Thursday, July 19, 2018

Back to School Oral Health Basics

The summer days are passing by, and it is almost time to start a new school year.   As you prepare your children for back to school, the health of their teeth and gums may not be be on the top of your list, but good smiles denote: friendliness, good overall health, and confidence. Here are some suggestions that will help in maintaining healthy smiles:

Daily Oral Care Practices 

Educating our children at a young age on oral health practices is key in prevention of decay and gum disease. Here are some recommendations:

  • Brushing

Brushing morning and at bedtime with a soft-bristle brush. We recommend using a timer for 2 minutes. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), it is recommended that children be assisted with brushing until the age of 8. At the very least, an inspection by the parent is very helpful. Children may swallow some toothpaste when brushing, these are the recommended amounts of toothpaste based on age: A smear or rice size amount of children’s fluoridated toothpaste is for children less than three years of age, and  a pea-size amount for children three to six years old.

  • Flossing

Floss to clean between teeth and remove the plaque a toothbrush can’t reach. Initial supervision by a parent is necessary. There are special flossers with handles to help reach between molars.

Healthy Diet

Healthy snacks are just as important as a good daily hygiene routine. Here are some ideas for healthy options for your child’s teeth: string cheese, fruits, veggies, yogurt, hummus, almonds. Try to avoid sticky snacks such as fruit snacks (fruit roll-ups) and gummies, these can stick to your child’s teeth and may lead to tooth decay.

It is recommended to limit juice. Provide at most 4 ounces daily for toddlers age 1-3; for children age 4-6, fruit juice should be restricted to 4 to 6 ounces daily; and for children ages 7-18, juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces. Encourage water intake.

Schedule a Dental Check-up

Children starting kindergarten or in their first year of public school must have a dental check-up by May 31, according to California law.  A check-up/oral health assessment is important for children of all ages and helps to ensure healthy smiles. Undetected dental problems may be identified before
they become big concerns. Dental disease may result in infection/ pain that makes it difficult for children to eat, speak, and learn in school. Missing days from school as a result of dental disease may be prevented.

For more pediatric dental tips or to schedule your child’s appointment contact us at Pediatric Dental Specialists Long Beach ( Phone 562-377-1375

Friday, June 29, 2018

Oral Health Month: A Healthy Foundation

June is Oral Health Month. A good oral hygiene routine is the foundation to a healthy smile, especially for young children. For parents, leading by example, should establish healthy habits like brushing, cleaning between your teeth and seeing your dentist. This ultimately leads to the big difference in the health and happiness of your entire family and in children, less fears about visiting their dentist.

Here are a few tips from the American Dental Association that are a great reminder to enforce.

Start a Routine and Stick to It:
You may be tempted to let your child skip brushing after a long day or during times when your normal schedule is off (like vacation), but keep at it. The more second nature brushing becomes the easier it will be to make sure your child is brushing twice a day for two minutes.

Learn how to apply the right amount of toothpaste for your child. 

First Visit: 
Every parent celebrates the milestones in the first year, first words, first steps, first teeth.

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.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Summertime! Dental Tips for Avoiding Mouth/Facial Injuries

Spending time with friends, outdoor adventures, and being out of school make summer an exciting time of year for most children. While the season is filled with good times, it can also present certain risks such as mouth/facial injuries. Our Doctors at Pediatric Dental Specialists in Long Beach, want to help make your child’s summer an enjoyable one by offering the following tips to help prevent mouth/facial injuries. Follow us on our blog

1) Wear a Mouthguard While Playing Sports
Participating in sports is a popular activity. With the beautiful local weather, many children play a variety of outdoor contact sports such as: baseball, basketball, soccer, football, volleyball.  Sports can have risks at times through collisions, accidental elbowing, or being hit with the ball. You want to protect your child’s teeth. Sports related injuries account for 10 to 39 percent of all dental injuries in children. A mouthguard helps to protect teeth by providing an extra layer of cushion to shield their teeth and gums from potential impacts and can greatly reduce your child’s chances of getting a tooth knocked out. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry ( encourages mouth guard protection for patients at increased risk for orofacial trauma. Our office can provide a custom fit mouthguard, which is the best fit for your child’s mouth and offers the best protection, while still being comfortable.

2) Pool Safety is Key
It wouldn’t be summer without swimming.  Many of the summer emergencies pediatric dentists treat
are pool-related accidents. You can be prepared and help avoid an emergency room visit by ensuring that your child obeys the “pool rules” whether they are at home, the community pool, or at their friends. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters, or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.

3) Jumper Safety
For many families, no party is complete without a jumper. Jumpers often lead to a sudden accident such as colliding with another child, being elbowed or kicked. It is recommended that children steer clear of the net. We recommend an adult supervising the children while in the jumper. No matter the type or severity of the injury to your child’s mouth or teeth, it is important to have our Doctors evaluate your child, or contact us for advice on what to do.

Dental injuries are often stressful and emotional. We are here to help minimize some of the stress you and your child may feel. The Doctors are just a phone call away and take call when the office is closed. If necessary, the Doctors are available to come in for an emergency. Our team is here to help. Wishing you and your family a wonderful and safe summer!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What Makes Us Unique?

We have been serving patients in Long Beach and the surrounding areas for over 30 years! 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.
Dr. Santos Cortez, Dr. Estela Sanchez, Dr. Ana Planells and Dr. Gabriela Cervantes, as well as our team, are committed to supporting and educating our patients to care for their teeth and gums and help in the prevention of dental disease. We strive to achieve this goal in an environment that is soothing and welcoming to both parents and children of all ages.
What Sets Us Apart?
We offer pediatric dentistry and orthodontics for children, teens, and patients with special healthcare needs. With years of education, hands-on training, and experience, our doctors and staff are uniquely able to meet the specific dental needs of our young patients.
We utilize digital radiographs and the latest digital impression technology, which allows us to take digital molds for appliances and retainers without the goopy, messy material used in the past.

Our dental and orthodontic charts are digital, which allows for better communication with other dental and medical doctors. This reduces the number of X-rays patients undergo, and improves communication between providers, which leads to better care.
Make your child’s visit special!

As a new patient, your young child will receive a personalized book with his or her name and the name of the dentist. This book is kid-friendly and leads young children through their first dental visit and introduces them to, the dentist, dental staff, and some tools they will see during their visit. Read this to your child before his or her first visit to ease any fears.

We have a No-Cavity Club Program to reward children who perform good oral hygiene and have no cavities whereby they get entered into monthly drawings for gift cards. We also have many fun contests throughout the year to keep kids engaged and have positive experiences when visiting the dentist.

Here when you need us!
The doctors at Pediatric Dental Specialists are on-call for after-hours emergencies, including holidays and weekends. In the event of an emergency, you may contact our office to page the doctor on call, and expect to hear back within 30 minutes. The doctor will discuss the emergency over the phone and determine what action needs to be taken. Some emergency require seeing the patient in the office, other situations may be handled over the phone.

Giving Back to Build Healthy Communities

At Pediatric Dental Specialist, we believe that giving back is essential to building healthy communities. This month we are supporting the non-profit organization From Maddi’s Closet! Every time you check-in with us at our office, a donation is made to From Maddi's Closet. Benefiting children with cancer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and beyond; bringing love, hope, and joy into their lives and their families.

“From Maddi’s Closet is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization that supports families through special projects, providing funds for hospital staff for children with special needs not being met by other assistance programs, raising public awareness, and supporting pediatric cancer research.

From Maddi’s Closet was established in December 2004; two months after the loss of Madison in October.  Madison had battled bravely for eleven months, living nine months longer than her initial prognosis.  During these eleven months, she quietly raised her family’s awareness of the “sick children” around her, pointing out ones who had no one sitting by their bedside, or one who have been having an especially hard day.  Often she would take a toy with her when she went in for treatment and give it to a child who she felt needed something to play with.

Our projects are varied, ranging from distributing new toys and hand-made blankets to each pediatric cancer patient, sharing TLC gift bags with the tending moms, and sponsoring a Craft Play Day in the cancer ward.

The funds raised by From Maddi’s Closet are used to support the special monthly projects and response to special needs through financial donations to the Pediatric Cancer Ward Emergency fund at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Our dream is that there will be a “cure” that puts an end to children’s cancer.  We hold on to that dream and as we continue our journey, we work to support the medical community seeking better treatments and greatly improved mental and physical outcomes for these little patients.”

How can you join us in supporting From Maddi’s Closet?

Because we are a check-in 4 charity member, you can show support by simply checking-in on Facebook at our office. Each time you check-in, you participate in our donation to From Maddi’s Closet in May.

Learn more about the From Maddi’s Closet by visiting their website and social media at

Monday, April 23, 2018

Avoid Enamel Damage

What can I do to prevent enamel damage?

Are you concerned about damage to your tooth enamel? Well put your worries aside because there are several things you can do to prevent enamel damage such as decaying or discoloring. Avoiding enamel decay can be as easy as cutting out or limiting high-acidic foods from your regular diet. High-acidic foods include items such as blueberries, sugar, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, cranberries, and more.  Another thing you can do is remove high sugar drinks from your diet in addition to acidic foods is also a good idea.

Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to prevent your enamel from discoloring or decaying. 

The easiest way to avoid decay is to steer clear of high-acidity foods. This may not always be possible, but eliminating sugary fruit juices and soda from your diet is a good start. 

Brushing your teeth after each meal and flossing frequently also preserves your enamel. Another good idea is to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after eating to wash away high-acidity particles.

Although enamel damage is common, it does not have to be an inevitable occurrence. Knowing the foods that harm your teeth gives you the tools to prevent discoloration and decay. With some easy preventive measures, your teeth will stay strong and white for years to come! 

Monday, April 2, 2018

April's Check-In for Charity - Autism Speaks

Pediatric Dental Specialists is taking part in the worldwide support for Autism this month! 

What is Autism Speaks?
Autism Speaks is a charity with the goal to increase the public understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder. Aside from the amazing outcome of this charity, they are famous for their “Light It Up Blue” campaign. Wear blue to your appointments in April to show your support for Autism Speaks.

Facts about autism according to Autism Speaks:
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. 
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year. 
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal. 
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability. 
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias. 
How can you join us in supporting Autism Speaks?
Because Pediatric Dental Specialists is a check-in 4 charity member, you can show support for Autism speaks by checking-in on Facebook at our office. Each time you check-in participate in our donation to Autism Speaks in April. Another fun way to get involved is to wear blue at your April appointments!