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Taking Care of Your Child's Smile
3 years, 10 months ago 0

Taking Care of Your Child’s Smile

The Saux FamilyDr. Jill Lasky was featured in an article in LA Parent‘s online magazine Special Needs section this past June. The article, authored by Christina Elston, is a comprehensive primer on caring for your child’s teeth whether you are a parent of a special needs child, one who maybe overly sensitive or fearful or one who just doesn’t like to brush.  Every parent of any child, young and old, may be able to learn something from the Dr. Jill’s special wisdom.

If your child has special needs, you are likely immersed in an array of tasks and therapies – occupational, educational and physical. As you work to help your child make the most of her or his abilities, don’t forget your child’s smile!

“You need to care for their mouths. It is a journey. It is a process,” says Jill Lasky, DDS, a pediatric dentist who practices in Tarzana and Studio City.

Lasky, who sees many patients with special needs, reminds parents of these children to pay attention to the enticements they use to motivate their kids. “A lot of therapies involve sugary rewards,” she says. For those offering sweet treats, she offers a few suggestions. “Things that melt away are typically better than things that stick,” Lasky says. So try:

  • M&M’s or chocolate kisses instead of Skittles,
  • Fresh fruit instead of raisins,
  • Lollipops sweetened with Xylitol instead of sugar, and
  • Gum sweetened with Xylitol instead of jelly beans.

Brushing your child’s teeth daily is important, and building the habit is more important than doing a great job every time. “It’s not the quality of the brush, it’s the consistency and the repetition,” Lasky says. If your child isn’t ready for toothpaste (because he or she can’t spit it out), Lasky recommends keeping things super easy by cleaning your child’s teeth right at the table after dinner. After you clean your child’s hands and face and the table or the high-chair tray, grab a damp wash cloth and clean your child’s teeth and gums.

Another important part of good dental care is finding a dentist who can work with your child during regular checkups. Because dental visits involve lying on your back while a stranger puts her hands – or instruments that vibrate or make noise – into your mouth, they can be difficult for children with special needs. “It’s like a perfect storm,” says Lasky, who suggests seeking out a pediatric dentist who has completed two or three years of special training.

special needs dentistry Jill Lasky

Ask the dentist:

  • How much experience he or she has with children who have the same issues as your child,
  • Whether there is enough support staff present to assist with your child if needed,
  • Whether you can be present in the exam room to help interpret your child’s communication,
  • Whether the dentist can employ sedation if needed in cases where your child is in pain, and
  • Whether the dentist is available on a schedule that works with your family, at times of the day when your child is at her or his best.

Also check out the atmosphere in the dentist’s office. Make sure the environment is set up to accommodate these kids. “I set up my office with very little external stimulation,” Lasky says, because things such as music, TV or video games can be overstimulating to some kids with special needs. She arranges her office to promote soothing quiet, with stress balls and click toys for the kids to use, and adult-size chairs so that kids can even sit in parents’ laps during treatment if needed.

Finally, make sure the dentist is ready to take things slow. Lasky does what she calls “behavior modification visits,” which are brief, frequent visits to help build comfort and trust. She starts with simple things, like letting the child sit in the dental chair, and works up to visits where she can peek into the child’s mouth, and eventually examine her or his teeth.

Ultimately, you want your child to leave the dentist’s office with a smile – a healthy smile.

Our thanks to LA Parent Magazine for allowing us to reprint the article in its entirety on our website!

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Summer Vacation - Oral Health Care Tips
3 years, 11 months ago 0

Summer Vacation – Oral Health Care Tips

School’s out for summer and your children are no doubt excited for their summer vacation and a chance to break from routine.  But whether your child stays close to home or ventures off to sleep-away camp, it’s safe to assume their regular oral health care regimen will suffer, opening them up to increased risk of tooth decay and cavities.

Here are some of the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group’s simple oral health care tips to help your child keep the cavity bugs Lasky Camp Photo 3 2015away during summer vacation:


It’s probably time to change your child’s toothbrush, so bring them with you to shop for one. Let your child pick out one in their favorite color and choose an appropriate toothpaste they like. If you will be traveling with your child or if he or she is going to Grandma’s or sleep-away camp, buy several brushes to pack – at least one per week. This way, if their toothbrush falls to the bathroom floor and can no longer be used, they will always have a backup and NO excuse for not brushing.

Toothpaste and Floss

Buy/pack one travel size toothpaste tube for every two weeks away.  No only will you be able to monitor how much brushing really went on, your child doesn’t get to say they lost their toothpaste or it ran out.  To keep your kid flossing, buy/pack a couple of packs of dental floss or individual flossers – again, no excuses for lost floss. If your child wears braces, buy/pack some of those little dental brushes to help to keep their favorite summer food from getting trapped in their braces and hiding in their mouths.

Drink Water, Water, and more Water! Did we say water?

Sipping soft drinks, sports drinks, even juices will promote tooth decay at any time but over summer vacation your child may be more vulnerable with a break in their normal dental routine. At home, make sure your child has access to water at all times, buy/pack a few BPA-free reusable water bottles to help them keep their supply at hand.  Not only will they stay well-hydrated, water helps to rinse food particles away and boost saliva levels in their mouth which will also help prevent tooth decay.

Summer Sports Can be Risky for Teeth!

If your child hasn’t been fitted with a mouthguard, now is the time. There are over 200,00 cases of mouth or jaw injuries every yeaSummer Camp Oral Health Care tipsr that can easily be avoided with a professionally fitted mouth guard.  If away at summer camp, it might be wise to pack an extra one, in case of loss.

Schedule Cleaning Appointment

If your child is due for their dental cleaning this summer, schedule it for AFTER they come back from camp and let them know about the appointment BEFORE they go. If they happen to forget to brush more than they brushed while away, the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group Team can clean them up and get them back on track with good oral hygiene once they are back to their regular routine or have returned home.


If you have any questions, need some extra toothbrushes or floss samples, please don’t hesitate to call and come by the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group during regular business hours.  Also, in case of emergency, we can be reached 24/7.

Wishing all of our families a safe and fun summer!

Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky




This post is in: dental tips
Top Dentists 2015 - Lasky Pediatric Dental Group
4 years ago 0

Top Dentists 2015 – Lasky Pediatric Dental Group

Ventura Blvd. Top Dentists 2015In the May-June 2015 issue of Ventura Boulevard magazine, the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group has once again been named one of the magazine’s “Top Dentists.” This is the third time, that the pediatric dentists of LPDG have been a part of this prestigious feature in the print and online editions.

“Both Dr. Michael and I truly love our young patients and our pediatric dental practiced is blessed with some of the best families in all of Los Angeles.  We feel it is a privilege to be recognized in Ventura Boulevard Magazine – once again – for the work we love to do. said Dr. Jill Lasky.”

If you don’t get home delivery of Ventura Boulevard Magazine, you can click on the above link and read the profile on the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group – Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky and Dr. Ronen Krausz.

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Pediatric Dental Education at Health & Fitness Fair
4 years, 1 month ago 0

Pediatric Dental Education at Health & Fitness Fair

Dr. Jill Lasky and registered dental assistant, Jackie Diaz, attended the Burbank Temple EmanuEl Health and Fitness Fair. At the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group booth, families received teeth-brushing demos, information of some of LPDG’s recommended oral health care products for children and small giveaways. More importantly, Dr. Jill and Jackie were there to answer parents’ and children’s questions about good oral health care and developing good dental habits.

The Burbank Temple Emanuel Health and Fitness Fair had a great turnout and children loved the LPDG balloons, toothbrushes and getting their own low-tech hourglass timer – to remind them to brush for at least two minutes! There were several other booths highlighting stress management, optimal health, body-fat testing, personal training and more.

It was a great day for all involved and Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky and their team really enjoy doing these educational events at pre-schools, temples, churches, special needs fairs and community centers. Dr. Michael and Jill’s commitment to oral health care education is an integral part of their commitment to community service for the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. If you would like to schedule one of them and/a team member to speak to your school or group, please call either of the offices at the numbers on the header.

This post is in: in the community
Lasky Pediatric Group
4 years, 3 months ago 0

Lasky Pediatric Group “Gives Kids A Smile”

Give Kids A Smile Program LogoFor almost four years now, Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky have volunteered their expertise for the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) program.  Give Kids A Smile®  provides much-needed oral health screenings, care and education to underserved children in their local communities. Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky coordinate their participation in this program through the  San Fernando Valley Dental Association which has additional information and resources for families and children in need of dental care on their website.

Last week, the Napa Street Elementary School in Northridge, California got a visit from Dr. Michael Lasky, who was able to screen about 25 pre-school age children for dental disease and to help introduce them to an oral health care exam.  All  children went home with “report cards” to inform their parents of the state of their dental health and if further examinations or treatments were necessary.  Dr. Michael reports that he was pleased that only seven of the children showed signs of decay.  The SFVDA and/or the GKAS program can  help parents identify a low or no-cost dental clinic or pediatric dentist who can perform any needed procedures.photo 3 photo 5

From the ADA website:

The American Dental Association began the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. The program initially began as a one-day event in February, but has since grown to local and national events year-round. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time, and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States. Each year, approximately 350,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers.

February is National Dental Health Month and Dr. Jill, Dr. Michael and their registered dental hygienists have many visits planned to Los Angeles area pre-schools, kindergarten classes and community centers this month and beyond.  It is part of LPDG’s continuing commitment to community service, outreach and dental health education.  If you would like to schedule a visit from one of their pediatric dentists or one of the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group’s team, please call or email them at the information above.

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Join LPDG at the Mother's Haven Opening
4 years, 3 months ago 0

Join LPDG at the Mother’s Haven Opening

Join Dr. Michael and Jill Lasky at the grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration for A Mother’s Haven boutique and education center in Encino. The pediatric dentists will be available to answer any of your child’s oral health care concerns and will be giving out goodies for the kids.

Mother’s Haven is located at 16101 Ventura Blvd and the event starts at 2pm and runs until 5pm. There is ample underground parking.

For more information on A Mother’s Haven products and classes, please click here to go to their website.


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Come to L.A. Parent Magazine Special Needs Fair
4 years, 5 months ago 0

Come to L.A. Parent Magazine Special Needs Fair

Our friends at  LA PARENT Magazine invite you to join them for their first Resource Fair for families with special needs at the Zimmer Children’s Museum (6505 Wilshire Blvd., #100, L.A) tomorrow Sunday December 7th.  The kids can enjoy riding in a plane, shopping in Main Street, cooking in the Blue Bagel Cafe and letting their imaginations soar at the Water Ways and in the Construction Zone at the interactive museum.

In addition, there will be live entertainment, face painting and fun prizes! There will also be lots of information on resources available for families with special needs  The fun begins at 12:30pm and runs until 5pm and admission is free for all and walk ups are welcome.

For more information, please go to LA PARENT website by clicking here.

Hope you check it out!

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Halloween Candy Buy Back to Benefit Operation Gratitude and Our American Troops
4 years, 6 months ago 0

Halloween Candy Buy Back to Benefit Operation Gratitude and Our American Troops

Halloween pumpkinIt’s hard to believe that Halloween is just a few days away, and no doubt children everywhere are gearing for their yearly ritual of gathering tons of Halloween candy. Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky are not just pediatric dentists but they are parents of two school age sons. Each year, they too have to deal with the voluminous amounts of candy that their boys bring home.

How do they handle it?  Dr. Michael shared that they would allow their boys to eat all the candy that they wanted only on Halloween. Then later that night after the boys were asleep, he and Jill would hide it away.  He also reveals, “When the candy was out of sight the next day it was out of the boys’ mind. But that meant Jill and I would hit the hiding place for our own sugar rush.” That might not be an optimum solution for parents who are trying limit their intake of sweets and LPDG has even a better solution.

This year, the Lasky Pediatric Group is inviting parents to gather their post-Halloween stash owrewards their children for giving up their candy for a very worthy cause – Operation Gratitude’s 2014 Halloween Candy Buy Back program. Many dentists from all over the country have joined this program and LPDG is excited to be one of them.

Our Halloween Candy Buy Back program starts on Saturday, November 1st and runs until the end of the day November 6th. Families are encouraged to bring their leftover candy to either one of the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group’s offices during regular business hours. LPDG will pay $1.00 per pound (up to $5.00 per child) and then they will turn it over to Operation Gratitude which will distribute this candy to American troops stationed all over the world.

For more information about Operation Gratitude please check out this link  and if you don’t live in the San Fernando Valley this link  will help you find a participating dentist in your area. For all other inquiries, please feel free to call our office.

Here’s wishing all a safe and bountiful Halloween and a not so gentle reminder to remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day!

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Join LPDG at Our Lady of Grace Encino's Fall Carnival 2014
4 years, 7 months ago 0

Join LPDG at Our Lady of Grace Encino’s Fall Carnival 2014

The Lasky Pediatric Dental Group invites you to come out to the Our Lady of Grace Church Fall Carnival 2014 which starts this Friday, October 17th and runs until Sunday, October 19th. OLG located at 17720 Ventura Blvd off of White Oak Avenue in Encino. For ride enthusiasts, you’ll find Twister, Skydiver Ferris Wheel and Bumper Cars to name a few.  The church grounds will be filled with  booths with games for children of all ages, foodtrucks serving up their finest fare and on stage, musical entertainment of all genres all weekend long..

LPDG Pumpkin MouthLPDG Team members will be manning a booth to promote good dental habits for kids – a very important service especially since their booth will be next to the carnival’s cotton candy stand!  In addition to answering any questions, families may have about their child’s oral hygiene routine, there will be giveaways of toothbrushes, balloons, and toys.  Plus, a demonstration of the very popular and effective children’s flossing system, GumChucks.

Lasky Sonicare PhotoThe proceeds from the OLG Carnival will support many of their school’s programs and if you can’t make it there,  you can also support OLG through their online-silent auction.  Click on this link, to be taken to the Bidding For Good/OLG site,  which is up now and will end precisely at 5pm on Sunday, October 19th.  Here’s your chance to pick up some great items including a Phillips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush and Kid’s Oral Health Care Kit.

For more information on the OLG Carnival and to purchase tickets in advance, please go to the event’s website and we hope to see you there!

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Dr. Jill Lasky's Dental Tips on Teething
4 years, 7 months ago 0

Dr. Jill Lasky’s Dental Tips on Teething

Lasky Pediatric Dental Group’s Dr. Jill Lasky was one of the pediatric dentists offering up some valuable information and dental tips for a Parents.com article on “When Do Babies Start Teething.” For first time parents, dealing with a teething baby is both exciting and scary if you don’t know what to expect. The article, authored by Tameika Reece, is a great overview of what parents should expect and prepare for with their teething child.

Here’s an excerpt of the tips from Dr. Jill:

Not all babies have teething symptoms. But for babies who aren’t as lucky, the arrival of those tiny teeth can cause a whole lot of misery. “Symptoms a child may have when teething are drooling, which can cause a rash on the chin or face; gum swelling and sensitivity; irritability; biting; or sleep problems,” Dr. Josen says. Your baby may also rub her face, tug on her ears, or even refuse to eat and drink. Some parents report that their babies suffer from a mild fever, diarrhea, or runny nose, but Dr. Lasky says teething doesn’t cause these symptoms. “Instead, the tiny open wounds in the gums that result from the teeth erupting makes it more likely for the baby to catch a little bug,” she explains.

To read the entire article, please click here and if you have specific questions for Drs. Michael and Jill Lasky or your own pediatric dentist please call their office.


This post is in: dental tips