What you should know about your child’s teeth
ENCINITAS — We teach our kids about manners and healthy eating. We encourage them to read and be responsible. All of these and other beneficial behaviors begin at home and shape the people they grow to be. Dental care should be no different.
According to Dr. Matt Davis of Davis Pediatric Dentistry in Encinitas, the concept of a “dental home” is crucial to lifelong oral health.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages the concept of a dental home. Based on the medical model, it emphasizes comprehensive, continuously accessible, family-centered, compassionate care. This means the patient, parents, dentists and nondental professionals all working together.
“The establishment of a dental home may follow the medical home model as a cost-effective and higher quality health care alternative to emergency care situations,” according to the Academy of Pediatrics.
So when should you first take your child to the dentist? The earlier the better.
“A child’s first visit should be around their 1st birthday,” Dr. Davis said. “At our office we refer to it as a well baby visit and it is generally free of charge.”
The dental home model focuses on children beginning at age 1 until 18, when they typically leave the nest.
Davis Pediatric Dentistry follows the guidelines of a dental home and according to Dr. Davis, early home care and regular dental visits every six months can help lead to a lifetime of good oral health.
A common misconception about children’s dental care is that they are “just baby teeth,” Dr. Davis said. “Baby teeth are very important to your overall dental health. They are important to normal development of the jaws, they save space for permanent teeth and help guide them into position. Many people don’t realize that the last baby teeth are typically not lost until 12 to 14 years of age.”
One way that Davis Pediatric Dentistry shares important information about oral hygiene is through the practice’s mascots Rada Rabbit and Flossie. For more than 25 years the two have traveled to local preschools and elementary schools to educate children.
“It’s been fun and effective,” Dr. Davis said.
In addition to their furry friends, the team at Davis Pediatric Dentistry does their best to stand out while making a difference in their patients’ lives.
“I believe what makes our practice different is our great mix of doctors and staff that we have here,” Dr. Davis said. “Every person truly cares in providing for our patients and making it a positive experience for both parents and patients from their first steps in the door.”
While parents might have memories of being scared to visit the dentist as a child,
Davis Pediatric Dentistry offers an experience their patients won’t dread and might even look forward to. “Everything at our office is designed with kids in mind, from the playroom in the waiting room to each operatory with TVs in the ceilings,” Dr. Davis said. “We take our time with each child, and strive to make every visit a positive experience no matter what the patients’ age so that kids can learn that going to the dentist does not have to be scary.”
All of these philosophies are the brainchild of practice founder Dr. Patrick Davis, who started the practice more than 30 years ago. He raised four children in Encinitas. “It has been great to be able to come to work with someone with so much experience and love for what he does,” Dr. Davis said of his father.
“Dr. Edna Pamaran has been a great addition to our office and has been with us for the past four years,” Dr. Davis said. Dr. Pamaran is a San Diego native who currently resides in Carlsbad with her family.
As for Dr. Davis, he is all too happy to be practicing here in his hometown. “It’s great being back in the community that I grew up in,” he said. “I love everything about Encinitas from the climate to the people. It’s truly been a privilege to be able to come back here and practice and raise my family.”
Davis Pediatric Dentistry is located at 477 N. El Camino Real # B 203 in Encinitas. They are open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call them at (760) 942-1131 or visit their website at www.davispediatricdds.com.