challenge was a thing of the past. The gummy vitamins look and taste like candy, so getting kids to take them is so easy. Unfortunately, they not only look and taste like candy, but they are made with many of the same sugary ingredients as candy, but fortified with vitamins. The gummy vitamins are full of sugar and very sticky, which means that the sugar will sit on the teeth for extended periods of time. This exposure to sugar can breakdown the protective enamel layer of teeth, causing tooth decay at a young age.


But what about sugar-free gummy vitamins? Even sugar-free gummies can be harmful to our teeth. They contain a sticky gelatin and enamel eating citric acid. This combination can cause cavities as quickly as the sugar gummy vitamins.


When considering a vitamin, I advise my pediatric patients to choose a non-gummy, chewable children’s vitamin and to take them with meals. These vitamins has less sugar and no sticky gelatin to encourage cavities. Give them a try!


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: November 30th, 2016, Date Modified: December 1st, 2016 1:51 pm, Categories: Kids Dentist Encino, Kids Dentist Tarzana

Juice is often considered a healthy alternative to soda and other sugary drinks for our children. It is refreshing and, hopefully, high in vitamins. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst offenders for our teeth. The acid and sugars found in most fruit juices break down healthy enamel tooth structure and can lead to tooth decay at an early age. Many fruit juices actually have the same amount or more sugar than that in sodas.


The occasional juice isn’t the problem. We just drink too much of it. Each time the sugar and acid in the juice is introduced to the teeth, it starts to break down our enamel. Therefore, it is important to limit the amount of times that sugar and acid is consumed. Watered-down juice with mealtime is preferable to drinking juice throughout the day because we are already consuming sugar with our meal.


Feel free to call the pediatric dentists at Encino Pediatric Dental Group a call today; we can answer any and all of your questions about your child’s oral health, including any about juice and your child’s diet. To schedule your kiddo’s appointment, click the button below.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: October 31st, 2016

When it comes to your child’s health, you want the very best. There’s no doubt about it, you’re providing your child with the most trusted pediatric dental care in the Encino, Tarzana, and San Fernando Valley area, but what should you do between their six month cleanings? How should you care for the health of their teeth in the best way possible? Our pediatric dentists here at Encino Pediatric Dental Group have some wonderful benefits to share with you: Reasons Why Your Child Should Use a Fluoride Toothpaste.


There are a couple different ways your child, and yourself, can benefit from fluoride, and it’s through either systemic or topical benefits.


Fluoride doesn’t just benefit children, it benefits adults as well. Why? Fluoride promotes increased gums and teeth strength. What does this mean? This means that all of the foods and beverages your kiddo is consuming will have a harder time bonding to the hard surface of the tooth and the soft surface of the gums. Why is this important for your child’s oral health?


Fluoride can actually help your kid’s teeth become stronger and healthier. When your child’s teeth first erupt through their gums, fluoride, through a topical treatment (toothpaste), helps the fresh and weak tooth enamel become stronger by remineralizing it. Additionally, fluoride also has the ability to reverse the early signs of tooth decay; yes, even if your kiddo only has a few teeth!


Fluoride toothpaste may be used from the very beginning. As soon as you see teeth sprouting through your child’s gums (1-month to 3-years-old), you should be using no more than a grain-of-rice-size of fluoride toothpaste. With that being said, you will be brushing your child’s teeth for them until they can learn to control their toothbrush effectively. For children who are 3- to 6-years-old, dispense no more than a pea-size of fluoride toothpaste onto their brush. They should be brushing their teeth for at least 2 minutes. A good way for them to time themselves is by singing the ABCs in their head or by putting an easy-to-use timer in the bathroom with all of the toothbrush supplies.


There are many amazing benefits of using fluoride mouthwash, and some of them include reducing tooth decay by increasing the tooth’s resistance to decay. However, children should not use it until they’re older than 6-years-old or directed to do so by our pediatric dentist. Why? Children who are 6-years-old or younger have not yet developed their swallowing reflex. This means they will be much more likely to swallow the fluoride mouthwash instead of spitting it back out into the sink.

Feel free to call the pediatric dentists at Encino Pediatric Dental Group a call today; we can answer any and all of your questions about your child’s oral health, including any about fluoride toothpaste. To schedule your kiddo’s appointment, call us today!


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: September 29th, 2016, Date Modified: September 29th, 2016 3:49 pm

As pediatric dentists, we try to make the kids as comfortable as possible so that they and you will have the best experience. We understand that some kids really look forward to coming to the dentist, but there are others who are a bit anxious just before seeing us or even during treatment. Talking to the kids and showing them everything we do before we do it sometimes isn’t enough to make them comfortable. This is when we may recommended Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas. Nitrous Oxide is a safe and effective agent to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and also enhance our communication. It also works great for kids who have a heightened gag reflex during dental treatment.


As pediatric dentists, we try to make the kids as comfortable as possible so that they and you will have the best experience. We understand that some kids really look forward to coming to the dentist, but there are others who are a bit anxious just before seeing us or even during treatment. Talking to the kids and showing them everything we do before we do it sometimes isn’t enough to make them comfortable. This is when we may recommended Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas. Nitrous Oxide is a safe and effective agent to calm a child’s fear of the dental visit and also enhance our communication. It also works great for kids who have a heightened gag reflex during dental treatment.


We administer the nitrous oxide through a fitted mask that is placed over your child’s nose. As your child is breathing through the mask, he/she will start to feel a sense of euphoria and his/her body may start to feel a little tingly. Nitrous oxide sometimes causes nausea, so make sure your child hasn’t had a heavy meal two hours prior to his/her dental appointment. Nitrous oxide also helps to raise the pain threshold, so that some of the work we do may not bother your child as it would without the laughing gas.

The best part of nitrous oxide is its safety. It is perhaps the safest sedative available in dentistry. Its effects are felt quickly, it is easily reversible, and can be adjusted to different concentrations depending on the needs of your child. While your child is smelling the nitrous oxide gas, he/she will remain fully awake and will be able to respond and communicate with us during the entire procedure.

Unfortunately, nitrous oxide does not work on every child. Children who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion, or are uncomfortable wearing the mask may not be good candidates for nitrous oxide. Based on your child’s medical history, degree of anxiety, and dental needs, we may recommend another sedation method for your child.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: September 21st, 2016, Date Modified: November 30th, 2016 6:31 pm

Every six months your dentist highly recommends you make an appointment to have a cleaning. During your appointment, you’re likely to have dental X-rays taken; it’s like clockwork. The dental hygienist will take you back to your comfortable dental chair, you’ll take a seat, and the hygienist will take X-rays without telling you about the harmful amounts of radiation it may cause you.


What do you know about dental X-rays? Did you know that dental X-rays pose some harm to a patient’s health? Studies completed by the American College of Radiology have revealed the amount of radiation exposure of four bitewing dental X-ray poses about .005 millisieverts of radiation to an individual. To put this amount of radiation into perspective, this is about the same amount of radiation an individual soaks up from a normal day out in the sun, as well as around a few other sources. Additionally, a panoramic dental X-ray (the X-ray machine which swivels around your head) has about twice the radiation, which is also an unharmful amount of radiation. Understandably, while this may seem like a small and non-concerning amount of radiation in which you and your family are being exposed, in the long run, it could pose serious health risks.


An up-and-coming technology in the dental world is digital radiography X-rays. For safety reasons, family and kids dentists are starting to use digital radiography to capture images of patient’s teeth, and this is where many of the similarities between conventional dental X-rays and digital radiography X-rays end.

There are many similarities to conventional X-rays and digital radiography X-rays, including bitewings and the picture of your teeth viewed after the X-rays are taken; however, there are several key benefits for patients who visit a dentist who uses a digital radiography X-ray machine in place of a conventional one.



If you thought the radiation exposure in conventional X-ray machines was low, decrease the number by 90 percent. Digital X-rays expose patients to 90 percent less radiation in comparison to conventional X-ray machines. While both are considered relatively safe, digital radiography X-rays are the perfect option for patients who are concerned with the amount of radiation to which they or their loved ones are being exposed.


Unfortunately, when conventional X-rays are taken, they’re taken with a one-size-fits-all mentality. When you opt for digital radiography, pictures of your oral health will be taken, which can be both magnified or enlarged to get a better visual of your teeth. In addition, dentists may also adjust the color of your X-rays to contrasting colors to allow for a better view of cavities, etc. Plus, if you would like a copy of your X-rays, your digital images can easily be printed out free of charge.


When you decide to switch kids dentists, it can be a pain. Your new pediatric dentist will most likely require new X-rays using the older conventional X-ray method. This alone will increase the amount of radiation you should ever have to be exposed to during your lifetime.. Conversely, when you have a dentist who offers their patients the best and newest technology, such as the digital radiography X-ray machine, transferring records is easier. With a quick copy of files, your new dentist will have all of the pictures from your last dental visit, and even prior visits. Additionally, if your dentist would like a second opinion in regards to your oral health, they can send off the images to another professional to receive a second opinion without the patient having to get another X-ray taken.


Did you know digital X-rays are better for the environment? How? Because digital radiography pictures are directly sent to a computer, there are no harsh chemicals being used to develop the film. This means there is no waste in a darkroom, and there’s no need to store film. Digital radiography X-rays are a win-win!


At Encino Pediatric Dental Health, our pediatric dentists’ goal is to keep your family as healthy and as safe as possible. We truly believe you deserve the best, and we only provide the best technological advancements. This means we have looked past the conventional X-rays many other pediatric dentistry offices in the area use; instead, we give patients a less-harmful option for receiving dental X-rays: Digital radiography x-rays. With the amount of radiation exposure decreasing, we know you’ll feel more confident in our dental practices. Feel free to learn more about our technology by giving us a call today at 818-306-3070.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: July 4th, 2016 Date Modified: July 25th, 2016 6:40 pm

We get asked quite a bit, “What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?” Did you know that there are a few key factors that every parent should know? Just like you, we want the very best care for your child. This only means one thing, you should be taking them to our pediatric dentists here at Encino Pediatric Dental Group. We offer high quality pediatric dental care, care and customer service you won’t want to find elsewhere.


A pediatric dentist is a dentist who is specialized in pediatric dentistry and has studied unique oral health needs for infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health care needs. Only after completing four years of dental school, a pediatric dentist will then move on to a specialized training program. This pediatric dental training adds two more years onto the degree to prepare pediatric dentists to meet all of the unique needs a child may have. Once a pediatric dentist has completed all of his/her training, he/she will be equipped with knowledge and experience to provide any child, from as young as an infant to as old as an adolescent, the dental care they need to stay healthy. We focus on prevention, early detection and treatment of dental disease, and keep current with the latest advances in dentistry for your child. We are also trained to monitor the development and growth of children. But most importantly, we are trained to see the world through the eyes of a child. As parents, we know that it is important to introduce our children to new experiences in a positive light. And that is why it is so important that you work with a doctor and staff that are trained specifically to work with a child’s worldview.

It’s also important to choose a pediatric dentist that has sought additional voluntary certifications by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. As a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, or a board certified pediatric dentist, we have completed additional hours of training and studies to prepare us to educate families and identify specialized treatment that many general dentists may not recognize.

We invite you to stop by Encino Pediatric Dental Group for a tour to see what makes a pediatric dental office that is child centered so special.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: April 21st, 2016, Date Modified: June 14th, 2016 3:52 pm

Primary teeth and permanent teeth are different for a variety of reasons. From the underlying permanence of these teeth to the ways that we care for them, it never hurts to know the ways that they differ. One of the areas of differences that we like to focus on is avulsion.

Let’s start with the definition of avulsion. Avulsion is a complete separation of a tooth from the socket because of a traumatic incident, but depending on what type of tooth it is and how it fell out, our team of pediatric dentists will react differently. While both will all for different forms of treatment, they do both require immediate treatment.


The teeth that grow in during the first few years of a child’s life are not the ones that they end up with for the rest of their life, we all know this. While cavities aren’t ideal in this stage, and most certainly aren’t a good example of oral hygiene, these teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced by the permanent teeth. Depending on the age of the child, the stage of the tooth and where the tooth is located, your pediatric dentist will determine how important, and possible, it is to replant the tooth. Depending on the age of your child and how soon teeth would be growing in, replanting may not be necessary as these primary teeth would be falling out soon anyways.


Avulsion for permanent teeth is a bit more serious because of the importance and permanence these teeth have. In the instance that one of your child’s teeth experiences trauma and falls out, pick up the tooth by the crown and make every effort to avoid the root of the tooth. If needed, rinse the tooth of with cool water before working on inserting the tooth back in the gap. Once in place, have them bite on a handkerchief or towel to get the tooth back in place. Once this is complete, seek dental care immediately.

Here at Encino Pediatric Dental Group, we have years of experience working on traumatic dental accidents and are prepared to take care of your child. Call our office for more questions, or in the case of an emergency, remain calm and call our office to let us know you’ll be stopping in.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: April 7th, 2016, Date Modified: June 1st, 2016 9:10 pm

As a kid, ready and able to get into all sorts of trouble, accidents are bound to happen. As with many accidents, the way that you react to the situation will determine a lot of the outcome. At Encino Pediatric Dental Group we are specialized in caring for children’s teeth during a dental emergency. Depending on the accident, there are specific ways to respond. Here are a few of the most common accidents that we have seen and how to provide the best dental care possible.


Regardless of whether it is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth, it is the severity of the chipped tooth dictates what needs to be done and how soon in any given situation. If the chip only involves the outer portion of the tooth, known as the enamel, or the enamel and the portion directly under it, known as the dentin, a filling will normally suffice. This is not a dental emergency. However, if the tooth has fractured to the nerve of the tooth, then more extensive and immediate attention should be given. This is a dental emergency. And if you are able to recover the missing piece, place it in milk and bring it with you to the dental appointment. We may be able to piece it right back on!


When your child has a severe blow to the face enough to knock out a permanent tooth, you need to see emergency care within 30 minutes, at the maximum in order for the tooth to be saved. If possible, we recommend rinsing the tooth off with water to remove any dirt and placing it back in the socket, ensuring that it is facing the right direction and level with the rest of the teeth. Then have your child bite down on a rolled-up towel or cloth until more professional medical attention can be provided. Please be careful not to touch the root of the tooth while rinsing it.

If you are unable to replace the tooth right away, then the most important thing is to make sure that the tooth doesn’t dry out. Place the tooth into either milk or the child’s saliva to transport it.

Remember, time is of the essence, so contact us as soon as the trauma occurs.

If a baby tooth gets knocked out, leave it out. Replacing the baby tooth back into the bone may cause it to get stuck in the bone, preventing the permanent tooth under it from coming in as it should.


If the tooth is knocked out of position, see the dentist right away. The goal of the dentist is to push the tooth back into its appropriate position and make sure that it isn’t loose enough for your child to swallow. And remember, the sooner the better (and easier on your child).

There are several different kinds of emergencies. These are just the most common. After addressing your child’s injury and repairing it, we will discuss the appropriate post-treatment home and office care to make sure that your child’s smile looks it’s best.

If your child has recently dealt with a dental emergency, stop into Encino Pediatric Dental Group and get the situation handled today.


BY: Encino Pediatric Dental GroupDate Published:March 27th, 2016Date Modified:April 13th, 2016 4:38 pm

There are plenty of adults that are still terrified of going to the dentist, so it is important that you take an initiative in preparing your child for the dentist so that they aren’t nervous or scared when their first dental visit comes around. At Encino Pediatric Dental Group, we do our best to embrace your child’s youthful spirit while still enforcing the importance of oral hygiene and dental care. Here are a few tips on how to make sure that your child’s first dental visit is a positive one.


Familiarity is one of the factors that make an experience comfortable. Since this is the first visit, the only familiarity that your child will have is what they know. Since their knowledge to is what they’ll rely on to feel comfortable, conversation about the dentist office, what to expect during the visit and why dentist appointments are important, will help ease nerves for your child.


As with many other firsts, there are children’s books that are written for this particular experience. Purchasing one of these books and reading it to your child every couple of weeks or so will help them become more familiar with what the routine during a standard visit is and calm the nerves before the actual visit.


This is important to do with your child all of the time, not just before their first visit. However, getting your child excited to practice these habits will make the visit even more exciting. If your child is excited to brush every day because they get a reward or something of the sort, they’ll have a positive outlook on their upcoming visit with our pediatric dentist.

To schedule your child’s first visit, please contact our office and ask about openings. Learn more about what to expect in your child’s first dental visit and start preparing today.


By:Encino Pediatric Dental GroupDate Published:March 8th, 2016Date Modified:April 26th, 2016 10:46 pm

For years the tooth fairy has been visiting children in the night, replacing teeth that have fallen out with a small token or payment. One thing that has changed is the amount that children are getting. From the 25 cent pieces that we were all given as kids, the amounts have raised to no less than a dollar per tooth. While this folklore is one that your child is sure to hear about from other kids, you can utilize the tooth fairy as a great way to boost oral health in your home.


For the most part, your little one’s teeth will be in pretty good condition because they are just baby teeth. However, you know whether or not they’ve been following good dental hygiene habits, and can reward them based upon that. If you know that your child hasn’t been doing a great job of brushing, rather than leave a full dollar under their pillow, leave 25 cents and explain to them that the tooth fairy only wants healthy teeth. This should help motivate them to do a better job with a routine cleaning schedule.


While money is always a great treat for kiddos, this isn’t the only form of reinforcement that you can give to your kids for having healthy teeth. Oral habits require specific tools to do correctly. If your child loosens a tooth and has been doing a great job of following a healthy oral hygiene routine, reward them with a new electric toothbrush.

Pediatric dentistry is important because it is the foundation to good oral health habits down the road. At Encino Pediatric Dentistry, we offer oral habit counseling to children of all ages. Schedule an appointment and allow for us to better your child’s oral health.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: February 7th, 2016 Date Modified: March 7th, 2016 10:59 pm

When the dental procedure that your child needs requires general anesthesia, it can be a bit unsettling. Here at Encino Pediatric Dental Group, we do offer the option of general anesthesia or intravenous (IV) sedation for certain procedures. In order to put your nerves at ease, we want to dive into what this process looks like for your child and why you shouldn’t be so concerned to take advantage of the option for your child’s procedure.

The underlying fact in all pediatric dental care that uses general anesthesia, is that your dentist will only suggest sedation if it is needed for the procedure or will put your little one at ease. One of the best parts about general anesthesia is that your child will be asleep during the procedure, and won’t have any recollection of it afterwards. This not only reduces the stress levels regarding the procedure, but is a great solution for kids that have high distress levels as is.

General anesthesia is extremely precise, and that’s why we require you to follow before and after care procedures. Depending on the age, your dentist will tell you when the cutoff time for any meals to happen will be. It’s crucial that you stick to these guidelines before your child’s procedure and provide as accurate information as possible.

The procedure will start with the anesthesiologist meeting with you and your little one. From there we will review all of the medical information we have, take weight, height and vital signs, and figure out all the paperwork. Then the anesthesiologist will administer a small dose of a short acting sedative to your child to allow her to start an IV. Once asleep, we will apply the IV sedation that will keep them asleep throughout the procedure. This happens in either the arm or hand. Throughout the procedure, your child will be monitored to ensure that they’re reacting well to the dosage.

Once the procedure is completed, the dosage of anesthesia will slowly wear off and your child will wake up. This differs from child to child, but we recommend setting aside enough time to account for the time it could take for your child to wake up. Once they have been released, we will provide you with aftercare instructions and guidelines.

General anesthesia isn’t as scary as it seems. In reality, this is a great tool that allows for doctors to provide the ultimate care to our patients. If you’ve held any uncertainty going into your child’s procedure, rest assured that the pediatric dentists at Encino Pediatric Dental Group have your child’s best interest at hand with everything we do. For any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: January 28th, 2016

As the pediatric dentists of Encino Pediatric Dental Group, we know how difficult keeping your child cavity free can be, and that’s why we strongly suggest that parents get sealants for their child’s teeth. We’ve touched briefly on the benefits of sealants in a previous blog, but we really wanted to dive into the perks of this decision.

The back teeth, or molars, have deep grooves on their chewing surfaces. Unfortunately, no matter how good our hygiene, the toothbrush bristles may not reach the ends of these grooves and food and bacteria may remain stuck in there. Sealants work by filling in the grooves of those chewing surfaces to create a smooth surface, so that food and bacteria does not get caught in them.

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that we paint onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth. We start by cleaning the tooth and making sure it is cavity free. We then put a solution on the tooth that makes the surface rough so that the sealant will stick easily. We wash off this solution, and then apply the sealant that takes only a few seconds to dry. After the sealant hardens, it is in place and ready to fight off tooth decay. Sealants should last a few years, but will be checked upon regular visits.

Make sure that you take all preventative measures to keep your child’s mouth free of cavities and tooth decay. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for your child today.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group, Date Published: January 16th, 201, Date Modified: January 28th, 2016 6:28 pm

If you live in Encino, you know that most children are involved in sports. From the Friday night football games to the Saturday morning soccer games, your child’s smile gets put in a vulnerable place. The combination of tackles and accidental throws to the face are guilty of knocking more than a few teeth out. As the friendly pediatric dentists in Encino, we strive to keep your child’s smile happy and healthy, and the best way that we tackle dental injuries from sports is with mouth guards.

Mouth guards are coverings worn over your teeth that protect them from injury. You can find them made in a variety of materials and colors. Mouth guards are now becoming necessary parts of just about every sport. In fact, most football teams will require their players to use one. You can find a generic mouth guard that is a close fit to your child’s mouth, but you also have the option to get one customized to your child’s mouth for a better fit, and ultimately, better protection.

As we mentioned before, not wearing a mouth guard while participating in sports can create a horrible dental injuries for kids. In fact, studies show that athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth if they’re not wearing a mouth guard. These injuries may include chipped or broken teeth, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth, fractured jaws, and concussions. But being able to maintain your child’s smile is easy to do while participating in sports by simply wearing a mouth guard. When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.

A mouth guard is only a small piece to the overall health of your child’s smile. Encino Pediatric Dental Group offers oral habit counseling for children of all ages so that dental hygiene is done correctly and becomes second nature. Contact our office today and set up an appointment for oral habit counseling or a routine checkup!


By: Encino Pediatric Dental GrouDate Published: January 5th, 2016

Starting your New Year off with a resolution sets you up with the chance to work towards a particular goal throughout the year. At Encino Pediatric Dental Group, we can’t help but believe that a healthy smile should be one of the resolutions that you work towards during the year. With a variety of pediatric dental services, we hope to provide you with everything that you need to help instill strong oral habits in your child. Aside from making an appointment for your child to come and get habit counseling from one of our dental specialists, these are a few of the habits that you can slowly introduce and support throughout the year.


We’ve talked about the importance of brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time. We know that sticking to this can be hard, but finding a fun way to make this goal each day is a great habit to start a young age. The more practiced this habit goes, the easier it is to follow as kids grow up. Find fun songs that last exactly 2 minutes and play them while they brush.


This habit isn’t fun for too many kids, and unfortunately is the cause for most cavities. Help instill this habit by flossing next to your child every night. Show them that this habit is something that will help their teeth for years to come, and that you are excited to do it.


Help implement these healthy oral habits by creating a goal chart for your child to stick to. This is a fun way to incorporate these habits while still providing them with rewards. In order to stick to great healthy oral habits, making the rewards related to dental health, like a new toothbrush for 2 months of healthy habits.

For more guidance or oral health counseling, schedule an appointment with the passionate professionals at Encino Pediatric. We are excited to share the love of oral health with kids, and we would love the opportunity to start your child’s year off with a great habit.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: December 6th, 2015 Date Modified: January 5th, 2016 2:34 pm

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex that provides comfort to children. Children feel soothed, comfortable and secure when they suck on their thumbs, so it’s not a surprise that quitting this habit is difficult. As a dentist, we see children who carry on this habit for years, and when this habit happens past the loss of baby teeth, it can have long term effects on your child’s mouth.

Once permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking can affect the way that your child’s mouth grows and also changes the roof of the mouth. This is all based on the power with which your child is sucking, which is different from kid to kid. If your child uses their thumb sucking as a security tool, they’re likely not sucking on their thumb vigorously, so damage to their teeth is pretty uncommon. When children thumb suck as a result of being upset, it’s usually pretty aggressively that they suck, which is when the permanent teeth get damaged.

Most children will stop sucking their thumb between the ages of two and four, so as your child’s permanent teeth come in, it’s important that you make an active effort to get them to quit sucking their thumb. Often times, children who suck their thumb after their permanent teeth have come in will notice their teeth being pushed around or coming in crooked, which can create an overbite or an under bite. And depending on the intensity of their sucking, they can notice long term effects that change the shape of the roof of their mouth or makes it more sensitive. Children that suck their thumbs after their permanent teeth grow in will likely require braces.

The team at Encino Pediatric Dental Group can provide your child with guidance on the habits as well as positive things that will benefit your child’s smile. For more guidance on oral health habit counseling, contact our office in Encino.


By:Encino Pediatric Dental GroupDate Published:November 30th, 2015Date Modified:December 22nd, 2015 10:54 pm

The dentists at Encino Pediatric Dental Group provide children with the tools and knowledge that they need to have a healthy smile. While we do our best to teach your children good oral habits, the practicing of these habits goes beyond our office doors. Until your child understands the importance of a dental hygiene routine and knows how to do so properly, it’s up to you to make sure that tooth decay is at bay. Here are four ways that you can minimize the chances of tooth decay in your child’s mouth.


Make sure that your kids pearly whites are brushed and flossed and practice healthy brushing habits with them. The recommended brushing is twice a day for two minutes. Brushing should happen as soon as teeth break through the gums.


The foods that you eat make up a big part of your oral health. Healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables provide your body with the nutrients that they need to keep your teeth nice and strong while foods high in sugar will increase the chances of cavities. Stay away from eating sticking and gummy vitamins and snacks, including dried fruits.


A child’s first dentist visit should take place no later than their first birthday. Teething is a difficult process and the overall health of your child’s teeth needs to start at an early age. If you haven’t scheduled your little one’s first visit, do so today!


Sealants are a great way of minimizing the chances of tooth decay! Ask your pediatric dentist about applying dental sealants to the part of your child’s tooth that they chew with. These are a great option for children’s baby and permanent molars.

Ensure that your child’s smile is off to a good start by practicing these healthy dental habits. For more guidance with your children’s teeth, contact Encino Pediatric Dental Group and ask about our habit counseling.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: November 17th, 2015 Date Modified: December 10th, 2015 8:42 pm

The holiday season is a great time of year, especially for kids. School’s out, Christmas is around the corner, and the sweets and treats are easily found. During this time it’s easy to forget how sugary treats can damage teeth and allow for your kids to overindulge. Here are three holiday sweets that are best to minimize this season in order for your kids teeth to be happy and healthy at the end of the season!


Candy canes are a holiday favorite, but they’re better left hanging from your tree or tucked away in a stocking. It’s hard not to overindulge in these since they’re really only found around this time of year. Unfortunately, candy canes are entirely sugar based; that’s a lot of sugar when you think about it! Eating that much sugar leaves your teeth coated in sugar for hours, attracting acid that breaks down the enamel. As your tooth’s enamel becomes weaker, the chances for cavities increase.


A tasty and timeless treat, popcorn often goes under the radar of snacks to stay away from. Popcorn is actually bad for your teeth regardless of the time of year. The kernels of the popcorn get wedged between teeth easily, letting plaque and bacteria build up. This also wears down the enamel of your teeth making it easy for cavities to form. Popcorn almost doubles in damage done to teeth when you start factoring in the different flavors that pop up around this time of year like caramel corn and kettle corn.


This goes for most sticky candies, but homemade sweets that pop up around the holiday season, like those sweet sweet caramels, can do high amounts of damage to your teeth. While they never seem to last long enough, these chewy candies get stuck to the inside of your teeth, leaving their high-in-sugar contents hanging around for longer than your saliva is used to.

Keep your kiddos mouth healthy this season by monitoring their sugar intake and making sure that they continue to use healthy dental habits on a day to day basis. Other foods you want to monitor this season will be those sugar cookies and brownies! For any questions that you have regarding dental habit counseling, contact Encino Pediatric Dental Group.


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: November 4th, 2015 Date Modified: December 10th, 2015 8:40 pm

The dentists at Encino Pediatric Dental Group are passionate about oral health and the great smile that comes with it. Because of this, we take advantage of the technology we have to provide our patients, your children, with the best care possible. One of the pieces of technology we take advantage of are our digital x-ray machines. These machines provide benefits to both the dentist and the little one in the dentist seat.

Children require more X-rays (or radiographs) than adults because their mouth and jaws are constantly changing and growing. As teeth are coming and going, it is important that we are able to evaluate the new permanent teeth that will be coming in. The dentist will be checking the mouth for improperly positioned permanent teeth and for missing or extra teeth. This is mainly achieved with radiographs.

Also, cavities in baby teeth grow at a faster rate than cavities in permanent teeth, so it is best to detect and treat cavities when they are small. Small cavities in between the teeth can only be detected with radiographs. By the time the cavities are visible in your child’s mouth, it is already very large and may require a baby root canal.

While large amounts of radiation may be harmful to your body’s tissue and cells, the amount of radiation that you are exposed to while getting your digital radiographs at the dentist is very minimal. Over the years there have been incredible advances that minimize the risks that are associated with the radiation of radiographs. Digital radiographs are significantly lower in the amount of radiation that is exposed, making them an overall better option for our patients.

Digital radiographs also provide for great advancements within a dentist office. Because of digital radiographs, we are able to minimize the fresh water that was required for radiograph development, while also eliminating the need to purchase processing chemicals and film.

Encino Pediatric Dental Group always has your child as a first priority. Our goal is to teach strong oral care habits to your child while providing quality care. Schedule your child’s dentist appointment with us today!


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: October 21st, 2015 Date Modified: December 10th, 2015 8:40 pm

Having a proactive, and effective, oral health routine can ensure that your smile is healthy for years to come. One of the best things you can do to increase your oral health is to add a product with fluoride into your dental routine. Fluoride is an element that has proven to be advantageous for various pieces of oral health, and because of that is an ingredient found in types of toothpaste and mouthwash. The team of dentists at Encino Pediatric Dental Group wants to make sure that we provide you with the information that will benefit your dental health, so we’ve provided you with just a few of the benefits of fluoride.


Tooth enamel is strong, but it can still be affected by the gunk that builds up on your teeth. Plaque on the surface of your teeth has the ability to produce an acid that breaks through your teeth’s enamel and break down the internal structure. When this happens, the acid leaves weak spots that you know as cavities. Fluoride breaks down plaque, minimizing the chances for it to create cavities.


Tooth decay is as painful as it sounds. It begins on biting surfaces, between your teeth, or on any exposed roots around any fillings you’ve already got. Without treatment, tooth decay can spread into the tooth, ultimately destroying the structure of the tooth and causing an infection. Fluoride strengthens your tooth’s enamel. It creates new, stronger enamel crystals that make it difficult for tooth decay to occur.

Fluoride can be found in toothpastes, mouthwashes and is even added into certain brands of drinking water. Including these types of products can make a big difference in your oral health, especially if you’ve gotten lots of cavities. Schedule an appointment with Encinio Pediatric Dental Group for more oral habit counseling!


By: Encino Pediatric Dental Group Date Published: October 7th, 2015 Date Modified: December 10th, 2015 8:40 pm

Dental care starts with what you eat. At Encino Pediatric Dental Group, we want to make sure that you, as a parent, know what types of snacks can hinder your child’s dental care. Here are only a few of the snacks to stay away from as much as possible.


Sugar is sugar, and it’s no secret that snacks high in sugar are bad for you. Regardless of the type of sugar – white, brown, honey, processed – it is more about the amount of consumption than the amount of sugar itself. Sugar bathes your teeth in acid, and the more frequently that you consume sugar the more frequently your teeth are covered in acid. The best way to avoid sugary snacks is by having sweet foods during meals, when saliva can neutralize the acid. Also, brushing within 20 minutes of snacking on sweet snacks or meals.


Dried fruit, while seemingly healthier, are also high in sugar. Through the processing, these fruits sugar levels almost double. Their chewy or hard composure can easily damage the biting surfaces of our teeth. An easy fix to this is snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables.


Both of these contain high amounts of sugar and acidity. What separates these from typical snacks is that they are liquid, making it easier for them to get to places that food can’t. Juice and soda have the ability to get in between your teeth, bringing the sugar and acidity closer to your gums and the root of your tooth.


Gummy vitamins, fruit roll ups, and gummy snacks are all full of sugar and super sticky. After eating these snacks, they will often get stuck on the biting surfaces of the teeth. If the biting surface of the tooth has deep grooves, it is almost impossible to clean out the sugar left behind by the gummy snack, even with brushing.

Managing these types of snacks can help keep your oral health in a great condition. If you have any questions about the snacks that you’re consuming, contact Encino Pediatric Dental Group.

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