Dr. Beaverly Grace Catalan is Torrance’s Top Pediatric Dentist


Children’s Dentistry

Childhood dental habits establish the foundation for oral health during adulthood. By training children about proper hygienic habits at an early age, parents and caregivers can set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

Visiting the Dentist for the First Time

A child’s first visit to the dentist should fall around his or her first birthday. This is the time when many of the baby teeth have erupted into the gums, and it is approximately six months following the breakthrough of the first baby tooth. It is important to make visits to the dentist an exciting experience for young children. Parents should speak with children openly about an upcoming dental appointment and answer any questions a child may have about the experience. Equally important is the dentist chosen to care for a child’s teeth. Although all dentists are qualified to care for a child’s oral health, many parents prefer the expertise and experience available from a pediatric dentist or a family dentist with experience caring for young patients. Furthermore, dentists with experience working with children are accustomed to squirming and are more likely to have child-friendly waiting areas.

What to Expect

By the age of three, most children have 20 teeth often referred to as “baby teeth.” Children are born with these teeth, although they do not appear until several months of age. Although these teeth will eventually fall out – usually beginning around the child’s sixth birthday – they are still susceptible to decay until that time. During childhood, the dentist will inspect the baby teeth for cavities and signs of decay, as well as ensure the teeth are erupting normally. As the child grows, dental visits continue according to a schedule determined by the dental care provider.

Parents are also instructed on proper home dental care and advised of day-to-day habits that could cause early decay. Caution may be given about:

  • Pacifier usage
  • Sending children to bed with bottles or sugary beverages
  • Using fluoridated toothpastes prior to age two

Caring for a Child’s Teeth between Office Visits

At-home dental care is equally important as visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Even before the teeth erupt in a child’s mouth, the gums should be gently washed each day. Twice-daily brushing should begin as soon as the teeth break through the gums, although the teeth may initially be cleansed using water, rather than toothpaste. As the child gets older, it is safe to begin using children’s toothpaste as recommended by the child’s dental provider.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentistry is a specialized field of dental treatment, revolving around the dental care needs of children. A good pediatric dentist has taken specialized classes and additional training beyond that of most regular or general dentists,
in order to learn about the best treatment for pediatric or children’s dental problems.

What Does a Pediatric Dentist Do?

A pediatric dentist provides many dental treatments to children, ranging from routine dental care – such as cleanings – to x-ray examinations and working to determine if a child’s jaw and teeth are developing properly. For most pediatric dentists, there is a lot of emphasis on preventative dental care. This is because early intervention and proper dental practices can
make a child much less likely to develop dental problems – such as cavities or occlusions – as they progress into adolescence and then adulthood.

Your child’s pediatric dentist will likely spend a lot of time with your child, teaching the child how to properly care for their teeth and gums. This dental education – at an early age – can stay for a child for a lifetime, establishing regular, healthy dental habits such as flossing and proper tooth brushing. The pediatric dentist may also choose to perform procedures such as tooth sealants, which work to prevent cavities.

Pediatric Dentists Comfort Children

You know that some adults have an exaggerated fear of seeing the dentists. Some children experience the same dread. A dental office can be a scary place for a child, with all of the specialized dental equipment and the sounds made by some of the dental machines. However, an experienced pediatric dentist – your child’s pediatric dentist – knows how to work with a frightened child, comforting them and relaxing them before proceeding with an exam or any treatment processes. A good
pediatric dentist will set your child at ease, explaining everything that is going on, and never creating an atmosphere of fear.

A positive dental experience – especially for a young child – is likely to result in the child growing into an adult who is comfortable with routine dental care and who regularly get dental checkups. Establishing a good relationship with their own dental needs, at a young age, means your child is going to have less dental problems as they age, avoiding many of the dental pitfalls of their peers.

Contact Us

If you are seeking a pediatric dentist, Dr. Catalan has years of experience working with children. For more information about our dental services for children, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

We offer convenient office hours, weekend appointments and dental promotions.

How To Request an Appointment

Call (310) 373-9522 today! Use our Appointment Form! Book Through ZocDoc!