Existing patients call: (831) 476-5512

Our Amazing Team

7 Kids Dentists Under One Roof to Help Your Kids Smile

Mission statement We want to earn your trust by providing quality professional care that's personalized to meet the unique needs of your little ones. Visit our office and find out why kids from Santa Cruz and the surrounding area love their dentists!

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See what our patients love about their experiences.

Infant Frenectomies

Ensuring Your Child Grows Up Healthy, Strong, and Happy

Approximately 5 percent of newborn babies have breastfeeding difficulties due to a short frenum attachment under their tongue; this is sometimes referred to as tongue-tie. Warning signs of tongue-tie can be painful nursing, inconsistent sleep patterns, baby not getting enough to eat, and an exhausted mom. This can be corrected by a simple, harmless procedure called a frenotomy. Our skilled board-certified dentists use the latest in dental laser technology to release the frenum and provide relief for both baby and Mom.

All Kids Love it Here

From Infants to Teens, our Specialists Will Give Your Children the Care They Need

Our fun, relaxed environment and ocean theme encourages kids to be excited about their dental care. While most adults would agree with the importance of protecting their adult teeth, many overlook the developmental significance of the primary dentition, or "baby teeth." Most pediatric dental patients have both adult and baby teeth, or mixed dentition, and a pediatric dental specialist understands proper care of both.

Creating Confident Smiles for Your Kids

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First Visit Learn More

The first dental visit is the foundation of a growing relationship between our family dental office and your child. We feel it is important that your child becomes familiar with our office environment and staff as soon as their teeth start to appear.

At the new patient appointment, the dentist and staff will spend quality time getting to know you and your child. We teach your child to be comfortable with dentistry by explaining the procedures and demonstrating the equipment in a fun and imaginative way. The office visit will include a thorough oral examination, x-rays if required, a cleaning and fluoride application.

A complete review of your child’s medical health and any special needs or concerns will be addressed. More complicated procedures, such as fillings, should be done at a later visit after your child has become familiar with the office.

You and your child will be given an oral hygiene demonstration and nutrition counseling. You will receive a summary of your child’s oral health and future dental needs. We look forward to your visit and hope you and your child will have the dental experience of a lifetime.

Infant Care Learn More

We specialize in infant oral health exams and parent education. We recommend that both mom and dad come to their baby’s first visit. This early appointment is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Our doctors will examine your baby’s teeth, check for decay, make sure teeth are erupting in the right order, screen all the oral tissues for diseases, determine proper jaw development and give valuable information on infant oral care and proper nutrition.

Special Needs Care Learn More

We’re committed to providing the best dental care for all children regardless of their developmental or other special health care needs. We’re skilled in helping families who are faced with daily challenges, we have developed ways to be more efficient and decrease the stress of dental health at home and the dental office. Comprehensive oral health care is available in a gentle, understanding, environment for everyone.

Emergency Care Learn More

If you or your child is experiencing a dental emergency, please call us immediately. If you need urgent treatment after hours, please call our emergency number. If your child experiences any of the following: bitten lip or tongue, object caught in teeth, broken chipped or cracked tooth, knocked out tooth, loose tooth, toothache, broken jaw, or any other dental trauma, please contact us. For strategies to help in the meantime, please visit the Dental Emergency page.

Home Care Learn More

Prevention is always better than treatment. Brush your teeth twice daily using any soft-bristled, ADA approved toothbrush. We also recommend the use of modern electric toothbrushes such as Sonicare and Braun. Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth that you can't reach with regular brushing.

Always rinse thoroughly with water after brushing (or after meals if you are unable to brush). You may occasionally use a mouthwash to rinse. Children may benefit from the use of ACT fluoride rinse, to help prevent cavities from forming in between the teeth.

Tooth Eruption Learn More

It’s recommended that you bring your baby in for a visit six months after the first tooth erupts (usually around their first birthday). The earlier your child visits us, the quicker we can help you be aware of early problems with your child’s oral health, and how to best take care of your little one’s teeth. How to avoid cavities and setting a good example are important parts of your child’s health. During your first visit we’ll discuss these techniques.

Crowns Learn More

A crown (often called a cap) covers the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. Decay is removed and cleaned from the tooth and a preformed crown is placed over the tooth. Unlike adult crowns, in which the crown is made to fit the tooth, which requires two appointments, baby crowns are placed in one visit, because the tooth is prepared to fit the crown.

Teens & Young Adults Learn More

Teens are caring, intelligent, passionate and understanding individuals with a keen sense of social justice, identity, and independence. We provide support and respect for our teens, tailoring oral health to their unique needs. Our goal is to create a trusting environment where they can feel comfortable learning about personal risks related to their oral health.

As teens enter into early adulthood they are faced with new risk factors for the development of tooth-related health problems including sports drinks, juice bars, coffee, hormonal changes, and mouth breathing.

Digital X‑Rays Learn More

Dental x-rays or radiographs allow the dentist to see things about your child's oral health that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These items include cysts, cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, invisible decay that occurs between teeth, and the location of teeth that haven't grown all the way in.

Modern dental x-ray machines are very safe. We use only state-of-the-art, low radiation machines. The amount of radiation exposure your child's body receives on an airplane flight from Los Angeles to New York exceeds the amount of exposure they will receive from a modern dental x-ray machine. Contrast this minimal exposure with the risk of not finding an illness until it is too late, and you can see why we prescribe regular diagnostic x‑rays.

IV Sedation Learn More

We offer several sedation dentistry options depending on your child’s needs and how much treatment is needed. Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective option for children who are apprehensive about treatment and quickly dissipates with normal breathing after the treatment is completed.

In office IV sedation is provided for those children who have fear, anxiety or unease regarding dental treatment, a sensitive gag reflex, low pain thresholds, children with special needs and very young children. The anesthesia is provided by highly-trained, compassionate anesthesiologists from Bay Anesthesia Group

Thumb Sucking Learn More

Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and tooth alignment. How intensely a child sucks on fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.

Pacifiers are no substitute for thumb sucking. They can affect the teeth essentially the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. However, use of the pacifier can be controlled and modified more easily than the thumb or finger habit. If you have concerns about thumb sucking or use of a pacifier, consult your pediatric dentist.

Sports Mouth Guards Learn More

We recommend mouth guards for all our sports active patients. A mouth protector minimizes the potential for tooth fracture or loss due to traumatic injury. In addition, it can reduce the concussive effects of certain head injuries. We provide pro-style mouth guards to all our patients free of charge once the permanent teeth are present.





Tour Our Office Before You Visit

We look forward to showing your child dentistry can be fun!

Santa Cruz Children's Dental Group

Joe Rawlins, DDS, MS | Ryan Wittwer, DDS, MS | Mai Dinh, DDS, MSD | Maryam Sarrafan, DDS | Keerthi Golla, DDS | Alice Shoemaker, DDS | Jane Doe, DDSJoe Rawlins, DDS, MS | Ryan Wittwer, DDS, MS | Mai Dinh, DDS, MSD | Maryam Sarrafan, DDS | Keerthi Golla, DDS | Alice Shoemaker, DDS | Jane Doe, DDS

1661 Soquel Drive, Building A
Santa Cruz, CA 95065

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New Patient Hotline (888) 864-7029

Existing Patients Call (831) 476-5512

Request an Appointment

Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm
Sat 8:00am-2:00pm

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