Seeking a Pediatric Dentist

Parent Q&A

Pediatric Dentist @ Guardian Recommendation needed! Oct 14, 2021 (8 responses below)
Our dentist is no longer accepting Delta Jun 2, 2021 (4 responses below)
Dentist good for nursing toddlers Jun 1, 2021 (3 responses below)
ISO Vaccinated pediatric dentist Apr 27, 2021 (7 responses below)
Seeking pediatric dentist in-network Delta Dental Jan 10, 2021 (4 responses below)
Looking for a pediatric dentist in SF ideally Nov 6, 2020 (2 responses below)
Holistic, prevention-oriented pediatric dentist May 26, 2020 (6 responses below)
Pediatric dentist Oct 4, 2019 (6 responses below)
pediatric dentist Mar 29, 2019 (4 responses below)
Toddler dentistry without tears? Aug 3, 2018 (5 responses below)
POW Dental experiences? Mar 15, 2018 (8 responses below)
Pediatric Dentist Recommendation May 15, 2017 (4 responses below)
Seeking Excellent Pediatric Dentist for 17 month old May 15, 2017 (1 responses below)
Pediatric Dentist in MetLife Network Needed Jul 12, 2016 (1 responses below)
In search of a pediatric dentist in the area Jun 22, 2016 (7 responses below)
  • Hi! My 2yo toddler is well overdue for his first pediatric dentist visit! We just got Guardian dental insurance. I wonder if anyone can recommend a dentist on Guardian's list?

    Also, pls DM me with any "STAY AWAY FROM THAT ONE" (highly appreciated for obvious reasons). 

    Thank you all so much!

    I believe Patrick So and Vivienne Valdez are the fabulous dentists at POW Pediatric Oral Wellness on San Pablo Ave. My daughter is 14 and has a lot of dental anxiety stemming from preschool aged dental trauma on the school playground. They are fabulous with her and take everything slow. She’s very picky about dentists and refuses to go anywhere else even though we moved. She frequently tells me that she’s amazed by all the little kids who come and seem so happy to be at the dentist! As a parent, I have found their COVID protocols to be quite good as well. So, a whole hearted recommendation for POW!

    We love POW Dental (Patrick So and Viviene Valdez). We’ve only seen Dr. So, but he’s really great with our two-year old, and she loves going to the dentist because they let her choose stickers and a balloon as a reward at the end. She hasn’t had any dental problems so I can’t speak to anything other than that he’s great with our toddler.

    We have Guardian and have gone to Little Goldfish Children's Dentistry in Oakland. They were very kind and clearly experienced with toddlers.

  • Hello, I looked up the archived posts, but the most recent specific reference I could find is several years old. Does anyone have any recent experience getting a soonish appointment, for a new patient, with a pediatric dermatologist? East Bay ideal, but willing to travel. Thank you!

    My teen sees Dr Ingrid Roseborough in Oakland. I think she also sees people in Lafayette. She really listens to him about what he wants and what he’s willing to do for acne.  She’s also very kind. 

  • I have a 3.5 yo who hasn't seen any dentist yet. We're still breastfeeding (including to fall asleep/night feed). My daughter doesn't respond well to any distraction/redirection tactics some doctors use. When doctors/nurses slow down and take time to explain well with simple language, my daughter doesn't cry with immunization shots or any procedures. So it's most ideal if the dentists and hygienist are respectful and breastfeeding friendly. I have had traumatic experiences with dental work as a child and still affects me to date so I want to choose a right dentist for her. 

    I've read the past thread and Aloha dentistry sounds great. If you have experience with Aloha, which dentist would be a fit? My daughter probably prefers female identified person over male identified person. 

    While my daughter's primary dentists dentists at Aloha were male (Dr. Wampler and then Dr. Nakazato), she saw Dr. Khosrovani for a dental emergency (she fell and split one of her front incisors up to the root). Dr. Khosrovani was great. I have no idea on "breastfeeding friendly" but based on our experience, I think she would be a great choice.

    Although I can't respond to if they are breastfeeding friendly, as my kids are now 12 and 15 years old, I want to share our experience. My kids were clients at Aloha Dentistry in Berkeley for years and our experience with them was okay. I wouldn't complain about them but I didn't think they were especially great with kids either. My older son dreaded going to them and we felt that at least one of their hygienists could have been better with kids. Recently Aloha Dentistry stopped accepting our insurance, so we ended up changing to Lamorinda Toothbuds in Lafayette. They are amazing. This is everything I hoped a children's dentist could be. The staff is very child friendly and my older son is happy to go there. This might be too far for you, but you might want to consider them if you can't find anything you are satisfied with in Berkeley. Pediatric Dentist Lafayette, CA | Lamorinda Tooth Buds | Home

  • Our dentist is no longer accepting Delta

    (4 replies)

    Hello - we're sad to have learned that our dentist that we love (Aloha Pediatric) is no longer taking our insurance (Delta). Do you have any recommendations for a pediatric dentist, preferably taking Delta? Thank you

    ^^ would like to know as well! (currently DS goes to mine but not a good fit)

    We also use Aloha and have decided to stay with them even though they will be out of network. From what my dentist said, Delta has changed the way they compensate dentists and that many of his colleagues (at least in the Berkeley area) have decided to leave Delta. Dental insurance basically sucks all around -- it's probably our biggest health care expense in a normal year. (Maybe we just have bad teeth?) Anyhow, sorry I don't have any leads for you, just wanted to warn you that finding dentists that are Delta members may be difficult. Good luck!

    We've been very happy with Dr. Patrick So at POW Dental in Albany. I don't have Delta and can't comment on that, but insurance has not been a problem with this office.

  • Dentist good for nursing toddlers

    (3 replies)

    Hi! I’m seeking recommendations for a good pediatric dentist in the area. My toddler is 18 mos with many teeth, still nursing at night (breastmilk contains sugar!), and has yet to see a dentist.

    My dentist recommended Aloha but nobody specific by name. I’d like a dentist that is great with toddlers and is TRUSTWORTHY. (Not necessarily at Aloha.)

    Also, if you had a bad experience with someone, I’d appreciate knowing who to stay away from (please message me in private).

    We have Delta dental insurance.

    Thank you!!!

    My 2 y/o just had his first dentist visit with Dr. Nick, My nephew & niece also go to Dr. Nick and he and the staff are so friendly and don't push too much. They don't have a ton of availability b/c of COVID, so you may need to book out at least a month in advance.

    Hi! I can absolutely recommend Aloha Pediatric Dentistry for breastfeeding toddlers (and older kids), and more specifically recommend Dr. Ruehe in the Telegraph office. She's just SO LOVELY. Her approach (and that of the dental hygienists) is calm, confident, and conservative - my son has a little "pre-cavity" between his upper central incisors (likely from nursing) and she's ok to watch it for now - we're not jumping to repairs or anything. The teeth and roots are still healthy. I'd call Aloha to ask about the Delta Dental - I think they just stopped being "in-network", but we're going to stick with them, even if it means paying up front and submitting claims afterwards (and potentially paying a little more) because we love them so much. P.S. my son nursed until 3.5 years old and there was zero pushback from Dr. Ruehe about it from the dental perspective... 

    My baby goes to Little Gold Fish in Oakland with Dr. Ruben Espinoza

    He is a pediatric dentist and he is very nice

  • ISO Vaccinated pediatric dentist

    (7 replies)

    After skipping a couple appointments during covid, I'd like to get my 3 year old back to the dentist. The two places I've called (POW and Aloha) told me that "most" of their staff is vaccinated, but that they couldn't confirm that the person working with my kid would be. We've been very careful and luckily healthy so far, so I'd rather not put my kid at risk, especially now that vaccines are available. Has anyone had more luck finding a dental office where everyone is vaccinated? 

    I don't know if all of their staff are vaccinated, but we were happy to see our kids' long-time practice, Uptown Pediatric Practice in Downtown Oakland, celebrating vaccination of some of their employees on social media. Their website also details all of the practices they have in place to prevent the spread of COVID, and we felt very safe there. We see Denise Bass Allen but have occasionally seen their other dentists and they're great too. I don't think they or other practices can formally disclose vaccination status of specific staff, though.

    My kids go to the Oakland office of Alameda Pediatric Dentistry. I’m pretty sure they’re all vaccinated. When my 16 yr old asked if it was ok to take off her mask, the hygienist said, yes. We’re all vaccinated. They’ve been twice during the pandemic and it’s been fine. Th office takes all the precautions. 

    Zarrin Ferdowsi in Kensington is excellent and very careful, so I expect that all of the staff are vaccinated. Their COVID precautions have been top notch. (510) 525-2881.

  • I'm seeking a highly recommended pediatric dentist in Berkeley (or nearby) that accepts Delta Dental as in-network. As of June 2021, Aloha Dentistry will no longer be in-network and apparently many other practices won't be accepting it as well.

    Thank you!

    Hello, we have Delta Dental and take our daughter to POW (Pediatric Oral Wellness) in Albany. They are great. Our daughter (age 5) loves going to the dentist! I haven't checked on whether their insurance policies are changing this year, but it would be worth giving them a call. Good luck!

    Hi.  Just wanted to respond because as a Delta Dental Insurance holder and an Aloha parent I was very concerned.  I contacted them to find out that it is true they will not be in network.  However, Delta will still provide some compensation for service, just not at the in-network rate.  And while there is no way of knowing for sure, sometimes the in-network and out of network rate are not much different.  So if you love Aloha, it might be worth it to stay and see what happens.  If you would like further info on this you can contact Mahi Amerino the dental administrator at mahia [at] or call 510-990-3377.

    I have DD and loved our experience at . Dr Nick was recommended to us by our pediatrician and its turns out some of the other kids at our daycare go there too and love him just as much. We also felt super safe with their covid protocols.

  • My almost three year old had a fall and supposedly fell on his front teeth a month ago. 

    Ive recently notice one of his front teeth turning grey and am needing to find a dentist, ideally SF but flexible to oakland east Bay Area as well..

    i am looking for someone that takes delta dental or within the anthem blue cross program (medi-cal) program- in SF.

    Someone eco/choice conscious, any leads would help.

    thank you!

    I can recommend either Dr. Nancy Hsieh ( or the dentists at One Parker practice ( my local friends and I go to one of these two practices and are very happy.  Both are located in the Laurel Heights neighborhood.  

    You can serch in the smile California web page. In the search options select Pediatric dentists
    We went a few months ago to Little gold fish children's dentists in Oakland and they were very nice

  • Admittedly, I'm skeptical of dentists (read The Truth About Dentistry in The Atlantic). I had my own series of shady experiences years ago, which I won't go into here but I saw numerous dentists each advising different treatment, none in agreement (read the article) and ultimately most not necessary (which I can attest to more than 10 years later). Anyway, now I have kids and I love their pediatric dentist but I have serious concerns about whether this dentist is recommending treatment in excess of what is really necessary. Anyway, without going into further detail, I would like to get a second opinion with a dentist who is known to take a conservative approach and preferably is at least aware of no-drill approaches to treating minor decay. Preferably in Oakland or East Bay, but I would travel farther for the right person. 

    Also interested so hoping you'll share with me if you get any recommendations. Thank you

    A dentist that we use, who is knowledgeable of holistic approaches, is Doctor Hockel in Walnut Creek. He also practices orthotropic orthotics (an alternative to traditional orthodonture that emphasizes extractions and results in a smaller jawline, may contribute to a smaller airway, sleep apnea and other problems). With orthotics, they use appliances (retainer-like) to gradually encourage jawline growth so that the teeth have room to grow in naturally. We've been using him for both the orthotics and as our general pediatric dentist. They still use some traditional dentists practices, but they are understanding if you want to omit some (like not using flouride) or steer things a different way (e.g. using diet, etc). (Unlike other dentists who may look at you in a negative light if you ask for more holistic approaches.) Here's their website:

    Another holistic dentist, located in Berkeley, is Doctor Hites:

    Dr. Hites has more adult clients, and is not as focused on kids (he isn't as good at interacting with them compared to Doctor Hockel, which was a deciding factor for us). 

    It isn't easy to find a holistic dentist! We searched for a long time to find ones more compatible with our orientation toward health. Hope that helps!

    The dentist I've been going to for 30 years, Dr. Stephen Voyne, is trustworthy and very conservative when it comes to any dental work, often taking a "wait and see" approach. He is not specifically a pediatric dentist, but he is a family dentist, and our daughter saw him throughout her childhood. 

  • Pediatric dentist

    (6 replies)

    Hi, we're looking for a good pediatric dentist in the Oakland/Berkeley area.  Suggestions are appreciated.  Thank you!

    RE: Pediatric dentist ()

    Highly recommend Dr. Denise Bass Allen with Uptown Pediatric Dentistry in downtown Oakland. I was dreading taking my daughter to the dentist for the first time when she was about 1 1/2, so I was delightedly shocked when Dr. Denise (as she has the kids call her) was able to get through the whole cleaning and check up without any tears. Now, she still loves going to the dentist and our second goes there, too! 

    RE: Pediatric dentist ()

    We just switched to Alameda Pediatric Dentistry on Grand Ave in Oakland. Previously we went to POW in Albany, which was fun and cute but I wasn’t 100% sold on the quality of care. (I’m the daughter of a dentist and used to work as a dental receptionist.) POW told me my daughter had a lip and tongue tie (our pediatrician and my dentist mother disagree) and never mentioned that she was missing her lower lateral incisors. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry was more thorough and accurate in their assessment of my daughter’s teeth. 

    RE: Pediatric dentist ()

    Check out Alameda Pediatric Dentistry - Oakland branch. We were just there last week for my 2 year old's first visit, and couldn't be happier with them. Their offices are brand spanking new and the staff were super friendly and made my son feel so good about being there. They'll play movies on the ceiling so your kid will happily lay back and watch while their teeth and being examined and cleaned. They have dedicated parking spots for their customers behind the building! I'm beyond glad I went with them since they really exceeded my expectations in every way. Even now my son is asking to go back (he's not due for another visit for 6 months so he'll have to wait!). 

    - Jess

  • pediatric dentist

    (4 replies)

    Hi everyone, 

    Im looking for a gentle and kind dentist that takes guardian dental insurance, for my 2 year old Boy. We live close to Alameda /oakland but we would be okay to travel a little extra just to find the right fit. Does anyone have and recommendations ? thank you 

    RE: pediatric dentist ()

    We LOVE Dr. Amaneh Khosrovani at Aloha Pediatric Dentistry.  She was our child's dentist from 3 until 18, when it was time to go to an adult specialist. Patient, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and a great dentist.

    RE: pediatric dentist ()

    We love Uptown Pediatric Dentistry on Broadway, in downtown Oakland. All of the dentists there are fabulous! I'm not sure which insurance they do & don't take, though. Good luck!

    RE: pediatric dentist ()

    Aloha Pediatric Dentistry has offices on Telegraph and Solano Avenue (both in Berkeley) and also Orinda.

    Extremely patient and professional, kids are their specialty and it shows.  We see Dr. Carole Miyahara but I've heard good things about all their dentists.  

  • Toddler dentistry without tears?

    (5 replies)

    Has anyone had a great experience taking a toddler to the dentist in Berkeley or Oakland? After reading reviews of pediatric dentists, I allowed myself to hope that their tricks and techniques could usher even the littlest ones through without tears. But we had our first appointment (at 14 months) and it didn’t live up to that high bar—the people and setup were very nice (toys to play with while waiting, etc.), but when it came to the exam they just said it was normal for him to cry. Looking ahead to a visit at 20 months, I’d love to know: do any of the Berkeley/Oakland pediatric practices have the secret sauce for a happy toddler visit? Or is that simply an unrealistic goal at this age?
    If you know of a practice with great techniques for making toddlers think brushing is important or fun, that would be great to know also!

    We had 14 years of great success with Dr. Matsuishi on Stockton Street, and continued to have great care in a soothing environment with Dr. Ching, his successor.  Their office used to give tours to nursery school kids, to help them feel comfortable in the office.  They would let you schedule a pre-visit to reduce anxiety.  

    My daughter had her first appointment at 19 months, thought it was great and has loved going to the dentist ever since. She sees Dr. Nakazato at Aloha Pediatric Dentistry, although that first visit was with Dr. Wampler (who I think has since retired). She saw Dr. Khosrovani there once when she was 5 and had a dental emergency. All three of them have been great.

    Dr. Vivian Lopez and assistants are great. I wouldn't say we achieved zero tears with every procedure, but I always felt the staff was even more patient and definitely more wise than I was. My preteen kids are still totally comfotable with going there despite some fillings, a retainer, one extraction, and a spacer. So they must be doing something right! With a 14 month old it sounds like it should be just cleanings and inspections though, so shouldn't be too many tears. Then again, I'm not sure I brought my kids to the dentist that young.

  • POW Dental experiences?

    (8 replies)

    Hi there,

    We're new to the area and I just took my 5 year old for a check up at POW dental in Albany.  I expected to hear that she has a cavity (this is what our prior dentist told us to keep an eye on at her last appointment a year ago), although we were told that she has now has 4 that need immediate treatment.  This may be entirely true-- I'm definitely not qualified to determine this myself, and she's my first kid so I'm learning as I go-- but I wondered if any BPN parents have had similar experiences with POW suggesting surprisingly intensive interventions, or if BNP parents have had fantastic experiences there.  I'd love to know about either.  I thought I found POW through BPN suggestions originally but just now in scanning through the dental postings here, I can't actually find them listed in the suggestions.

    I'm just trying to make sure I don't sign her up for anything unnecessary since I know the treatments would be stressful for her.  That said, I absolutely want to do them if they are needed.  Thank you for any advice!


    RE: POW Dental experiences? ()

    I don't know what to tell you about POW but I am surprised to hear your prior dentist told you to "keep an eye on" a cavity.  They don't go away (and as you say, they aren't really visible to the untrained eye) so I'm sure what that was about.  As I understand it, cavities, when they appear, need to be filled. 

    RE: POW Dental experiences? ()

    Obviously can't give advice on your daughter's specific teeth, but I take my two kids to POW now after a few very unsatisfactory years with Dr Nick (formerly Dr Ed) in El Cerrito, where I felt among other things they were very interventionist on a potential problem (not a cavity) on a 3 year old. We've been happy at POW with both the dentists there, although I always feel kind of "ugh" since - as you allude to - if you're not a dentist yourself it's hard to know what's really going on! I guess in short answer to your question, we ended up transferring to POW after going there for a second opinion from Dr Nick (also went once to Aloha for a second opinion, wow were they expensive) and my perception is they are better in terms of not being so aggressive about treatment - again, cavities are one thing and this particular example for my kid was different (trauma to tooth after a fall). We have since had a couple cavities filled there on one kid, the other one has skated so far. Anyway, hope it helps.

    RE: POW Dental experiences? ()

    I've had a lot of dentists in the past propose more than I wanted to do. I now go to Dr. Mizono in Albany, who is great. When I told him my past experiences he said that it's really pretty subjective, and that he takes a conservative approach. 

  • Pediatric Dentist Recommendation

    (4 replies)


    Our pediatrician recommended Alameda Pediatric Dentistry for my son's first (one year appointment).  Has anyone used their Oakland office?  If so, how was your kiddos experience?  Your experience as a parent?  Any specific dentist at this practice you would recommend?


    I take my toddler to the Oakland office and I have no complaints. The doctors, assistants and staff are great with kids.  I was scared to take my daughter the first time (she was 2) because she is on the spectrum but she did just fine. We now go every 6 months and my daughter enjoys playing with the toys and sitting in the dental chair. We see Dr. Wahl, he's very friendly and patient with children. I would recommend Alameda Pediatric Dentistry.

    Our son has gone to the Oakland office of Alameda Pediatric Dentistry for the past few years, and we LOVE it. Dr. Whippy is amazing. I honestly can't imagine a better dentist for young children. She's super smart, kind, patient, and wonderful at connecting with children. I highly recommend them!

    Yes- my 3 year old goes there (he's been 2 or 3 times). We've had a very good experience so far.  We see Dr. Whippy, who we really like.  

  • My wife and I are seeking a pediatric dentist for our son of 17months close to Oakland/Berkeley/Emeryville

    Thank you

    My kids and I love Denise Bass Allen, DDS, who is in downtown Oakland. 

    She's amazing with kids, the office staff are very nice and organized, and the kids always enjoy going. (We've been taking each once since they turned 1.) The practice only serves pediatric patients and they really have it down to a science.

    Can't recommend her highly enough!


  • We've been taking our son to see the same adult dentist that we do and it has worked really well so far. He has no fear or anxiety about going to the dentist and I really like the business-like, matter-of-fact approach. They never acted like there might be an issue with going to the dentist so he's never had an issue with going to the dentist. It probably helps that I love getting my teeth cleaned and look forward to our appointments.

    Unfortunately my dentist is a general dentist and seems to know very little about dental issues specific to kids. I asked some questions about an issue that's been worrying me and she couldn't answer them. In fact, she wouldn't have even known that there was an issue until I brought it up. I think that we need to switch him to a dentist that knows about issues specific to children (permanent teeth, orthodontists, etc.). We have MetLife for our dental insurance and would like to find a pediatric dentist in Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, or Kensington who is in network.

    I did some research and came up with the following names. Do any of you have any feedback on any of them? We want someone who is proactive and recognize issues. But we don't want to take him somewhere where he'll be overly babied because we don't him to get the impression that he should be afraid of or dread going to the dentist. The names that I've found are:

    Dr. Nancy Ekram Elias and Dr. Roxanne Gould in Berkeley

    Dr. Patrick Ting and Dr. Vivienne Valdez, Pediatric Oral Wellness, Albany

    Any feedback that you have would be appreciated. REcommendations to any good pediatric dentists in the area that take MetLife would also be appreciated.


    We have MetLife and use Drs. Terlet and Aziz in Berkeley.  While they are not specifically pediatrics, they do see a lot of peds patients and would probably steer you in the right direction for pediatric specialists.  Worth a call anyhow!

  • Hi There!

    Our family is moving from Chicago to Berkeley this weekend & my 4 year old son is in need dental care.  He has had a bad experience with the two dentists in Chicago & it is very important we find a pediatric dentist that is warm, nurturing, & will let parents go to the back with their child. Any recommendations would be helpful.  Thank you in advance.

    We love Alameda Pediatric Dentistry- they are GREAT with kids! They have an office in Oakland.

    Both my picky daughters liked Aloha Pediatric Dentistry. I liked that they had many locations that were convenient as we moved a few times.
    -mom of 2

    These guys are recommended a lot on BPN for good reason:  Aloha Dentistry in Berkeley.  They really know how to work with children.  My youngest has just graduated from Aloha to a regular dentist, but the years going to Aloha were happy and stress-free.  Yes, parents can hover over their kid if they want to during the visit. The kids, and optionally their parents, are in a big examining room together, which I think reduces the anxiety for kids when they see other kids getting their teeth checked. They are a great dental practice.

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