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Children’s Dentistry – San Marcos, CA

Helping Your
Little One’s Smile Shine

Your child’s earliest experiences at our practice could end up defining their attitude towards dental care for the rest of their lives. With Dr. Howard’s expertise and our friendly team’s gentle touch, we aim to do everything in our power to make these early visits happy, stress-free experiences so that your little one can enjoy a bright, healthy smile well into adulthood. To schedule your child’s next appointment or to learn more about our various kid-friendly services, we invite you to
get in touch with us today!

Why Choose Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S. for Children’s Dentistry?

Your Child’s First Visit

It’s important for your child to feel comfortable with the care they receive, so during their first appointment, we’ll focus on helping them feel as comfortable as possible. Of course, we’ll also look closely for early signs of cavities and gum disease; the sooner these oral health issues are identified and treated, the easier they ultimately are to treat. This initial appointment is also a chance for us to take note of potential developmental issues that might need to be addressed later in life.

Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin, transparent layer of composite resin that is applied to the most vulnerable areas of your child’s smile – specifically, their molars and premolars, which contain many nooks and crannies where plaque, acids, and bacteria could be caught. A sealant can be applied in only a few minutes, but it can remain in place for about a decade, serving as a barrier against harmful substances until your child has perfected their brushing and flossing techniques.

Athletic Mouthguards/ Sportsguards

Mouthguards are an essential piece of equipment of any athlete, especially if they participate in a high-contact sport such as football. These oral appliances protect the teeth and tongue in the event of a collision or accident; they can also potentially lower the severity of a concussion. An oral appliance provided by Dr. Howard will be custom-made so that it fits snugly over your child’s teeth; the better the fit, the better protection your little one will enjoy.

Special Needs Children’s Dentistry

It can sometimes be hard to find a suitable dentist for a child with special needs. Fortunately,
Dr. Howard and the rest of our team has experience in using behavior management solutions and other techniques to help little ones from all walks of life feel safe and relaxed. If your child has any sort of physical or mental condition that requires accommodation, simply let us know so that we can develop a plan to fully meet their needs while we work on their smile.

Frenectomies/Lip & Tongue-Tie

When the membrane underneath an infant’s tongue restricts free movement, the resulting condition is called tongue tie. Lip tie is similar in that there is also an unusually tight membrane that stops the lips from moving normally. These conditions can hinder your child’s ability to speak properly. While the symptoms of lip tie and tongue tie sometimes may get better on their own later in life, if Dr. Howard decides intervention is required, we can remove the restrictive tissues with a dental laser that causes minimal pain and bleeding.

Non-Nutritive Habits

It’s completely normal for infants to suck on their fingers or thumbs as a coping mechanism. However, they will usually drop these habits on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. If non-nutritive sucking habits continue for too long, your child’s teeth and jaw might be pushed back, resulting in potentially severe orthodontic problems. As a parent, it’s important for you to intervene as soon as possible before thumb-sucking inflicts lasting damage to your child’s smile, and we’re here to help you identify the warning signs and make a plan as needed.

Pulp Therapy

Every tooth is filled with a collection nerves, tissues, and various blood vessels. This is known as the pulp. If at any point the pulp becomes injured or infected, we’ll need to act quickly; not only will your child suffer from extensive dental pain the longer the problem is left alone, but sooner or later they might end up losing the tooth altogether. To keep their still-developing smiles intact, call us to ask about pulp therapy if your child complains of a toothache that never goes away.

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