Monthly Archives: January 2017

Children’s Dental Health: Starting Good Habits Early

Many parents don’t think too much about their children’s baby teeth, since they will fall out anyway. Yet good childhood dental habits can set the stage for a lifetime of oral hygiene. In addition, it is important to keep the baby teeth healthy until they are ready to fall out. Around 60 to 90 percent of children develop cavities in their baby teeth, and untreated dental disease can cause lifelong problems with the bite, the permanent teeth, and the gums. Here’s how to start your kids on the road to dental health.

Children's Dental Health - Starting Good Habits Early

Model Appropriate Behavior

Your kids are constantly watching you, so renew your commitment to your own dental health. Drink lots of water, minimize sweets, brush and floss regularly, and see the dentist at least twice per year. If your kids see these habits as just part of life, they are more likely to adopt them.

Normalize Brushing and Flossing

Start wiping your new baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth or sterile piece of gauze within the first few days of life. As soon as the first tooth comes in, start brushing it gently with a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste. Once two teeth touch, start flossing between them. Your child should never remember a time when oral hygiene wasn’t a daily occurrence.

Visit the Doctor

Babies need a dental checkup once per year starting around their first birthday. Most pediatricians handle the first and second year appointments. These are great opportunities to learn about brushing an active baby or toddler’s teeth, managing teething issues, and any other concerns that might arise.

Control Sugar

It’s fine to give small children milk or fruit juice, but keep an eye on how much they drink. Get your baby used to drinking plain water at naptime and bedtime, and he or she will be less likely to balk when you fill the sippy cup with it later on. As your child switches to solid foods, make sure the majority of snacks are healthier options such as cheese or fruit. When you do provide a sugary drink or snack, brush the child’s teeth right away if you can, or rinse the mouth completely with plain water.

See the Dentist

By around age three, most kids can brush their own teeth with a bit of help. This is a good time for a first dentist visit. The goal is to let the child get used to the office and the basic procedures in a low-stress way. Depending on your child’s personality, it might just be a quick chance to meet everyone, or the child might get his or her first exam and cleaning.

After the first visit, feel free to bring your child along on your own appointments to build comfort and familiarity. We will also start scheduling regular appointments for your child. As your kids grow up, we will by their side to ensure that their dental health is as good as it can be. From cavities to knocked out teeth, we are here for emergencies as well.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

6 Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Although there are a lot of good dentists out there, finding just the right one for your family can be tough. Many simply do not click with you. Some don’t use the latest techniques, some have a hurried approach, and some specialize only in particular patient groups. Here are some tips for finding a good dentist for your family.

Finding a good dentist

1. Ask About the Dentist’s Education and Training

Think of searching for a dentist like conducting job interviews. Some of your most basic questions should be about the dentist’s education and training, particularly as it applies to your family’s needs. Where and when was the dentist trained? Does he or she take frequent continuing education classes? Does the dentist have certifications in dental implants, oral surgery, or other specializations? What about specific populations, such as geriatrics or special needs patients?

No dentist is an expert in all fields. However, the dentist you choose should be up to date on the things that your family is most likely to need. If you have a small child, experience with pediatrics may be among the most important factors. Likewise, if one of you is facing extensive dental work, a certification in oral surgery might be a primary consideration.

2. Consider the Overall Approach to Dentistry

It is important that you and your dentist see eye to eye on your overall approach to dental health. Do you prefer an old-school dentist with a paternalistic bedside manner? Are you looking for cutting-edge treatments? Do you want to be a collaborator in your own dental care, or would you rather have your dentist make all of the major decisions? None of these are right or wrong, but the dentist you select should reflect your own personal style.

3. Think of the Practicalities

Your dentist’s office should be reasonably convenient to your home or workplace, and the office hours should fit with your schedule. You should choose a dentist who accepts your insurance plan, and offers some type of financing for extensive procedures. Take a look at the missed appointment policy as well, especially if your schedule is tight and ever-changing.

Also consider how the office policies align with your family’s needs and concerns. Is the dentist skilled at handling nervous patients? Is sedation available if needed? Does the dentist handle complex cases, or serve as a treatment coordinator with a network of specialists? Is it acceptable to bring a relative or friend into the treatment room? Again, there is no right or wrong, but some policies do not mesh well with some individual needs or desires.

4. Consider the Costs

Dentist fees are complicated, so there is typically no way to get a firm price without an exam. Still, it is worth calling around to compare ballpark fees either on specific work, or on such common procedures as X-rays and simple fillings. Don’t choose your dentist based solely on price, but make sure that the one you choose is reasonably competitive in your local area.

5. Take a Look Around

Stop by the offices of your top few dentists to get a feel for how they operate. Is the waiting room clean and inviting? Do you receive a warm welcome? Are treatment rooms clean, and do staff practice universal precautions? Also take the time to ask a few questions and note the responses. Do you feel like there is an open and honest rapport, or does the staff seem bothered and rushed?

6. Personal Connection

Finally, make an appointment with the dentist you like best. Ultimately, this is the only way to tell whether you truly click. Think of this as a final interview rather than a firm commitment. Get to know the dentist and staff, and think through whether these are people with whom you feel comfortable. If you are unsure, feel free to move on.

Finding a good dentist is relatively simple, but finding a good dentist that is right for you can be trickier. Put in the time and effort to find someone with whom you can truly build a professional relationship based on trust and rapport. Do not entrust your family’s dental health to a dentist who, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel comfortable with.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.