Santa Monica, CA Pediatric Dentistry
Santa Monica Dentistry for Children
2825 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 301
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 453-0123

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Office Updates - October 7, 2020

Hello,
We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy during this unusually challenging time.  Between doing school via Zoom, and having major changes to childcare options, we know that many families have been struggling to find normalcy in their daily schedules.  Our office has also faced many challenges, including a 2 1/2 month shutdown, making plans to reopen with social distancing, and attaining all necessary protective systems and equipment for our staff, patients, and families.  
 
We are happy to report that since our reopening at the end of May, we have had no issues or complications, and have been able to provide continuous safe care for our patients.  
 
If you have not visited our office, some of the changes we have implemented include:
 
- Healthcare screening and temperature checks of all patients, caregivers, and staff
- Requirement of masks in order to enter our office, and hand sanitizer throughout the office
- Simplified waiting room, with outdoor open-air waiting space
- Check-in and check-out process prioritizing social distancing
- Virtual no-touch toy "box"
- Plexiglass sneeze-guards and 8 separate HEPA air filtration units
- Open windows and doors to also allow for optimal air circulation
- 3 additional large extra-oral suction machines
- 6 separate treatment areas to ensure physical distance between patients 
 
We hope to reassure all families that we are working within all recommended guidelines to provide safe and comprehensive care.  If you still have reservations or concerns, please feel free to check our website at santamonicadentistryforchildren.com or call us at 310-453-0123.  You are welcome to speak to our front desk staff, or doctors, to answer any questions you might have. 
 
We look forward to seeing you soon!
 
Santa Monica Dentistry for Children

 

 

 

 

 


Dear Families,


We hope this letter finds you in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to safety.


Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We are staying up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued, to ensure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.


Our front office staff will be available to assist you in scheduling appointments starting on Monday, May 18 at 10 am.  If we are unable to answer your call immediately, feel free to leave a message and we will return your call by the end of the day.  We will begin treating patients on Tuesday, May 26th.  


We made many changes to help protect our patients as well as our staff:


- Our office will communicate with you beforehand and on the day of your appointment to ask some screening questions. We will also be performing a no-touch temperature check on our patients and their accompanying caretaker prior to entry into the office.


- All patients and their accompanying caretaker will be required to wear a mask to enter our office and must not take it off until instructed to do so.  All dental staff will wear masks at all times.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office.


- Our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s markers and chalk, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.  Patients will still be able to choose a prize from our no-touch toy “box”!


- We are adding plexiglass sneeze guards to our front desk area, HEPA air filters throughout the office, and additional cleaning measures throughout the day.  


- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.  Also we will do our best to minimize the number of patients in the office at any time.  


- We kindly ask that the patient goes to the treatment area independently, or for younger children, only one adult accompanies the patient.  Siblings not scheduled for treatment should not attend the appointment.  


- If you are a new patient, please print out forms from our website and complete them prior to the appointment.  If you need to complete any forms in the office, we will happily give you a complimentary single-person pen.  


Offering teledentistry visits:

- We will continue to offer teledentistry consults for those who are not comfortable or unable to come in to the office. If you are unsure as to what type of appointment you should make, please reach out to us and we can further guide you.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.


Sincerely,
Drs. Jessie Schwarz, Ellen Stone, Elana Norman, and Alice Kim-Bundy

 

 
 
 

Note to our orthodontic patients

I hope you and your family are staying healthy during these unprecedented times.  As you have already heard, our office has suspended all non-emergency care in accordance with the guidelines released by the American Dental Association and California Dental Association. 

 

If you had an appointment in our office scheduled that was supposed to occur during this time of closure, our office staff will be calling you to reschedule your appointment as soon as we receive guidance from the health authorities that it is safe to proceed.  

 

I understand that some patients may be anxious that you can not come in for your regular orthodontic appointments during this time. However, our staff and I will work hard to get your orthodontic care back on track soon, when we can do so without exposing you or your loved ones to unnecessary risk.   Many orthodontic procedures, including simply replacing broken or loose brackets, require the use of compressed air to dry tooth surfaces before adhesive is applied.  This can aerosolize oral secretions, and place patients and staff at risk of exposure to the coronavirus if there is a patient who is an asymptomatic carrier. 

 

If you have any urgent needs during this time (for example a loose appliance), I will certainly be available for emergency troubleshooting (via phone or FaceTime) or appointments if necessary. In the meantime, I have listed some common questions (and their answers) below:

 

  1. What constitutes an orthodontic emergency? Normally we are pretty lenient with this definition, and if you break a bracket we see you in to get it repaired fairly quickly. But, at this time we will be limiting emergencies to true dental & orthodontic emergencies. This means facial trauma (for which you would call an oral surgeon) or if you have an appliance that is loose (we will remove it for you and replace it at a later date). 
  2. What if you have a broken bracket or a poking wire?  In most cases, this will not constitute as an orthodontic emergency.  Many if these instances can be managed at home with wax (and in some cases, tweezers and nail clippers!). We have uploaded several videos on our website to help troubleshoot some of your questions including: 
    1. What happens if a bracket pops off? 
    2. What do I do with a poking wire (how to cut & remove wire if needed)? Please remember to hold the free end of the long wire prior to cutting it!
    3. How do I get wax to stay on better?

If you have concerns after reviewing these videos, please give me a call and I will be happy to give you instructions and guide you thru the process.

 

      3. What happens if I lose or break a retainer? While this does not constitute a dental emergency, I really don’t want your teeth to move! If you do lose or break your retainer, please call me and I will help troubleshoot the situation. If your retainer is not in wearable condition, the most likely next best TEMPORARY option at this time to minimize relapse is use of a boil and bite mouthguard which can be purchased at most drugstores. Please make sure that the temporary appliance covers all the teeth in the arch that is being retained (including in the very far back). 

 

      4. When can I reschedule my appointment? If your appointment was previously scheduled to occur during this time of closure due to COVID-19, please do not cancel it thru our reminder system. We will be calling you as soon as possible to reschedule it. Leaving your appointment will keep you in our list for appointment priority. We are also in the process of trying to set up tele-visits for select types of appointments. 

 

      5. How can I make sure my treatment continues to progress during the office closure?  Keep your teeth clean and stay away from problem foods. These things are always critical factors in making progress in your orthodontic treatment, but especially important at this time. 

     - Take time to thoroughly brush around your braces, at the gumline, and under wires. Flossing can be challenging, but is worth the trouble to keep your gums healthy. If you experience bleeding with brushing or flossing, it often means that you have a gum infection. Rather than avoiding the gums to stop the bleeding, it is increasingly important to clean this area to decrease the bleeding (in a few days to a week you will see the bleeding stop). 

     - Be cautious of what you are eating! Since we are not able to make repairs of broken brackets at this time, it is critical to minimize risk of bracket/appliance breakage. Please stay away from sticky/gooey foods (ex. caramels, gummies) and very hard foods (ex. unpopped popcorn kernels, chewing hard candies or ice, biting into apples or very hard pizza crust). 

     - Wear your rubber bands/appliances as directed. You will not make progress in bite correction if you are not wearing your recommended rubber bands (or appliances). If you are wearing rubber bands, please take a look inside your mouth every night when you brush and make sure all the color (or metal) ties are present on the individual brackets. If you run out of rubber bands, please give us a call and we can mail more to you. 

 

Our office’s top priority is the health and well-being of our patients, families, staff and community.   We will continue to evaluate the situation as it evolves and determine on a weekly basis when it is appropriate for us to return to our normal business hours.

  

Our entire office sends out love and well-wishes for everyone to stay healthy and strong.  We miss our patients & look forward to seeing everyone again when it is safe!

 

Sincerely, 

 

Elana Norman, DDS, MS

 

 

The following are videos to help with common orthodontic concerns: 

 

How to get wax to stay better

 
 
 

 

Santa Monica Dentistry for Children

Drs. Jessie Schwarz & Ellen Stone, DMD

Pediatric Dentists, Jessie Schwarz and Ellen Stone

 

Looking for a skilled and gentle pediatric dentist in Santa Monica who can guide your child or teen down a path of optimal oral health? Dr. Jessie Schwarz and Dr. Ellen Stone specialize in child-focused dental care, and we understand what it takes to create a positive environment that makes visiting the dentist fun!

We believe a healthy smile starts with a great beginning. Your child's first visit to our office is important, and we want to make every visit a rewarding experience. While we recognize some children are nervous about visiting the dentist, we have created a kid-friendly office environment that will make your child's appointments enjoyable and stress-free.

Using the latest technology, our compassionate Santa Monica pediatric dentists offer comprehensive dental services for kids including X-rays, sealants, fluoride treatments, fillings, cleanings and regular exams to promote a lifetime of healthy smiles. You can learn more about all of your child's treatment options from our services page.

Santa Monica Dentistry for Children believes in a team approach to preventive care, and we encourage parents to take an active role in their child's dental health care. Because we are parents too, we understand that you may have concerns about your child's oral health needs. Our Santa Monica pediatric dentists are dedicated to working with parents to provide education based on prevention-focused dental care.

We want to thank you for choosing Santa Monica Dentistry for Children for your family's dental needs and welcome you to our practice.  We are located at 2825 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica CA, 90404. Together, we are confident that we can help your child achieve healthy oral hygiene habits and a beautiful smile into adulthood. Please call or contact our Santa Monica office if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment

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tidbits ...

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As pediatric dentists, we are constantly facing the age-old question, “When do I need to take the pacifier away from my child?”

Pacifier Help Is On The Way.....

 

Since the pacifier can sometimes mean the difference between parental sanity and utter chaos, our response to the question is met with dread. Of course, the answer is not always simple. One child can use a pacifier day and night until 4 years old without any notable changes in the bite, teeth, or jaw structure.  Another child may just use it to fall asleep and may have significant changes to the mouth.

So, we thought we would mention some general guidelines to help during this challenging time:

  1. Generally speaking, the more you suck, the more changes to the bite will occur. So, do your best to keep pacifiers sequestered in the crib.
  2. Don’t clip the pacifier to your child’s shirt. This makes it too tempting and easy to use.  (imagine: you are trying to diet and you are walking around with a pie in your purse)
  3. Using pacifiers that have a stuffed animal hanging off the back end is not recommended.  While cute, it adds weight to the pacifier, encouraging more vigorous sucking to keep it in place. The more passive the suck, the less changes will be noted in the bite.
  4. The brand or kind of pacifier does not make a real difference. What matters is frequency, duration, and intensity of sucking.

At your child’s dental visit, the doctors will discuss the pacifier use in greater detail and can tailor a plan to meet your child’s needs.

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Dr. Schwarz on Santa Monica's own Brock On Your Block. She discusses how The Santa Monica Breakfast club raises donations to help provide dental care. 

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The ADA has just put out a bulletin stating that sugar-free gum may contribute to oral health.
Gum chewing, especially right after meals, has long been known to help remove food particles, and well as stimulate saliva production- both of which help reduce decay risk. A recent study has also found that the gum trapped "up to 100 million bacteria per piece," which is about the same amount of bacteria removed from a good flossing." Of course gum chewing is not a substitute for flossing, but these results were still notable!

There are many sugar-free gums out there, and many now are labeled with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Our office highly recommends choosing a sugar-free gum whose main sweetener is xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol derived from birch trees and other plants. This sweetener is naturally anti-cavity and helps reduce the acid production that normally occurs after eating carbohydrate-rich foods. One of the brands we promote is SPRY, which makes non-GMO xylitol products, ranging from gums to toothpastes.

Please feel free to call us if you have any additional questions regarding the use of sugar-free gum in your oral hygiene regimen.
And happy chewing!

:)

http://www.xlear.com/spry-dental-defense/xylitol-products/adults/natural-chewing-gum/

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.
- Here's a cute little word search for the kids.
http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/NCDHM/Monster_Word_Search_English.ashx
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Dr. Schwarz's vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting & Oreos on top celebrating Dr. Stone's crossing of the 2014 LA Marathon's finish line. (Of course we brushed & flossed afterwards.)

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The kids brought in some candy! Check it out in this past weekend's Santa Monica Daily Press. (Thanks, parents!) http://smdp_backissues.s3.amazonaws.com/111613.pdf

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We have new funky tie-dye t-shirts.  We are offering these as a thank you to all of our patients. We are also holding a contest to see who can send us a picture of their child, wearing the shirt, in the most outlandish location. You are welcome to stop by anytime to pick one up if your child has not yet received one. Please email photo submissions to smteeth@gmail.com.

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Santa Monica Dentistry for Children is proud to announce the launch of our 

______2013 Halloween Candy Buy-Back Extravaganza!______

For every pound of candy your child brings us between 11/1-11/8, we will offer them a crisp dollar bill. We will then be sending your sweet treats to our troops overseas.  Partially-chewed candy will not be accepted!:)