Monday, January 15, 2018

Beautiful Smiles Lead to Beautiful Speech

Let your smile help your words flow!

A smile is often worth a thousand words, especially for the many people who struggle with speech problems. Sadly, many people get in the habit of keeping their mouths closed and keeping their words inside because of a variety of dental or orthodontic issues. The good news is that Pediatric Dental Specialists not only can help you light up the world with your beautiful smile, but Drs. Cervantes, CortezPlanells, and Sanchez may be able to help correct problems that exist in your facial structure that lead to several speech problems.

In order to create speech, the parts inside our mouths have to work together to form the sounds we use for communication. If the teeth, tongue, and palate are misaligned, patients may experience difficulty pronouncing certain sounds. These mispronunciations may be thought of as cute in toddlers, but for older children and adults who suffer with this speech problem, it is a hardship that can lead to self-confidence issues later in life. Orthodontic treatment can correct this misalignment and facilitate correct speech pronunciation patterns.

Another common speech disorder related to misalignment is called a lisp, which exists when a person is unable to make specific sounds. Many preschoolers lisp as they learn speech patterns. However, pediatricians recommend an orthodontic evaluation if the child lisps as he or she begins elementary school age. Again, orthodontic treatment may be able to correct the structural misalignments that lead to lisping.

A third form of speech problem occurs when you slur your speech. Often, slurred speech is categorized by the poor pronunciation of words, change in speed or rhythm during talking, or mumbling during speech. Sometimes people slur their speech because the structure of the jaw or placement of teeth restricts the movement needed to speak clearly and distinctly. Orthodontic treatment may be just the tool to help people speak clearly, distinctly, and fluidly.


Though orthodontic treatment might not result in a remedy for all speech problems, many people who struggle with speech problems benefit from orthodontic treatment. Come in today to discover how our talented doctors and caring staff can give you a beautiful smile that frames beautiful speech.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

January Charity of the Month - Children's Dental Health Clinic

With the new year in full swing, we’re excited to announce our Check-In 4 Charity of the month – the Children’s Dental Health Clinic!

The Children's Dental Health Clinic is a remarkable non-profit organization serving both children and young adults in the Greater Long Beach and South Bay areas who are economically disadvantaged or have issues accessing care.  They are dedicated to providing quality basic and specialty dental treatment, as well as preventive services. Their ultimate vision is to see that all children grow up with healthy, confident smiles.

Over their 85-year history, they have evolved into a comprehensive, hospital-based facility on the campus of the Miller Children's Hospital in the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. They also have a satellite clinic in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. Today, the Children’s Dental Health Clinic is an independent community-based organization serving more than 10,000 underserved children through 33,000 visits annually.

To learn more about the history of this great organization and the services they provide, visit their website at: https://www.cdhc.org/

Please join all of us in supporting this local charity during the month of January. All you have to do is check-in on Facebook during your appointments – it’s that simple!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Tooth Truth


Here at Pediatric Dental Specialists, we consider dental health to be an integral part of overall good health. Our practice philosophy is to provide dental education and treatment, as well as orthodontics, for children, teens, and those with special healthcare needs. We believe that good dental health can instill a sense of well-being, provide a lifelong smile, and promote good overall health.

To that note, let’s talk about the truth about our teeth. Our bone and gum tissues are supported by our teeth. If this support is lost or is poorly aligned, then our bone and gums can begin to erode. If the teeth are properly aligned the bone and gums are less likely to erode.

Your teeth play an important role in digestion. Before your food ever enters your stomach, it has to be chewed by your teeth. This process is called mastication. The food has to be partially broken down before entering your stomach to be properly digested. Braces straighten your teeth and give you the alignment you need to properly chew your food. 

If you are concerned about your alignment, or simply have questions on how to improve your child’s dental health, let’s talk! Our caring team takes pride in providing exceptional care to patients of all ages. We also have links to great additional resources on our website. To access those links, click here.

Friday, December 15, 2017

I just got braces, now what?

At Pediatric Dental Specialists,  we believe you have taken the first step toward a healthier and more beautiful smile but you are probably wondering what comes next. The first week is the biggest period of adjustment, and there is a lot to learn in this short time. What to eat? How to brush?  No worries, in a very short time your braces will feel completely natural.

On the first day, your braces will probably feel sort of like a mouthful and it may take time to get used to them. By the second day, you may feel some soreness or discomfort.  If you are going to experience any discomfort, the second and third days are when it will happen. If you do experience discomfort it can be dealt with by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol.

If you have any questions or concerns our team of is here to help you! We're simply a phone call away at (562) 377-1375. You can also find more helpful information on our website by clicking here


Friday, December 1, 2017

December Charity of the Month - Action Against Hunger


For almost 40 years, across nearly 50 countries, Action Against Hunger has led the global fight against hunger. They enable people to provide for themselves, see their children grow up strong, and for whole communities to prosper. Constantly searching for more effective solutions, Action Against Hunger continuously shares their knowledge and expertise with the world while pushing for long-term change.

About 815 million people go to bed hungry every night, and one in three children in low- and middle-income countries suffers from chronic undernutrition. Action Against Hunger works not only to treat acutely undernourished children through a community-based approach, but also to improve child survival and prevent undernutrition by addressing its underlying causes. Their technical expertise is internationally renowned, due to their more than 35 years of operational experience in countries with the highest "burdens" of hunger. They’ve also developed revolutionary nutrition products and field testing treatment protocols that have become international best practice. Action Against Hunger aims to increase the number of children worldwide who are screened and treated for undernutrition and to build the capacity of local health systems to treat undernutrition. 


Each time you check-in at our office during the month of December, a donation is made to benefit this wonderful charity. All of us at Pediatric Dental Specialists thank you for your continued support. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thanksgiving Countdown!

It seems like the month of November has really flown by! Thanksgiving is just a week away and we’re all looking forward to time with family and friends – not to mention all of the delicious food! 

If you’re looking to add a new side dish or two to your Thanksgiving table this year, we’ve found two contenders that will not only look spectacular but might also become a new favorite for your family. Both of these would be perfect to bring to a potluck meal since they can both be assembled in advance and each takes less than 30 minutes to heat.  

Maple Cranberry Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt

Place whole sweet potatoes in a large pot with just enough water to cover and one teaspoon of salt. Heat to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently for 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook just until cranberries pop, typically about 5 minutes.
When ready to bake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, overlapping slices if necessary. Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes and bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until hot.
Green Bean Cheddar Casserole
  • 3 lbs. green beans
  • 2 cups stale bread
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepot of salted water to boil. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse bread into coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil and sliced green onions. Toss to combine and set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until all cornstarch is dissolved. Add nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. Heat slowly over medium heat, and slowly whisk in remaining 2 cups of milk. Allow sauce to boil for 2 minutes, keep whisking! Reduce heat to low, and add in cheeses one handful at a time, waiting until cheese melts before adding the next handful. Once all cheese has been added and the sauce is smooth, remove from heat. Toss with green beans until well coated with sauce. Transfer mixture to a 3-quart baking dish until ready to bake.
When ready to bake:
Sprinkle reserved breadcrumb mixture over green beans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Recipe Swaps:
·         To save time, purchase fresh green beans in a microwaveable bag and skip the boiling all together!
·         Use your favorite store-bought breadcrumbs to save additional time in lieu of making them yourself. Panko breadcrumbs are also an excellent substitution, adding even more crunch to the topping of this dish.


We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! All of us at Pediatric Dental Specialists are thankful for each and every patient we’ve had the pleasure of serving. Now, what are you going to make with all of the leftovers?


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Out With The Old & In With The New

With cold and flu season starting, germs seem to be lurking everywhere! While it’s difficult to avoid catching the office cold or flu bug, you can help keep your number one oral hygiene accessory in great shape by replacing your toothbrush regularly. Toothbrushes help keep your teeth and mouth clean, but how long should you a keep a toothbrush? It is recommended that you switch out that old toothbrush for a fresh new one every 3 to 4 months, and directly after any cold or flu. Replacing your toothbrush is essential since they are constantly being exposed to germs and bacteria. If you notice the bristles of your toothbrush have become worn, that is a clear sign that you need a new toothbrush. People who wear braces will likely need to replace their toothbrushes frequently, as braces break down and fracture bristles which makes the toothbrush lose its effectiveness.

It's helpful to keep a pack of toothbrushes available in the house at all times for easy replacement. You may be thinking "My toothbrush is fine, I have it broken in just the way I like it”. While that could be true, did you know that your old toothbrush could actually be harming your mouth?

3 Reasons to Change Out Your Old Toothbrush
1.     Bacteria - Your toothbrush is a tool for removing bacteria from your teeth…but it doesn’t actually kill bacteria. Some of the bacteria from your teeth stay on your toothbrush after you are done brushing. Now, this isn’t a problem initially, but imagine three to four months of bacteria build up on your toothbrush. That old bacteria ridden toothbrush is in your mouth at least twice a day…yuck.
2.     Bristles - Like any tool, a toothbrush wears down. Worn bristles are tough on your enamel and can wear it away over time. Not only that… an old, worn toothbrush can be up to 95 percent less effective at removing plaque.
3.     Illness - Always change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, even if it’s not “technically” time to switch out your toothbrush. Germs and bacteria in your mouth require brushing twice a day, every day.


If you feel like changing your toothbrush every three months is wasteful, we’ve got a solution! Put that old toothbrush to work doing odd jobs around the house. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning around facet fixtures and tile grout. They can even be used to clean tools, computer keyboards, and tennis shoes! Make sure to mark your calendar as a reminder to replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months. If you need a few tips on keeping your smile in tip-top shape, make sure to ask at your next appointment with us