Management of Growth and Development

Pediatric and Teen Dentist in Santa MonicaIn addition to caring for your child’s teeth and gums at each check-up, Dr. Andrew will also monitor the growth and development of your child’s jaw and facial structures.

Certain oral habits can persist through childhood and affect jaw growth. Dr. Andrew will help monitor these habits and give tips to help work on them if they become an issue.

As your child gets older and becomes more active in sports, we may recommend a mouth guard to help prevent dental and jaw injuries. There are many types of guards, and we are here to help you pick the best one for your child.

Dr. Andrew and our orthodontist, Dr. Cheng, work closely to monitor your child’s dental growth and can recommend orthodontic treatment when indicated. As a multi-specialty practice, all of our doctors work together to ensure the best care for you and your child.

Oral Habits

Some common oral habits that can affect dental and jaw growth are:

  • Pacifier use
  • Thumb sucking
  • Nail biting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Mouth breathing

Some of these habits can be normal at certain ages and will not cause any long-term dental issues. However, if these habits persist and are causing concern, please feel free to let Dr. Andrew know so he can provide you with tips and remedies to help with it.

If there are any signs of these habits detected during the check-up, Dr. Andrew will let you know and discuss possible options. In general, our office will recommend a conservative approach in addressing these types of habits, and we can help you decide what is best for your child.

Mouth Guards

Mouth or sports guards are often recommended for children and adolescents who are active in contact sports.

There are various types of sports guards available, including stock (pre-formed) guards, boil-and-bite guards, and custom-made guards. Some of these can be purchased at local stores, and custom guards can often be made by your dentist.

Depending on your child’s age and development, Dr. Andrew will help you decide what type of mouth guard may be best for your child.

Orthodontics

Braces in Santa Monica | Smiling TeenDr. Andrew and our orthodontist, Dr. Cheng, will work closely to monitor your child’s dental and skeletal development at each check-up visit. If your child has dental needs that may benefit from orthodontic treatment, our doctors will work together to come up with the best plan for you and your child.

Some common orthodontic issues we address are:

  • Crowding
  • Overbite or underbite
  • Crossbites
  • Oral habits
  • Missing teeth

As a multi-specialty practice, we are able to coordinate orthodontic appointments with regular pediatric dental visits. This minimizes the number of appointments for your child and also allows for more efficient and higher quality preventive services.