Q&A with Dr. Andrew Huynh, Pediatric Dentist from Vision Dental

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Note: The following Q&A is a sponsored post from Vision Dental, where my family and I are patients. Before Vision Dental, brushing my daughter’s teeth was a struggle. After my daughter’s first visit with Pediatric Dentist Andrew Huynh, she’s cooperated during toothbrush time and even lets me floss her teeth (using a flosser)! Doctor Andrew takes time to explain to the patient (no matter how young) what will happen during the exam. By engaging the patient directly, he builds trust. What I love about Vision Dental is the personal care, explanation, and treatment by the dentists. I don’t feel rushed at Vision Dental, and that’s what makes the biggest difference. The office is clean and modern; the staff is knowledgeable, kind, and welcoming.  They use the latest technology in dental equipment and entertainment – I actually look forward to my dental appointments.

Check out Vision Dental for yourself and see the difference! Visit them online at visiondental.com or in person at 10700 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 140, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (parking is free). 

When is the best time to bring my child in for their first dental visit?

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The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a child’s first dental visit should be by age 1, or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. The goal of this first visit is to establish a dental home for the child and parents built on trust and comfort.

What can I expect from this first visit at Vision Dental?

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Our first goal for an initial visit is to do our very best to make the child feel comfortable and introduce him or her to the dental setting. Our hope is to provide a fun and positive experience for the child, while at the same time ensure that the parents feel confident about their child’s dental health. A large portion of the first dental visit is spent discussing common dental topics and leaving plenty of time for questions and answers. Some common topics of discussion are how to brush a young child’s teeth, what types of foods/beverages are better for dental health, when to expect new teeth and how to manage teething, pacifier and thumb-sucking habits, bottle and sippy cup use, and what to do in case of a dental emergency.

The next step is often to complete a dental exam, which typically includes a gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, jaws, gums, bite, and oral structures. This is a great time to demonstrate good brushing and flossing techniques. A thorough cleaning and topical fluoride application may be completed. If the child is under age 3 or unable to sit in the dental chair alone, we may recommend completing the exam in a knee-to-knee position (see photo).

From the beginning to the end of your visit, we do our best to ensure you and your child are comfortable and that all your questions or concerns are addressed.

How often should I be brushing my child’s teeth?

We recommend brushing your child’s teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once at night! At the dental visit, we can give you some tips on best ways to brush, even if the child is a bit wiggly!

Should I be using fluoride toothpaste for my child?

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Scientific research has shown that the use of fluoride toothpaste can significantly reduce the risk of dental cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. The AAPD supports using no more than a smear size of toothpaste for children under age 3 and a pea size of toothpaste for children ages 3-6. Parents should be careful to control the amount of toothpaste used to ensure the child does not swallow too much of it. For young children who are unable to rinse or spit, there are non-fluoride toothpaste options available. Each child has unique needs, and your pediatric dentist can make recommendations for you after a visit with your child.

What is your recommended relief for teething children?

The first baby tooth typically comes in around 6 months and the last baby tooth by age 2.5-3 years. If you notice your child is extra fussy, drooling, or just an unhappy camper, he or she may be teething! Some youngsters aren’t bothered at all by teething, but for the ones that are, there are definitely remedies to help ease the discomfort.

The conservative approach is to try the non-medicinal methods first, which includes giving your child something clean and safe to chew on. This could be a cold teething ring/toy, or a clean cold cloth. The chill from chewing on it will help relieve the irritation. Be careful that the baby is chewing on something age-appropriate without small parts that could be choking hazards. Parents can also try gently rubbing their baby’s gums with a clean finger, but be careful of those new chompers in there!

If you choose to try a pain reliever, there are over-the-counter options, but it is important to consult with your pediatrician first. If your child is particularly irritable or has a slight fever, giving Children’s Tylenol may help. There are topical gels that can be applied to the gums to soothe them, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that these medications rubbed on the gums are not necessary or useful because they wash out of the mouth within minutes and some can be harmful if too much is swallowed.

Check with your pediatrician for correct dosages for pain relievers or if your child has significant fever spikes and irritability.

How can thumb sucking or pacifier use affect the teeth? What are the concerns?

Keeping a baby comfortable is a priority for every parent, and pacifier or thumb sucking can sometimes help to soothe a baby. These oral habits will generally only become dental problems if they go on for a long time. Most children stop these habits on their own between years 2-4. Prolonged sucking habits can contribute to crooked teeth or bite problems. If the habit becomes an ongoing issue, a pediatric dentist can work with the parent and child to discuss ways to address this.

What recommendations are there to help a child remove their first loose tooth?

When a child has their first wiggly tooth, it’s an exciting time both for the child and the parent! Though kids may complain of mild discomfort associated with a loose tooth or avoid biting into hard things, there is no need to worry! You can encourage your child to gently wiggle the loose baby tooth with their clean fingers when they are at home, and eventually the tooth should fall out on its own! Recommendations may change if a child has certain medical conditions. If a permanent tooth is coming in, and the baby tooth is not showing any signs of being loose, you should let the pediatric dentist know at their regular dental visit. We see this commonly, and it is typically an early sign of dental crowding.

Can dental crowding be hereditary?

There are definitely certain types of dental issues that can run in the family. For example, if a parent has a history of significant crowding, an under bite, or congenitally missing teeth, it is very possible that the child may develop similar issues. However, this is not always the case, and it will be up to the pediatric dentist to monitor your child’s dental growth and consider orthodontic intervention when indicated.

What do you do at your office to keep children at ease? How do you deal with a particularly fussy or uncooperative child?

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It is very normal for children to be nervous about coming to the dentist! We understand that, and it is our priority to provide a child-friendly environment where both the child and parents feel comfortable. Just like adults, children like to know what is happening so there are no surprises during the visit! A common technique we utilize is “Tell-Show-Do”, where we explain what we are going to do, demonstrate it with models and fun puppets, then let the child watch in a mirror while we work on their teeth.

Things become a lot less scary when a child can understand what we are doing in their own way. That scary “sharp poky tool” is no longer scary once it’s merely the “tooth counter.” That loud noisy suction is a lot less intimidating once it’s known as “Mr. Thirsty.” Even in the case of fixing cavities, that infamous “dental drill” becomes a lot friendlier when it’s just the “tooth tickler” that washes away the “sugar bugs.”

The best part of being a pediatric dentist is that we have the wonderful opportunity to create a positives first impression about dental health when a child comes in for the first time. We have the chance to show them what a fun and positive experience going to the dentist can be, and get them excited about their own dental care at home! With that said, there are times when dental treatment is necessary and a young child is unable to cooperate. There are methods to address this, which depend on the child’s age, health, and dental needs. In this case, we will work closely with the parent to tailor a treatment plan unique to the child’s needs with an emphasis on preventive measures.

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About Andrew Huynh DDS

College: UCSD Biochemistry and Psychology Dual Degree
Dental School: UCLA School of Dentistry
Pediatric Dental Residency: Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Andrew Huynh is a board certified specialist in pediatric dentistry. He is a Southern California native and is excited to return to Los Angeles to serve the community. During his dental training at UCLA, Dr. Huynh had the opportunity to take part in dental mission trips to treat the pediatric populations in Honduras and China. These unforgettable experiences assured him that a specialty in pediatric dentistry was the right path for him. He completed his pediatric dental residency at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine/Boston Children’s Hospital, where he served as chief resident.Dr. Huynh has extensive experience in treating children from all backgrounds, including those with special healthcare needs and complex medical histories. His philosophy focuses on providing a positive impact on each child’s dental health through fun and educational experiences at every visit.

When he is not working, you can find Dr. Huynh jogging around town, on a hiking trail, practicing martial arts, and spending quality time with his family.

About Vision Dental

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Vision Dental is a modern dental office located near UCLA Campus and Century City. Free reserved patient parking is located in the private lot of our building

Hours: Monday through Saturday + select Sundays

We help our patients bill their PPO insurance carriers as a courtesy. We have doctors that specialize in:

  • General, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (Cleanings, Fillings, Crowns, Veneers, Extractions)
  • Orthodontics (Metal Braces, Ceramic Braces, Invisalign, Retainers)
  • Periodontics (Gum Surgery, Implants)
  • Pediatric Dentist (Cleanings, Fillings & Sedation for Infants, Children and Teens)

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The practice focuses on providing patients with a unique dental experience with an emphasis in patient comfort while practicing the highest quality of dentistry. Our goal is to reduce unnecessary appointment visits by providing dentistry through utilizing modern technology such as CEREC and digital radiographs. A strong focus is placed on keeping the practice environmentally responsible; we recycle, are a mercury-free practice, use responsible materials, and conserve energy.

Vision Dental is located at:
10700 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 140
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 470-6121

Website: visiondental.com


Please note: this post contains affiliate links