Westside Dental: Your Los Angeles Pediatric Dentist

November 23, 2015

los angeles pediatric dentistsYou want the absolute best for your children, and that certainly includes their dental care. Dr. Les Latner at Westside Dental Associates is the Los Angeles pediatric dentist so many already trust with the smiles of their little ones. He understands that children need special dental care, and that a calming, compassionate presence can help them set aside their fear of the dentist. And what’s better? With a wide range of dental services, he’s the dentist you can trust for your whole family. Keep reading to learn more about your family dentist in Los Angeles today.


Dentist in Los Angeles Discusses Your Teeth & Fluorosis

November 5, 2015

dentist los angelesFluoride is a vital component for tooth health. The mineral prevents decay by strengthening tooth enamel, and it’s proven to be such a benefit for oral health that many US cities have added fluoride to their water supply. But sometimes, we can get too much of the mineral — and when children are overexposed to fluoride, it can lead to the cosmetic condition known as fluorosis. Your dentist in Los Angeles, Dr. Les Latner, is in today with more about fluorosis, or the tooth stains caused by fluoride, its causes, treatment and prevention.


Your Los Angeles Pediatric Dentist – Dr. Les Latner

June 25, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-178845072 (1)If you’ve ever asked a child to help you clean up, you may have noticed that they’re not so great at it. Teaching children how to care for their dental hygiene is not easy. At Westside Dental Associates, we emphasize regular checkups and teeth cleanings for our younger visitors, as well as providing oral hygiene education. In Los Angeles, Dr. Les Lanter is the dentist you can trust to care for the whole family. If you need pediatric, general, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry in Los Angeles, call to schedule an appointment today.

Dr. Latner Knows Children’s Teeth

Every smile is different, and our smiles change during throughout our lives. Caring for children’s teeth presents different obstacles than adult treatment. Dr. Latner completed a two year dental residency at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. While he has become a leader in esthetic dentistry and names general dentistry as his passion, there no denying his years of hand on training make him an ideal pediatric dentist as well.

Why Teeth Cleanings Matter

Because of his years of training and experience, Dr. Latner full understand the unique needs of children from the time their primary (baby) teeth begin to emerge, through loss of primary teeth, and development of permanent (adult) teeth. One of the best ways to help your child retain healthy primary teeth is to schedule regular dental hygiene visits every six months. We all know that children are still learning to be effective cleaners. You can’t count on them to do a better job cleaning their teeth than they do making their bed. A thorough cleaning by our outstanding hygienists, and a reminder about at home care tips is essential in build a child’s oral health.

Because primary teeth are weaker than permanent teeth, they are more susceptible to caries (cavities). At regular cleanings, the bacteria on your child’s tooth is thoroughly removed just like your own teeth cleaning. Additionally, primary teeth are checked thoroughly for signs of decay, or problem areas. Sealants and fluoride treatments can also be applied to offer your child additional protection.

Keeping primary teeth strong is more important than you might think. Baby teeth, like adult teeth, help your child to chew, but they are also important as children develop speech. Our teeth allow us to speak clearly. Children whose primary teeth do not develop well, are more likely to have impeded speech. Caring for primary teeth also lays the ground work for healthy adult teeth. If your child’s primary teeth and gums are healthy, they will prepare the way for healthier adult teeth.

Find Out More

If you’re interested in learning more about the outstanding family dentistry offered by Dr. Latner and the knowledgeable Westside Dental Associates team, our convenient “ask the doctor” tool allows you to gather information between visits. Call our Las Angeles practice to schedule an appointment. Westside Dental Associates welcomes patients from surrounding areas including Santa Monica, Marina Del Ray, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, and Burbank.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! Celebrate By Making a Pediatric Dental Checkup Appointment Today

February 10, 2015

178529160Recent studies show that U.S. children miss over 51 million instructional school hours every year because of dental health problems. Each February, the ADA sponsors a National Children’s Dental Health Month to combat this problem. Now in its 63rd year, this month-long oral health observance brings together thousands of dedicated pediatric dental professionals, health care providers, children, caregivers, and teachers to raise awareness of the importance of healthy teeth and gums. Celebrate your child’s dental health by making a pediatric dental checkup appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today. Dr. Latner is a highly qualified family dentist, now delivering quality care daily throughout West LA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, and surrounding areas.

How Often Should Your Child Get a Pediatric Dental Checkup?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children receive a pediatric dental checkup at least twice a year starting at age one. However, some children may need more frequent dental visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns, or poor oral hygiene habits.

What Happens During a Pediatric Dental Checkup?

First, Dr. Latner will review your child’s medical and dental history. Then, he will gently examine your child’s teeth, oral tissues, and jaws to check for decay and infection. Next, your child’s teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of dental fluoride or dental sealants to guard against cavities. X-rays may also be needed for diagnosing tooth decay or other abnormalities. Dr. Latner will communicate with your child with easily understandable words, pictures, and ideas, allowing your child to become self-motivated to take responsibility for a healthy smile.

West LA Pediatric Dental Checkup Appointments

Make your child’s next pediatric dental checkup appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today. Dr. Latner welcomes patients of all ages throughout West LA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, and the neighboring communities.

Pediatric Dentistry: What is Dental Fluorosis?

November 15, 2014

120104044Check any tube of toothpaste on the market today, and you will see that fluoride is at the top of the list of ingredients. That’s because fluoride can prevent cavities and even reverse early tooth decay. But studies have shown that if young children are given too much fluoride they can develop severe tooth discoloration, known as fluorosis. The problem is that many years ago, we recognized the benefits of fluoride so we set minimum fluoride requirements in public water sources. It’s estimated that the fluoride in our tap water has reduced cavities by as much as 40%. Today however, we also include fluoride in all dental care products including toothpaste, floss and mouthwash. It turns out that too much fluoride during early childhood, when permanent teeth are forming under the gums but haven’t erupted, can cause young children to develop fluorosis.  Once permanent teeth have erupted, fluorosis cannot be developed. If you have noticed tiny white spots, streaks or severe discoloration with a blotchy brown or pitted appearance in your child’s teeth, it’s time to have them checked for fluorosis. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for your pediatric dentistry needs. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Los Angeles Pediatric Dentistry: Risks of Fluorosis in Children

Your child may be at risk for developing fluorosis if they are:

  • Getting fluoride in drinking water
  • Using too much toothpaste and then swallowing it rather than spitting it out
  • Taking too much of a fluoride supplement
  • Using a fluoride supplement when the water they’re drinking already contains sufficient amounts of fluoride

Fluorosis Treatment for Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Only a dentist can determine if your child’s tooth discoloration can be attributed to fluorosis. If it is determined that your child has discoloration due to fluorosis, there are many dental treatments available. Treatment options include simple techniques like microabrasion, bleaching, veneers or full crowns. The risk of developing fluorosis is just one more reason to make sure your child visits the dentist for a check-up every six months. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner at Westside Dental Associates today for a pediatric dentistry dental check-up. Westside Dental Associates serves kids and adults throughout West Los Angeles and surrounding areas including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park and Mar Vista.

Pediatric Dental Care: Healthy Halloween Advice

October 15, 2014

57612597It’s that time of year again. Halloween is upon us, and if you have kids at home, you could soon be fighting off waves of sugar-induced energy and excitement. While you want your kids to enjoy the holiday, you may have concerns about how Halloween affects their dental health. Consider our advice and then make an appointment with Dr. Latner as Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner specializes in both adult and pediatric dental care. Dr. Latner helps families keep their healthy smiles year round throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dental Care: How to Fight Cavities on Halloween

  • Treats to Avoid- You are the first line of defense for your kid’s dental care. Steer your children clear of especially sugary treats like gummy bears. They contain the equivalent of four teaspoons of pure sugar per serving. Also try to keep them from eating hard candies like gobstoppers. These candies take so long to dissolve that the extra long exposure to your child’s teeth can be damaging. Sticky candies like Starburst and Tootsie Rolls are particularly bad for teeth as well because they are not only sugary but starchy and can easily get stuck between teeth and in hard to reach places.
  • Healthy Treat Ideas
    • Dark Chocolate Covered Apples
    • Veggie Skeleton
    • Spiders on a Log ( Plastic Spiders and Peanut Butter on Celery Sticks)
    • Pumpkin Dippers (Pumpkin Shaped Carrots on a Stick With Hummus)
    • Pumpkin Cupcakes (Pumpkin Oat Muffins with Cream Cheese Icing)
    • White Chocolate Pretzel Webs

Pediatric Dental Care in Los Angeles, CA

There are many healthy substitutions for the sugary treats kids love at this time of year. You can make this Halloween, and every Halloween after, healthier by offering up fun and healthy snacks instead. Just remember that staying on top of your kid’s dental care also means making sure they see a dentist twice a year. Make an appointment with Dr. Latner as Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner can help you preserve your child’s good dental health. Westside Dental Associates serves families throughout West Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and the surrounding cities.

Three Cheers for Laser Dentistry!

September 22, 2014

160047568Dentistry has come a very long way in a relatively short time period. Advancements in Laser Dentistry have made many routine dental treatments less invasive and have significantly cut down on the time required for treatment and healing. By eliminating the need for incisions, certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia. Laser dentistry also minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beams aid in the clotting of exposed blood vessels, thereby inhibiting blood loss. Lasers are useful for patients who are fearful of dental work, don’t like anesthesia, or don’t like the sound of the drill. Dr. Latner utilizes laser technology in his practice to aid in the comfort of his patients throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Laser Dentistry is less invasive and yields better results than drills and needles.  It helps to minimize the spread of bacterial infections because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on. Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized and wounds heal faster as tissues are easily regenerated. Dental lasers may also be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity. There are two basic kinds of dental lasers.

Laser Dentistry: Soft Tissue Lasers

Soft tissue lasers help with the healing process after surgeries and during soft tissue procedures.  Soft tissue lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure, improve the appearance of a gummy smile and for crown lengthening procedures. A soft tissue laser can also be used to perform a frenectomy, which is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied, babies who are unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement, and to eliminate speech impediments. Soft tissue lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.

Laser Dentistry: Hard Tissue Lasers

Hard tissue lasers also offer many advantages to the dental patient. Cavity detector lasers detect small amounts of decay inside the tooth. This is decay that visual exams and x-rays will not be able to find. Cavity detecting lasers, such as Dr. Latner’s Diagnodent system, consists of a small light probe that scans the teeth with harmless pulses of laser light. When the pulse reaches decay inside a tooth, the decay emits a fluorescent light.  This light bounces back to the sensors and is translated into a digital readout.  In general the higher the number the greater amount of decay. This laser accurately finds decay in its earliest stages. For dental fillings, some lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity, potentially leading to improved long term tooth restorations. However, dental lasers are not appropriate for the replacement of amalgam fillings, onlays or crowns.

Laser Dentistry for Los Angeles, CA Patients

Laser Dentistry allows your dentist to detect cavities, remove bacteria, perform speech impediment surgery, crown lengthening, gum contouring and treat periodontal disease while minimizing your treatment time and discomfort. Contact Dr. Latner to find out how laser dentistry could aid in your dental treatment. Dr. Latner serves patients in and around Los Angeles, CA including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dentistry and Sports

September 15, 2014

76649015No matter how old your children are, protecting their teeth is a top priority. Injuries to teeth have the potential to affect your child for the rest of his or her life. The key to protecting their beautiful smiles is prevention. You should start bringing your child to regular dentist appointments as early as age two. As they grow and become more active in activities like soccer, football, karate and cheerleading, it becomes necessary to protect their teeth from sports injuries as well. If you’re thinking about allowing your child or teen to participate in contact sports, contact Dr. Latner for an appointment today. Dr. Latner serves families in Los Angeles, CA Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dentistry and Custom Mouthguards

The first step to ensure your child is protected while participating in any contact sport is to take them to the dentist to be fitted for a custom mouthguard. While almost all sports organizations require children to wear mouthguards, there is no strict quality standard for the mouthguards themselves. This means that your child may not be adequately protected from injury.

You have three choices in mouthguards. The cheapest option is the stock mouthguards sold in sporting goods stores. They are not customizable and rarely fit well. This lack of protection could cause your child serious injuries if they were to be hit near the jaw bone or back teeth. The next best option is the “boil and bite” mouthguards which are somewhat more customizable. However, they may still be unable to protect the back teeth, or stay in place. If your child must clench the mouthguard to keep it in place, their ability to speak or breathe correctly could be hindered. A custom mouthguard made specifically for use in sports and recreational activities is the single most effective option.

Pediatric to Adolescent Dentistry

As your child grows into a teenager, his dental needs will grow and change as well. While encouraging your teen’s healthy dental habits — like brushing and flossing regularly — is important, you also need to make them aware of the unhealthy habits that will affect their oral health. For example, the sugar and acidic flavorings in soda can cause their tooth enamel to erode and can cause the development of cavities. Experimenting with tobacco products can, among other things, cause their teeth to turn yellow or brownish shades and can eventually lead to oral cancers. Developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can also cause permanent damage to the mouth, gums and throat. At this stage in their development, parents must be proactive in making sure that their teens develop good oral health habits.

Trusted Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Latner can be a trusted resource for every stage of your child’s healthy smile development. Bringing your child in for visits early and often will foster a positive attitude towards visiting the dentist that will keep their teeth healthy for the rest of their lives. Contact us today to schedule your child’s next appointment. Dr. Latner serves children and adults throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Children’s Dentistry You Can Trust in Los Angeles, CA

April 20, 2014

Shutterstock Little Girl at DentistWhen you are searching for a dentist for your children in Los Angeles, CA, you want to be sure that the oral healthcare professional you choose is trustworthy, gentle, and highly skilled in the intricate dental science that is pediatric dentistry. At Westside Dental Associates in Los Angeles, CA, Dr. Les Latner and our team understand that your time is valuable, so we offer comprehensive pediatric dentistry right here in our office as part of our extensive menu of general, restorative, and cosmetic dental services.

The Importance of Children’s Dentistry

Though it is true that your child will eventually lose all of the primary teeth he or she currently has, the fact remains that these teeth still require consistent care during these early, formative years. Regular visits to Dr. Latner’s office, beginning by the age of about one or two, ensure that your child’s oral health is in great shape with routine cleanings and checkups. We’ll check to make sure that the jaw and teeth are developing as they should, and that any problems – including cavities – are detected early for more successful treatment.

Because we understand that visiting an unfamiliar place can be intimidating, we take extra steps to make sure our youngest patients feel welcome, comfortable, and safe in a fun, relaxed environment. Dr. Latner and our team will keep you, the parent, informed and up-to-date with all important information regarding your child’s oral health and treatment. Before you know it, your son or daughter will find that they truly enjoy visiting the dentist for their biannual checkups!

Serving Your Entire Family’s Dental Needs

Your child’s smile is precious. Ensure that your little one’s pearly whites stay beautiful and healthy with all-encompassing pediatric dentistry services from Westside Dental Associates. Dr. Latner happily welcomes patients from throughout the Los Angeles, CA area, including families from neighborhoods in Mar Vista, Venice, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Rancho Park, Playa Vista, West LA, Culver City, Marina del Rey, and more. Contact our office today; we can’t wait to provide your son or daughter with their best dental experience yet!

Is There a Difference between a Children’s Dentists and a Pediatric Dentist?

May 30, 2013

pediatric dentistryRegular dental care isn’t just important for adults—children need it too. But are all dentists the same when it comes to offering dental care to kids? For instance, if one doctor says he’s a children’s dentist but another says he’s a pediatric dentist, are they saying different things?

In short, the answer is yes. Even though a children’s dentist is perfectly suited to providing kids with care, in most cases, that means children who are three years old or older. Pediatric dentistry, on the other hand, is a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association and requires special knowledge of how to treat very young patients.

At Westside Dental Associates, Dr. Les Latner offers specialized pediatric care. Dr. Latner has trained as a pediatric dentist at Children’s Hospital/L.A. and USC and teaches pediatric dentistry at UCLA. That means when your child’s first tooth comes in around the age of one, you know who you can turn to for help.

Children should see a dentist from the moment they have their first tooth. That’s because monitoring the development of teeth is important. If they aren’t developing properly, or if there’s a complication, Dr. Latner can provide effective care that your child will benefit from going forward. We can also look for and treat gum disease and tooth decay, just as we would in older patients. Preventing and treating these in young patients is important.

Do you have a child or grandchild who has developed his or her tooth, or will soon? Call Westside Dental Associates to schedule an oral evaluation appointment. We’re proud to serve patients of all ages from Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West LA, Mar Vista, and all surrounding areas.

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