Posts Tagged ‘Youth’

Dental First Steps

Donna Bautista, DDS

Dental First Steps

Several years ago, my niece at age two, fell off her red wagon and landed facedown. She suffered a bruised, cut lip and loose front baby teeth…not to mention countless tears. We feared a toothless grin for her childhood future. Luckily, her baby teeth survived the ordeal and her toothy smile was saved.

Baby teeth, also known as primary or “milk” teeth, are usually present from approximately six months to 12 years. Parents often ask why these teeth are important and still need our care considering they eventually will fall out. Basically, baby teeth provide chewing ability for proper digestion and nutrition, especially during the child’s growth years. They also are important in maintaining the needed space for adult teeth. Early loss of these teeth can lead to improper alignment and may adversely affect the normal development of the jawbone and surrounding muscles. These teeth also help your child learn to pronounce words properly and smile with confidence. Developmentally, these teeth are quite essential. Recently, studies have shown that children with decay in their baby teeth tend to have a higher chance of decay in their permanent, adult teeth. Routine dental visits should be a part of your child’s health care schedule, even at a young age.

We strongly believe that achieving a lifetime of good dental health is aided by having a positive and hopefully enjoyable experience in the dental office. How many of us have been traumatized by a bad dental experience? It can almost ruin every dental experience afterwards. We do take the necessary time to reach a trust and comfort level before any dental work is to begin. For parents, there are several ways to help make your child’s dental experience a positive one. The American Dental Association recommends a child’s first visit take place by the age of one. During this appointment, risk of decay can be determined. More importantly, we make sure you are educated on proper diet and care for your child’s teeth. Before the initial appointment, if possible, prepare your child with positive descriptions and imagery. “The dentist is going to count your teeth” or “They will teach you how to brush to keep your teeth nice and clean.” Avoid words or phrases such as “shot” or “hurt”—these can make any of us fearful and nervous. Always brush and floss before a dental appointment.

Often, parents with a history of tooth decay are concerned their children have inherited this condition (e.g. “I think my daughter inherited my soft teeth”). However, to be more specific, research studies have shown that decay-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother/father to infant. This evidence makes it very important for parents to practice good oral hygiene and keep their teeth in good shape. Bottom line, parents that have healthy mouths, free of active dental decay, are much more likely to have babies that are free of early dental decay.

There are great products out there that can help keep decay at bay. Kids always get excited about getting a new toothbrush (especially when it has fun characters and designs on it). Battery-operated toothbrushes can provide motivation to brush. Since they are still developing strength and coordination, children will need help with brushing until about the age of six. Floss your child’s teeth once two teeth begin to touch. There are great flossing products on the market that come in different colors and shapes—perfect for small hands to hold and learn to floss with. Another way to increase their interest in caring for teeth is to let him/her help you brush your teeth.

Good dental hygiene is an ongoing, lifetime effort. This means that parental teaching and supervision must continue well into your child’s teen years. Teenagers’ schedules get busier and diets often include more sweets and soda. Soda is a big culprit in that its acidity dissolves the enamel of teeth. Cut back on the soda! This is also a time when your child can be in the midst of orthodontic treatment (braces). Braces work to improve dental health by straightening teeth and improving the bite. However, during orthodontic treatment, braces are an obstacle to getting teeth clean at home. Food constantly gets trapped in the braces and brushing and flossing is more difficult. Teens really need continual encouragement to put the extra effort into their routine. Frequent dental cleanings and checkups are recommended while your child is in braces to ensure no collateral damage takes place.

No doubt, a child benefits from good habits early on—especially when it comes to teeth. (Hopefully, they will follow by example!) Think of baby teeth as a guide for adult teeth and take advantage of every opportunity to make dental care a priority for your child. Their healthy and appreciative smiles will be your long-term reward.

Dr. Bautista received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry in 1995. She maintained a private practice in San Francisco for nine years before making her home in Orange County seven years ago. Her practice is focused on providing her patients with a thorough examination and developing a plan for preventative and restorative treatment using the most up-to-date and time-proven materials. Her goal is to provide comprehensive dental care that achieves an excellent functional and aesthetic result.

Children 16 years and younger
are invited to a complimentary exam
and checkup x-rays.

Donna S. Bautista, DDS, General & Cosmetic Dentistry
Dental Health and Wellness for the Family
949.226.7222 | www.donnabautistadds.com
26137 La Paz Road, Suite 270
, Mission Viejo

Helping Dana Point’s Youth

Dana Point Youth

Dana Point Restaurant Gives Back to Local Youth

Salt Creek Grille is hoping to make a difference in the lives of local youths

The Dana Point restaurant began its relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley in 2009 to help raise awareness and money for the club through fundraisers, restaurant promotions and more. In May, owners Tim McCune and Pete Truxaw gave the club $3,000 in proceeds from a menu entree promotion. For each Stuffed Jidori Chicken ordered, the restaurant donated $1 to the club.

Most recently, Salt Creek Grille has begun dishing up “Pasta Fridays” for the kids in San Juan Capistrano. Every Friday, as a free gesture, General Manager Marcos Costas brings tons of freshly prepared noodles and sauce, which comes with garlic bread — enough to feed up to 75 kids — to the club off Via Positiva. The meal which is prepared by Chef Scott Green, is meant to nourish the kids and provide them with delectable fare in a fun, social setting.

Giving back to the community has long been a hallmark of Salt Creek Grille’s agenda. For years, McCune and Truxaw have hosted fundraisers, dinners and other events to benefit all types of charities at all five of their restaurants, which also include El Segundo and Princeton and Rumson in New Jersey.

“As a local business owner and long-time resident of Laguna Niguel, I believe it is critical for us to support those in need within our community in any way possible,” McCune said.  “We are blessed with a unique opportunity to serve a good meal once a week to the kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Capistrano Valley.”

The Dana Point-based Salt Creek Grille is at 32802 Pacific Coast Highway (at Crown Valley Parkway). For more information about Salt Creek Grille, visit www.saltcreekgrille.com or call 949-661-7799.