Dentists Peggy Lunquist, DDS and Angela Lee Masterson, DMD and orthodontist James Grant, DDS, MS lead the Amazing Kids Dentistry and Orthodontics practice in Carmel Valley. The team opened its doors in the Spring of 2023 when doctors Peggy, Angela, and James combined their dental care mission. Prior to establishing their new practice, the dentists had already been providing pediatric dental care within the Carmel Valley community for a decade.
When I asked the team what they felt to be the best thing about having a practice in Carmel Valley, the response was unanimous: “the neighborhood and the patients.” Doctors Peggy and Angela are proud of their active participation in the community through the years. And Carmel Valley native Dr. James is thrilled to return home to reestablish his lifelong connection to the area in his role as the team’s orthodontist.
It was a pleasure to have each of our committed dental professionals share their approaches to children’s dental care. And it was fun to get their take on how they spend some of their downtime in and around North County! I hope you enjoy our conversations.
Peggy Fard Lunguist — Pediatric Dentist
María: How do you make children feel comfortable when they’re frightened about filling a cavity?
Dr. Peggy: As a pediatric dentist I always make sure to use the “Tell Show Do” model and explain to kids in terms and ways they can understand what is going to happen and what to expect. Being extra attentive and gentle with them is also helpful in making the process as comfortable and smooth as possible.
María: What’s the best way to form meaningful relationships with your patients and their parents?
Dr. Peggy: The best way to form meaningful relationships with parents and patients is to engage with them and ask about what is happening in their lives and at school, etc. I want their trip to the dentist to be a pleasant one where they feel like they can open up about themselves!
María: Describe the best dog outing in North County for your furry friends.
Dr. Peggy: My husband and I love to take my doggies to the Del Mar Dog Beach! It is such a fun place for pups to not only have fun in/by the water but also play with all the other dogs running around. It is a feel-good activity specific to sunny [North County] San Diego!
I love seeing the dogs enjoying their outings at the Del Mar Dog Beach! What a treat for our furry friends to have sand and ocean access from 29th Street up to Solana Beach!
Angela Lee Masterson — Pediatric Dentist
María: How do you build a rapport with the families that seek your services?
Dr. Angela: I understand that families coming to a pediatric dental office are generally seeking quality care in the most comfortable setting possible. I first try to get an understanding of what brought them to our office and how I can help them. It also helps to find out what their interests are outside of the office so that I can relate to them and help them feel at ease coming to see me.
María: How is practicing dentistry different in San Diego than in New York?
Dr. Angela: Both are large cities with a diverse population, but I believe the standards of care are taught in all dental schools across the country so there is not a difference in the way either coast practices.
María: What are some of your favorite Carmel Valley or other North County places to explore with your kids? And let us know why they’re family faves!
Dr. Angela: Our top 3 family favorite spots are Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for hiking, and Legoland. Moonlight Beach has relatively easy parking, soft sand, and a playground right on the beach that my children (5 and 2.5 years old) love almost year round. Torrey Pines has an easy enough trail for my kids to hike with a beautiful view. We are so lucky to be a drive away from the beach and luckily the kids love the sand. We love Legoland because we live close by and have season passes. This allows us to go when the crowds are really light and we do not feel bad only going for 1-2 hours at a time.
Yep! Torrey Pines Reserve is a great hiking and running route with spectacular views! The large lot at Moonlight is a plus with easy beach access. And as residents of North County, I think season passes to Legoland are a must for families with toddlers and younger kids!
Dr. James Grant, DDS MS — Orthodontist
María: What is the best age for children to get braces?
Dr. James: The best age for patients to see the orthodontist is age 7 where we start monitoring the growth and development of the jaws and teeth.
María: How long can parents expect their kids to wear braces?
Dr. James: On average patients can expect to wear braces or Invisalign for 12 -24 months.
María: How often do kids have to visit their orthodontist while wearing braces?
Dr. James: Usually patients need to visit the orthodontist every 4-8 weeks while wearing braces or Invisalign.
María: How do you make kids feel comfortable about beginning the process of wearing braces?
Dr. James: We like to make the kids feel comfortable when getting braces by describing the amazing smile they’ll have, letting them choose their favorite colors for their braces, and making the entire process fun and pain free.
María: When the braces come off, what responsibilities do kids have to maintain their newly straightened teeth?
Dr. James: After the teeth are straight the braces or Invisalign are removed and patients are given retainers which are worn during the sleeping hours to keep their new smile straight.
María: Where in San Diego is your favorite surfing beach?
Dr. James: My favorite beach to surf is 15th Street in Del Mar.
María: If you’re not trying a new recipe, what’s your favorite dish to make?
Dr. James: As an amateur chef, my favorite recipe to make is fennel sausage and cream pasta.
I love Powerhouse Park and the beach access at 15th Street. And although I don’t surf, it looks like the perfect place to take the board out to the waves!