Integrative Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics Serving SF Bay Area

Frequently Asked Questions

Our expert dental providers utilize the latest technology in a way that is integrative, functional, and compassionately personalized to each of our young patients.

Common General Questions

We offer integrated, state-of-the-art holistic dental and orthodontic care, approaching each patient with compassion, integrity, and sincerity.

Please call us at (510) 482-2799, email us at, or send us a message through our contact page
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend having your child’s first dental checkup by age 1 or when the first teeth erupt.
The first visit is designed for you and your child to get to know us, and for us to get to know your child. We begin the first visit by introducing the office environment and the staff. We prepare your child for the visit by showing and telling what a dental visit is like beforehand. The first visit allows us an opportunity to provide you with information on the dental care of your child, as well as answer any questions you might have. We will also provide guidance on dental and oral development, oral habits, oral hygiene, and nutrition.
We invite and encourage you to stay with your child during the initial examination. This allows us to get to know your child’s medical, dental, and social history thoroughly. After the first visit, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience so that we can develop rapport with your child. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and put your child in the driver’s seat through hands-on learning and navigating his or her own journey toward optimal health. However, if you choose, you may come with your child to the exam room. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult. For treatment visits, allowing us to focus primarily on the child will enable us to gain the child’s trust and provide the best treatment in “kids-time.”

We treat one patient at a time. Unlike other offices, our chair and the doctor are exclusively reserved for you only at the time of the appointment. It is just like an airplane seat or a hotel reservation.

Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient we ask that you please notify our office 48 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment.  Another patient who needs our care, could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them.

We realize that unexpected things can happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard. Which is why after the first missed appointment, you will be charged $100 for each  missed appointment, and this money will be donated to the non-profit organization, Grateful Hearts, which cares for children who are not able to afford medical or dental care.

Payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards. We also work with Care-Credit (ask us about it if you don’t know what this is).

Our office is a “Fee for Service”, which means you are responsible for the treatment cost at the time of your receiving it. We treat you as an individual, not a number in the system. We will provide support to ensure you will get the maximum benefit from your insurance as much as possible.

If we have received all of your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, and we will help you to understand what your insurance benefits are structured. No Insurance pays the same.  By law your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically, so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We do not have a contract with your insurance company, only you do. We are not responsible for how your insurance company handles its claims or for what benefits they pay on a claim. We can only assist you in estimating your portion of the cost of treatment. We at no time guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim. We also cannot be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance. Once again, we file claims as a courtesy to you.


Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%-100% of all dental fees. This is not true! Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer has paid for coverage, or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company.


You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist’s actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist’s fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee (“UCR”) used by the company. A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable, or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate. Insurance companies set their own schedules, and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely, because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the “allowable” UCR Fee. Frequently, this data can be five to ten years old and these “allowable” fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit. Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is “overcharging”, rather than say that they are “underpaying”, or that their benefits are low. In general, the less expensive insurance policy will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.


When estimating dental benefits, deductibles and percentages must be considered. To illustrate, assume the fee for service is $150.00. Assuming that the insurance company allows $150.00 as its usual and customary (UCR) fee, we can figure out what benefits will be paid. First a deductible (paid by you), on average $50, is subtracted, leaving $100.00. The plan then pays 80% for this particular procedure. The insurance company will then pay 80% of $100.00, or $80.00. Out of a $150.00 fee they will pay an estimated $80.00 leaving a remaining portion of $70.00 (to be paid by the patient). Of course, if the UCR is less than $150.00 or your plan pays only at 50% then the insurance benefits will also be significantly less.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.

Common ALF Therapy Questions

ALF therapy is a method of aligning teeth and correcting the bite using gentle force, which better integrates with the body’s natural growth than traditional braces.

  • Growing children who need prevention of malocclusion and crooked teeth or early correction to promote proper growth and development of face and body
  • Anybody who wants to improve tooth alignment, both for function and aesthetics
  • Patients with previous orthodontic treatment that included tooth extractions and/or headgear
  • Children and Young Adults with behavioral disorders, including ASD/ADD/ADHD and emotional imbalances
  • Individuals who have experienced severe physical trauma or any head/neck injury
  • Patients who have experienced or suffer from TMJ/TMD or facial joint inflammation
  • Patients who snore and/or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea
Treatment duration and technique vary between patients according to individual needs. In general, treatment time ranges anywhere from 1-3 years with the ALF worn all the time. They are hardly visible from the outside and therefore interfere very little with appearance.
Some children will need a secondary phase of orthodontic correction. This depends on each person’s unique needs. In a nutshell, the earlier we start the treatment and correction, the need for braces or clear aligners will be either eliminated or greatly reduced. Please inquire with our doctors.
  • It is important to avoid foods that are sticky such as soft taffy candy, caramel, gum, or fruit leather.
  • Special attention needs to be given to diet and oral hygiene since food will get caught between the wire and your teeth. At your ALF appointment, we will show you how to maintain good oral hygiene with the ALF in place. When flossing, pull the floss thread through each space, not up and down. The use of gum stimulators and an oral irrigator are recommended to make home care much easier.
Generally, it takes about 2 to 3 days to adjust to the appliance. Speech may be affected in the beginning as your tongue gets used to it. Reading out loud will speed up this adjustment period.
To assist with the success of the ALF treatment, our doctors often recommend coordinated treatment with Osteopaths, Physical Therapists, Myofunctional Therapists, and Chiropractors. ALF orthodontic therapy was developed with Osteopaths and Myofunctional Therapy as well as other treatment modalities. These therapists are recommended as needed during the course of treatment. Please let us know if you are currently working with any other provider so that the doctors can coordinate and discuss your care.


Very young children can start ALF therapy, and each child is unique. Please inquire with our doctors.
Common Myofunctional Therapy Questions

Highly effective therapy for improving the bite, breathing, and orofacial posture of those with orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs).

  • Bite issues
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding) at night
  • Crooked teeth
  • Optimal facial development for children
  • Sleep breathing issues
  • TMJ issues
    • Thumb and finger sucking habits
    • A routine habit of resting with the lips apart
    • A forward resting posture of the tongue between or against the teeth
    • Tongue thrust
  • Therapy is individualized to help the patient retrain patterns of muscle function, and to create and maintain a balanced orofacial environment.
  • Therapy sessions are tailored to each patient and our doctors will prescribe the proper therapy.
  • The sessions can be combined with Appliance or Orthodontic appointments.
  • It is a one on one session.

In addition to straightening teeth and correcting oral habits and underlying causes of misaligned teeth, Myofunctional Therapy offers these advantages:

  • Better overall health through healthier jaw joints, healthier facial muscles, and larger, stronger airways
  • Faster treatment timeframes
  • Promoting Nasal Breathing
  • Stabilized bite pattern, which reduces the chance for teeth to shift back into misalignment
  • Balanced, supportive, and relaxed tongue, lips and jaw postures. This helps in growth and development of the structures of the mouth and face.

Comprehensive therapy by a dentist during orthodontic treatment, during regular cleaning appointments, or on its own. This way, we can continue to tailor therapy during the child’s growth process.

Common Oral Appliance Questions

Like every orthodontic therapy we offer, Drs. Moy and Uritani recommend Myobrace only if it is the right therapy for the patient’s specific, personalized needs.

  • Myomunchee can be used as early as one and a half years old.
  • Myobrace treatment may be started between 5-10 years old. The best and most stable results are often achieved early while the child is still growing.

These are some of the issues for which we might recommend oral appliance treatment:

  • Bite issues
  • Teeth grinding at night
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Sleep breathing issues or mouth breathing
    TMJ issues
  • Oral habits like thumb sucking or pacifier use
  • Delayed tooth eruption
    Atypical swallow patterns
  • Straighten teeth and correct oral habits and root causes of misaligned teeth
  • Promote optimal facial development, muscular habits, and posture for children
  • Improved breathing and sleep
  • Healthier jaw joint (TMJ)
  • Fewer allergies
    Correct oral habits and root causes of misaligned teeth
  • Strengthen lips, tongue, and muscles of the mouth and jaw
  • Encourage nasal breathing.

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