Author Archives: Savannah Dental

What You Should Know About Financing Dental Work

Dental work is absolutely essential to maintaining both oral health and general overall health. Untreated dental issues can eventually lead to systemic infections that increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other medical problems, in addition to putting you at risk for tooth loss and painful abscesses. Yet dental work can be expensive, and dental insurance policies lag far behind traditional medical insurance in coverage. Fortunately, there are several ways of financing dental work that allow you to break up your bills into manageable chunks.

financing dental work

Cost Breakdown

Your dentist will create a detailed treatment plan for you before work begins. Some offices automatically provide detailed cost breakdowns, while others will provide one if asked. Either way, be sure that you have a full accounting of the costs involved before you get started.

Timing Issues

While it is certainly best to treat dental issues as soon as they occur, some conditions are higher priority than others. For example, a missing tooth replacement may be delayed without significant risks, while an infected tooth that is left untreated could rapidly worsen. Ask your dentist to prioritize your issues to spread the financial burden over time.

If you need a multi-stage treatment, such as dental implants, your dentist may be able to break up the work to maximize the amount that your insurance will pay. For example, he or she might extract failing teeth at the end of your insurance year, and then place the implants at the start of your next insurance year.

Consider Credit Cards

Different credit cards have different interest rates, and introductory offers can be particularly attractive. If you are good at managing credit and will have the funds to pay off your dental work before the introductory period expires, a zero-interest or very low interest rate credit card can be a great way to finance your dental work. Just be careful not to use the card for things you don’t need, and remain disciplined enough to pay off the balance. Then leave the card account open so that it can help your credit score over time.

Ask Your Dentist About Financing Plans

Many dentists work with financing companies such as Care Credit that specialize in medical and dental financing. If you need a great deal of work done, or your credit score is not high enough to qualify for a low-interest credit card, these companies may be able to help. Their requirements are typically less stringent than those of traditional banks, and they often provide high credit limits. Although their interest rates are high, they sometimes offer zero-interest deals for those who can pay off the balance in 6 months or a year.

Dental work is essential for your health, so it is important not to put it off. Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about your financial concerns. Dentists understand budgets, and will work hard to help you find a way to manage your dental expenses.

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.

Should I Get Dentures Instead of Repairing My Bad Teeth?

If your teeth are failing, it is only natural to start to wonder whether they are worth saving. After all, root canals, crowns, fillings, and other procedures are time-consuming, pricey, and often frustrating. The idea of having them all pulled and paying once for a set of dentures can start to sound pretty attractive. Unfortunately, as is often true in life, this is truly a case of wishful thinking.

The reality of dentures is that they are not a one-time investment of time and money. They represent a lifelong commitment to coping with other issues instead. Trading in your teeth for dentures means trading one set of problems for another. Here is the harsh reality.

dentures vs repairing bad teeth

Dentures Are Not Teeth

Although they were the gold standard for replacing missing teeth until recently, dentures have never been remotely the same thing as actual teeth. Resting on your gums, even the best-fitted dentures tend to slip, pinch, and irritate the mouth. They restore only a fraction of your bite strength, making it nearly impossible to eat tough meat, sticky candy, and many other foods. Their tendency to slip can cause embarrassment when talking or laughing, and can make it tough to eat foods like corn on the cob and ribs.

Bone Loss Is Inevitable

Your teeth have roots that extend into your jawbone. When they are pulled, your body thinks that some of that bone is no longer required, and it begins to resorb into the body. Over time, this inevitably leads to premature aging and a sunken, drawn look around the mouth.

Regular Adjustments Are Required

Due to this bone loss, one set of dentures will not continue to fit properly for a lifetime. Instead, you must have your dentures relined, which means adding extra soft material along the inside of the denture plate, on a regular basis. Exactly how often depends on your individual oral anatomy and rate of bone loss. Failure to keep up with relining will cause problems in fit and retention, making it more likely that your dentures will slip or even fall out.

Dental Implants Are a Solution

While they are still not as good as your natural teeth, dental implants have become the new gold standard in tooth replacement. The implant takes the place of the tooth root, osseointegrating with the jawbone. This prevents bone loss and provides a strong, stable anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can replace up to 99% of bite strength, allowing you to eat difficult foods with ease. They will not slip or fall out, allowing your self-confidence to be restored. One dental implant can replace a single tooth, and just a handful of implants can secure even a full arch of replacement teeth.

Nothing beats your own natural teeth. If they can be saved, they certainly should be. However, if your teeth are truly starting to fail, dental implants may be the best solution. Ask your dentist what is best for you.

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.

Three Reasons to Replace Your Toothbrush

If you are committed to maintaining good oral health, having fresh breath, and making sure your pearly whites stay that way, you probably brush your teeth at least twice a day, possibly more. Brushing their teeth is something most people automatically and habitually do without thinking much about it.

And, because it’s something we do in autopilot mode, many of us probably are currently brushing our teeth with worn out and possibly even contaminated toothbrushes. If you can’t remember when you last replaced your toothbrush, it’s probably time. Here are three compelling reasons to replace your toothbrush!

Two toothbrushes: a new and very old. Closeup.

1: A Worn Out Toothbrush is A Less Effective Toothbrush

Arguably the most compelling reason to replace your toothbrush is because if it’s worn out, it’s not cleaning your teeth and gums as effectively as it should be. If you want to avoid the discomfort and expense of dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, and root canals, you should make an effort to replace your toothbrush (and your family’s’ toothbrushes) regularly.

Every time you brush your teeth, fibers on your toothbrush bristles wear down a tiny bit. Eventually, they become so worn that they’re not able to penetrate between the teeth where decay hides. Even if your toothbrush looks just fine, it may be worn out. Often, changes to the stiffness of your brush’s bristles are only visible under a microscope.

2: If You Have Been Sick, Your Toothbrush Could Infect You

If you have been sick, experts recommend replacing your toothbrush after you recover. It’s not likely that your toothbrush will re-infect you with the same illness you’ve recovered from. After all, when you fight an infection, your body develops antibodies that prevent you from being reinfected by the same germs.

It is possible, though, that your immune system may have been weakened by your illness, and you could pick up a different bacterial or viral infection from the germs on your toothbrush. Myriad studies have concluded that toothbrushes harbor a plethora of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and microorganisms. Change your brush regularly to avoid being caught in a cycle of sicknesses!

3: Your Toothbrush May Have Poop on It. Someone Else’s Poop.

If you’re still not convinced it’s important to switch out your toothbrush regularly, perhaps a study published by the American Society for Microbiology will change your mind.
Research analyzing the toothbrushes of college students who shared a communal bathroom found that at least 60% of the students’ toothbrushes were contaminated with fecal bacteria. To make matters worse, the study concluded there was an 80% likelihood that the bacteria on individuals’ toothbrushes came from someone else using the same bathroom.

How is that possible? Each time you flush the toilet, an invisible cloud called a “toilet plume” including aerosolized feces is forced into the air. Studies have shown microorganisms from that plume have travelled as far as sinks – and toothbrushes. Surprisingly, using toothbrush covers did not prevent fecal contamination – by keeping bristles moist longer, they actually encouraged the bacteria to multiply.

How Often is Often Enough to Replace Your Toothbrush?

When you consider all that may be lurking on your toothbrush, you may be tempted to buy them by the case and change your brush after each use. If you follow experts’ advice for caring for your toothbrush, you need not go to such extreme measures. As long as you haven’t been sick, most dentists agree that changing your toothbrush every three months is reasonable.

The reason most people fail to replace their toothbrushes as directed is because they simply forget to do it. Some manual brushes and automatic toothbrush heads are designed with bristles that fade in color to signal when it’s time to replace. You can also remember to replace your brush by setting a reminder in your cellphone calendar. Or, simply try to remember to change your toothbrush about as often as the seasons change.

Additional Toothbrush Best Practices

While there is no way to keep your brush entirely germ free, you can take steps to discourage bacteria from multiplying. After you brush, rinse your toothbrush with water and shake it vigorously. Allow it to dry out between uses, ideally by storing it upright. If possible, store your toothbrush in an enclosed cabinet. Additionally, never share your toothbrush with anyone and make sure its bristles don’t come in contact with the bristles of another toothbrush when you store it.

If you want to make certain that your toothbrush is doing its job effectively and reduce the likelihood it will make you sick, your toothbrush-replacement rule of thumb should be, “When in doubt, switch it out.” After all, manual toothbrushes and even replacement brush heads for fancy automatic toothbrushes are inexpensive. There’s simply no need to be brushing with a worn out or contaminated toothbrush.

Understanding the Differences Between Traditional and Implant-Supported Dentures

For centuries, dentures were the only solution for missing teeth. Yet denture wearers are all to familiar with the pinching, slipping, and difficulty chewing that dentures often present. Today, there is another option. Here are the major differences between traditional and implant-supported dentures.

Senior woman studio portrait

Traditional Dentures

The earliest dentures were used around the 7th century BC. By the early 19th century, they were common among those who were able to pay for them. The 20th century brought prices down through mass production, while advances in technology created a far better-fitting and more realistic appearance. Today, highly life-like dentures placed by a skilled dentist can be reasonably comfortable and provide a good deal of chewing ability. They are affordable and many patients find them acceptable.

Still, traditional dentures have a number of problems. Since they rest on your gums, bite force is limited, and slippage is always a risk. Upper dentures are more stable than lower dentures, as an acrylic palate uses suction to adhere to the roof of your mouth. But this palate affects the taste and texture sensations of food and can feel irritating. Some people even find that their gag reflex is triggered by the palate.

In addition, when tooth roots are lost, the body begins to lose bone density in the jaw through a process known as resorption. This can cause facial sagging and wrinkles, and lead to a constant cycle of denture readjustment.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Instead of resting on the gums or relying on an acrylic palate, implant-supported dentures are anchored by titanium dental implants. These tiny screws actually integrate into the jawbone, taking the place of tooth roots. This provide a strong, stable foundation for the dentures, virtually eliminating slippage and restoring nearly full bite strength. In addition, the implants reverse the process of bone loss, ensuring that the jawbone remains strong.

Implant-supported dentures are available in two main types. Removable overdentures, also known as implant-retained or snap-on dentures, can be supported by as few as two dental implants. Using clasps or similar devices, the denture snaps onto the supports. You can remove the denture for cleaning or sleeping, but while it is in your mouth, the implants help to provide stability and bite force. This is a cost-effective solution for many patients.

Fixed implant-supported dentures, or fixed implant bridges, are permanently attached to implants. This type of denture is somewhat more expensive, as it requires more implants to secure the bridge. However, it is also the most similar to natural teeth. It will restore nearly all of your original bite force, is not removed for cleaning or sleeping, and is virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

Whether you choose a fixed or removable implant-supported denture, you will notice the difference right away. Your teeth will feel strong and stable, and you will regain the confidence to speak and laugh naturally. You will be able to eat foods you might have long since given up on, and your face will appear younger and fuller. While traditional dentures are certainly better than missing teeth, why not consider investing in a solution that is more comfortable, more natural, and more secure?

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.

All-On-4 Immediate Load Dental Implants: What You Should Know

All-On-4 immediate load dental implants have revolutionized the field of dentistry. While dental implants have been growing in popularity since the early 1990s, replacing an entire upper or lower arch of teeth with individual implants is time consuming and expensive. A traditional implant-supported fixed bridge is a more cost-effective solution, but it still requires a series of appointments. With an All-On-4, sometimes referred to as Teeth in a Day, you can have an entire mouthful of teeth replaced in one sitting. Here’s what you should know.

3D rendering : lower teeth and dental implant transparent render

Benefits Over Dentures

Although dentures have been replacing teeth for centuries, even modern technological advances cannot overcome their basic limitations. A lower denture sits on the gums, while an upper denture uses suction to attach a plastic plate to the roof of the mouth. Both are prone to slipping, severely reduce bite force, and can be both physically uncomfortable and socially embarrassing.

Dentures also do nothing to halt the resorption process, in which gum and bone tissue is slowly lost following the extraction of tooth roots. Even the best-fitted dentures must be periodically re-fitted to account for this loss, and resorption is a major contributor to the physical aging process of the face and mouth.

Dental implants replace the tooth roots, halting and even reversing resorption. Because they are integrated into the jawbone, they provide stability and restore better than 90% of the bite force of the natural teeth. No longer will you need to avoid biting into apples or chewing tough steak. And because your replacement teeth are stable, slipping is a thing of the past.

Benefits Over Traditional Implants

A traditional full-arch implant bridge requires you to have implants placed and then topped with a healing cap. You will then wear a traditional denture for several months until your mouth fully heals. At that time, you will return to the dentist to have abutments and a fixed bridge placed.

Although this process works well, it is slow. Coping with a traditional denture for several months can be challenging, causing you to severely curtail both your diet and your social life.

An All-On-4 removes the waiting period. As soon as your teeth are extracted, your dentist will immediately place 4 implants at strategic spots along your upper or lower arch. These implants are ready for a fixed bridge immediately, with no waiting period required. Your dentist will place an acrylic fixed bridge during the same appointment, allowing you to eat normally as soon as you feel up to it, which is usually within a day or two.

If you want even more natural-looking teeth, you can switch the acrylic teeth for porcelain teeth in just a few weeks. There is no maximum time limit, so you are welcome to live with the acrylic teeth for a while, and then switch to porcelain at some point in the future if desired.

Is All-On-4 Right for Me?

Like any dental procedure, All-On-4 is not right for everyone. It is a bit costlier than dentures, though less expensive than a traditional implant-supported fixed bridge or individual implants. In addition, those with certain underlying medical conditions may need to get their physical health under tight control before undergoing the procedure. Your dentist will closely examine your current oral and overall physical health and your goals for treatment, and make a professional recommendation.

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.

Dental Work and Pregnancy: Myths vs. Facts

Pregnant women are continually bombarded with information on what to do and what not to do during their pregnancy. Modern technology virtually guarantees that women will receive a lot of this information from internet sources, well-meaning friends and family, and other sources of questionable veracity. With so many claims swirling around, it can be tough to separate myths and old wives’ tales from scientifically proven facts. Here is what you need to know about dental work and pregnancy.

Pregnant woman at dentist before treatment

Myth: Avoid Routine Dental Work

Fact: Routine Dental Work Is Safe and Essential

If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a great idea to go ahead and visit your dentist. Have a routine checkup and cleaning, and have any needed treatments performed. However, many women become pregnant unexpectedly. In this case, it is important not to neglect your annual exam and cleaning. Pregnant women are at higher risk for swollen, bleeding gums, which can lead to gum disease, a condition that is linked to preterm birth. Never be afraid to receive routine dental work during your pregnancy.

Myth: Dental X-Rays Are Dangerous

Fact: Dental X-Rays Are Acceptable in Moderation

Because pregnant women should not be exposed to unnecessary radiation, it makes sense to put off nonessential x-rays until after you give birth. However, if a dental emergency should arise, x-rays may be essential for diagnosis. With proper shielding, dental x-rays are considered generally safe during pregnancy. Tell your dentist about your pregnancy and discuss the risks and benefits before proceeding.

Myth: Emergency Dental Treatments Should Be Avoided

Fact: Emergency Dental Treatments Should Be Performed

Many women worry about the effects that anesthesia and antibiotics, as well as dental procedures such as extractions and root canals, could have on their babies. Because there is a small risk with any procedure, putting off elective treatments until after the birth is advised. However, if a dental emergency arises, the risks of infection from putting off treatment are higher than the risks associated with performing a dental procedure.

Your dentist will work with you to use the safest medications possible in the lowest doses that still provide comfort. It is better to have your mouth thoroughly numbed than to put yourself and your baby through the stress of intense pain.

Myth: The Second Trimester Is the Best Time for Dental Work

Fact: This Is True

In many cases, it is possible to schedule both routine and emergency dental work. Although studies do not show increased risks with dental work performed during the first trimester, many dentists and patients prefer to wait until after this critical time in fetal development. Most dentists and patients also try to avoid the third trimester, when laying on your back could be painful and early labor is a possibility.

During the second trimester, most women have gotten used to the pregnancy. Morning sickness may have subsided, and the baby has made it through the critical first weeks. If you need dental work that can’t wait until after you deliver, this is the ideal time to have it done.

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.

Porcelain Veneers: A Simple Way to Improve Your Smile

First impressions are crucial, whether you are interviewing for a job or going on a first date. Your smile is a key part of your first impression, but many people have unsightly teeth. Whether your teeth are crooked, stained, worn down, or yellowed, porcelain veneers are a simple way to improve your smile.

Shade determination with the help of a shade guide.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin porcelain shells that go over the front of your teeth. They require very little tooth preparation, making them a healthier choice than crowns. As they are tightly bonded to your teeth, porcelain veneers are durable and long-lasting.

What Conditions Do Veneers Solve?

Veneers do not fix dental health issues. If your teeth are diseased or injured, you must have those problems treated before you receive veneers. However, many people have healthy teeth that do not look their best. Here are some common cosmetic issues that veneers can cover.

Wear and tear: Teeth tend to wear down over time, especially in people who tend to chew on ice or other objects, or use their teeth as a tool.

Minor breakage: Falls and other light traumas can cause one or more teeth to chip or break. While deep damage needs to be fixed, porcelain veneers can cover chips and minor breaks.

Discoloration: Teeth can become discolored for many reasons, including excessive fluoride consumption, root canals, tetracycline, and large fillings.

Misshapen or uneven teeth: Misshapen and uneven teeth are quite common, due simply to the fact that some teeth grow in more perfectly than others.

Minor gaps or crookedness: Minor gaps and slightly crooked teeth don’t necessarily need a complex treatment such as braces or Invisalign, but you might wish your teeth were a bit straighter. Porcelain veneers can help.

Are Porcelain Veneers Permanent?

Very few dental treatments last a lifetime. However, porcelain veneers are one of the longer-lasting treatment options. They are strong and durable, and can easily withstand the normal forces of biting and chewing. With proper care, they can easily last for well over a decade.

In addition, porcelain veneers are less prone to staining and yellowing than natural teeth. While tooth whitening must be repeated regularly, veneers continue to look white and healthy as long as you follow excellent oral hygiene habits.

Will I Look Natural?

Many people shy away from porcelain veneers for fear of receiving a too-white, artificial-looking “game show host” smile. In reality, though, porcelain veneers are extremely natural in appearance. They mimic the translucency and sheen of real teeth and can be color-matched to your existing smile.

For a whiter smile, you might choose to have your natural teeth whitened and then your veneers color-matched to that tone. While this is a great option, keep in mind that you will need to have the whitening repeated regularly for all of your teeth to match.

Supplementary Cosmetic Dentistry

In addition to tooth whitening, your dentist might suggest further treatments to more fully enhance your smile. Invisalign is one of the most common. While minor crookedness and small gaps are easy to correct with veneers, Invisalign is best for more severely misaligned teeth. This allows us to place only the needed veneers, rather than filling up your mouth in an effort to create the impression that your teeth are straight.

Like any other cosmetic treatment, porcelain veneers are not right for everyone. Your dentist will consider the health and aesthetics of your current smile, along with your budget and your personal goals for treatment. Before any work begins, we will work hard to ensure that you have a detailed understanding of our recommendations and that all of your questions and concerns are addressed.

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.

What to Expect at Your Dental Appointment

Dental appointments are an important part of your dental hygiene routine and your overall health. Generally, these appointments follow the same routine to ensure that you get the highest quality of care. If you’re unsure of what to expect at your next dental appointment, here are some things you can expect.

Happy Father With Daughter At Reception Of Dentist's Surgery

Signing in with the Receptionist

When you first arrive at the dentist’s office, expect to sign in with the receptionist and fill out any necessary paperwork that might be required. If you have dental insurance, be prepared with your card and any relevant co-pays that might be applicable. If you are a new patient, plan to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your appointment time to fill out paperwork about the office’s privacy policies and your health. The dentist will want to know about past medical procedures, health conditions, and allergies, especially to medications or latex.

X-Rays

If this is your first dental appointment at this particular practice or if it’s an annual check-up, you can expect to have x-rays taken of your mouth, teeth, and jaw line to identify any potential dental concerns. Dental x-rays are considered safe, although you should discuss any concerns about the procedure to your dentist. Pregnant women may want to check with their health practitioners to see if x-rays should wait until after the baby is born.

Examination

During most dental appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth. The dentist will look to see if your gums are healthy and if any dental issues, such as cavities, emerged since your last appointment. If this is your first time or if it’s an annual check-up, the examination should take more time to complete.

Procedure

Next, the dentist will complete whatever procedure you came in for. This may include a filling or a root canal. Dental cleanings are typically performed by experienced dental hygienists. You’ll be offered pain relief, topical or injectable, for more invasive procedures that may cause pain. Surgical procedures may require nitrous oxide gas or further sedation.

Recommendations

Depending on what the dentist finds during the examination, the dentist may make recommendations for procedures or improved dental hygiene. The dentist should explain what is recommended, as well as why and how it should help. If there is time available to complete the recommended procedure, it is possible that it could take place during your dental appointment.

Quotes

Your dentist should provide you with a price quote for services before completing any of the recommended procedures. If you have dental insurance, the dentist or staff members will determine what your out of pocket costs are. In some cases, especially for more expensive procedures, you may have to agree in writing to the procedure.

Going to the dentist should be a quick and painless part of your oral hygiene routine. If you schedule regular dental appointments, you should catch small dental issues, like cavities, before they become more serious and expensive dental procedures, like root canals. At Savannah Dental Solutions, we provide professional, expert dental care. Call us at 912-354-1366 for an appointment today.

Fluoride Myths vs. Realities

A naturally occurring mineral that is well-known for its ability to reduce the risk of cavities, fluoride has been added to municipal water supplies since 1945. It is also a popular additive in toothpastes, and is sometimes prescribed at higher strengths than are available over the counter. Yet myths about fluoride are as old as its first use, and have found new life in the digital age. Here are the realities behind the most common fluoride myths.
Myths about Fluoride

Myth: Fluoride causes cancer.

Although this myth is rampant, it has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked. In more than 50 epidemiological studies, performed at different times and focused on different genders and age groups, there has been zero evidence of any link between fluoride and cancer.

Myth: Fluoride causes behavior problems and even lowers IQ scores.

While it is true that a few foreign studies found a possible link between fluoride and problems with both behavior and intelligence, there are a number of red flags. First, the data collection methods were questionable, leading to unreliable data. Second, the studies were not peer-reviewed. Third, the levels of fluoride used in the studies were far higher than those used in the United States. Fourth, the studies failed to account for outside variables, including exposure to arsenic and contaminated grains.

Repeated studies within the United States have shown no ill effects from the fluoridation programs currently in use in this country. They have, however, shown tremendous benefits.

Myth: Ending water fluoridation is an excellent way for cash-poor communities to save money.

The reality is that community water fluoridation has a higher return on investment than any other public health strategy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), communities of more than 20,000 residents pay only about 50 cents per person per year for water fluoridation. The cost of treating tooth decay, coupled with the loss of work hours due to dental treatments, is far greater.

Myth: Since fluoridated toothpaste is so readily available, the time for fluoridated water has passed.

Despite the easy availability of fluoridated toothpaste, both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the CDC continue to recommend water fluoridation at a level of 0.7ppm (parts per million). In fact, the prevalence of bottled water could actually be harming teeth, due to the lack of fluoride. Many dentists prescribe fluoride tablets to children who drink bottled rather than tap water, as well as those living in communities without fluoridated water.

Myth: Fluoride is not safe for infants and children.

This myth stems from a misunderstanding of a reasonably common benign condition. Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic issue that can cause faint white streaks or slightly darker staining of the teeth. It is generally caused by overexposure to fluoride before the age of eight. However, dental fluorosis does not cause any pain, nor does it affect the functionality or health of the teeth.

To minimize staining, dentists tend to monitor the amount of fluoride that young patients receive. This monitoring has given rise to the myth that fluoride is bad for kids, but in reality, the American Dental Association states that reasonable exposure to fluoride is safe for all ages.

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.

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.