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Pediatric Dentistry and Your Child

January 31, 2013

We understand the importance of dental care for adults, but it’s equally important to care for the health of your child’s teeth as well. Pediatric dentistry is an important dental specialty recognized by the ADA. Dentists in this field are skilled and practiced at caring for the health of children’s teeth.

Your child should first go to a dentist when they are one year old. This may seem rather young, but cavities can occur at any age, and it’s important to get started on a health routine early.

When taking your child to the dentist, make sure you’re taking them to a pediatric dentist. They’re prepared and experienced at handling young children and their needs. They also know how to work with a small patient that may not always stay still. If you don’t know who you should take your little one to see, your general dentist may be able to provide a referral.

The pediatric dentist will examine your child’s teeth and go over health concerns and proper brushing techniques with you. The sooner you start taking your child to the dentist the better. You don’t want your child’s first dental appointment to end with them having to get a mouth full of fillings, as this could cause them to become fearful of the dentist. Their first dental memory needs to be a pleasant one, to instill in them that going to the dentist is important for the health of their teeth and gums.

A pediatric dentist can also give you advice about teething, thumb sucking, and information on how your child’s teeth will grow and develop. A pediatric dentist is an important resource.

Don’t forget, once your child is a year old, it’s time for their first dental appointment. Pediatric dentistry plays an important role in the dental health care system and in our own personal dental health. Dr. Les Latner is a trained pediatric dentist, having completed his residency at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.

Cosmetic Dentistry in time for Valentine’s Day

January 28, 2013

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your confidence and look your best this February 14th, consider cosmetic dentistry. The cosmetic dentistry services Dr. Latner provides can help you whiten and straighten your teeth, creating a smile you’ll want to share with others.

Our cosmetic dentistry services include:

Our teeth whitening options include both Zoom! in-office whitening and a professional take-home whitening kit. Both produce professional results, but there are differences. Zoom! Whitening whitens teeth in just one appointment, while take-home whitening lets us brighten your smile in the comfort of your home, on your own schedule. For the best results, Zoom! in-office whitening and take-home whitening should be used together.

For adult patients who want a straighter smile, Dr. Latner provides different options. Invisalign is a great option. Instead of using metal brackets and wires, Invisalign uses clear trays made of acrylic. Because Invisalign’s trays are nearly invisible, your care will be more discreet. What’s more, treatment is often faster and more comfortable. Dr. Latner also offers Six Month Smiles. If you’d like a straighter smile in just six to eight months, Six Month Smiles may be the right treatment option for you.

For patients who want a whiter and straighter-looking smile, porcelain veneers are a popular option. Veneers use thin pieces of porcelain to improve the appearance of front teeth. The result is a dazzling smile that looks naturally beautiful.

Which service is right for you? Is it one of these, or is it another service from the list above? For an answer to that question, call Westside Dental Associates for an appointment with Dr. Latner. Our team is dedicated to creating beautiful smiles for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

How Old Is the Toothbrush?

January 21, 2013

Even though you use one everyday—or at least you should—you may not have ever thought about how long the toothbrush has been around. It’s hard not to see them as a modern invention. And they are, in a way. The modern toothbrush didn’t come into being until 1938.

But that doesn’t mean that no one brushed their teeth before that. It’s known that people living as far back as 3000 BC cleaned their teeth with frayed twigs. It’s also known that the first bristle toothbrush was invented in 15th century China. All of which means that brushing has been an important part of daily life for centuries, and it continues to be.

Why is brushing important? Because it helps you remove food debris, plus bacteria and plaque, from your teeth and gums. As a result, teeth stay healthy and clean.

Toothbrushes haven’t changed a lot over the years, but that doesn’t mean they will always be the same. As this NPR article points out, companies like Colgate, and even dentists, are looking for ways to make toothbrushes smarter and more effective.

If you have questions about how to brush more effectively, call Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner would be happy to answer your questions. We can also give you advice on how to shop for a toothbrush that meets your needs.

The Westside Dental team is happy to help patients from Los Angeles and beyond with a wide variety of oral health questions and services.

The Rising Popularity of Dental Implants

January 14, 2013

Recently, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry found that close to 30 million Americans are missing all the teeth in one or both of their jaws. The group also found that 15 million Americans are using a crown and bridge to replace a missing tooth. Given all that, restorative dentistry is one of the most important services a dentist can offer.

Crowns, bridges, and dentures have long been used to fill gaps and restore a smile’s appearance and function. But traditional forms of each have their limitations. While they can restore your appearance, they can’t give you back the functionality you once had. They also can’t stop the bone loss you’ll experience.

That explains why dental implants gain in popularity each year. Annually, the number of patients who have dental implants increases by 500,000. What’s more, the success rate for dental implants is 98 percent. Dr. Les Latner performs implant surgery and completes implant restorations in his Los Angeles dental office.

What makes dental implants so effective?

It’s the way they respond to your smile. Dental implants come in two parts, mimicking the structure of a natural tooth. The crown portion fills in the gap in your smile, while the implant portion fuses with your jaw, just like a natural root. When your implant procedure is finished, your smile will have the natural appearance and functionality you’ve been missing.

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for the implant surgery though. If you want to know if dental implants are right for you, call Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner would be happy to advise you in his Los Angeles dental office. We serve patients from all across the Los Angeles area.