Seeing the Dentist When You’re Sick

dental visit when sick

Should I Keep My Dentist Appointment If I’m Sick?

Getting a dental appointment can take some time, and regular visits are vital to preserving oral health. Therefore, many people hate to cancel an appointment. But what if you’re sick? Is it better to keep the appointment or to reschedule it? Here is what you should know.

Cancellation Policies

It should go without saying that you should never cancel a dental appointment without a good reason. Your dentist and staff members have carved out time to see you, and they may not be able to cover your missed appointment with another patient, especially if you cancel at the last minute.

To make up for the potential loss of revenue, many dental practices charge a cancellation fee. If you are sick, and you don’t have a history of missing appointments, you may be able to get this fee waived, but this is never guaranteed. Call as soon as you know you need to reschedule, as some offices only charge for cancellations within a certain time frame, such as the day of the appointment.

How Sick Are You?

Whether or not to go to your appointment depends largely on how sick you are. For example, a headache is a common condition that could make you think about cancelling. However, not all headaches are the same. If you have a reasonably high pain tolerance and a simple headache, you might prefer to suffer through. If you have a severe migraine, though, the sights and sounds of a dental office could be too much to bear. Only you know how sick you are, and what your personal tolerance level is.

Are You Contagious?

If you have a contagious illness, you might want to think twice about keeping your appointment. Your dentist and hygienist will be up close and personal with your mouth, so it isn’t fair to cough and sneeze all over them. Even if you are no longer coughing or sneezing, you could still be contagious for a full week after your symptoms first developed.

If you suspect that you are contagious, call the dentist’s office and ask about the policy for these situations. You might be rescheduled, or you might receive advice on how to cope with the illness during your appointment.

Are You Having an Invasive Procedure?

Oral surgery and other invasive procedures are typically more complicated to schedule than simple cleanings, as they take longer and require extra materials. It is best to keep your appointment if possible.

On the other hand, an existing illness weakens your immune system, increasing the risk of infection and potentially lengthening healing time. If you have a fever or other signs of a bacterial or viral illness, it may be best to reschedule your procedure. Call your dentist as soon as possible for advice.

What Should You Do If You Keep Your Appointment?

When checking in, let the office staff know what symptoms you are experiencing. Wash or sanitize your hands before and after filling out any paperwork. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than your hands. Avoid direct contact with other patients and staff members.

In the treatment room, let each professional you interact with know that you are sick so that they can take precautions to avoid catching your illness. If you have congestion, breathing through your nose can be difficult. Let your treatment team know that you may need to take breaks to catch your breath.

Being sick is never fun, and visiting the dentist with an illness can magnify your misery. Take a hard look at your symptoms and the likelihood that you are contagious, and make an informed decision on whether to reschedule. Never hesitate to reach out to your dentist’s office for advice. If you do keep the appointment, take steps to avoid sharing your germs with others.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Understanding Standard Dental Office Hygiene Procedures

dental office hygiene

Fear of the dentist is incredibly common, even though modern dentistry is nearly pain free. For many people, though, the fear isn’t necessarily of pain, but of the sights, sounds, and smells of a dental office. Others worry about germs. Whichever fear you have, understanding the hygiene procedures that dental offices follow can help. Here is what you should know.

General Precautions

Modern dental offices are clean and well-kept, with sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming taking place frequently. But because it is a medical facility, your dental office goes far beyond these basic cleaning procedures.

Dentists, dental technicians, and hygienists wear gloves whenever they come into contact with a patient’s mouth. This protects them from germs the patient may be carrying, but it also protects you against any germs that might be on their hands. Depending on the procedure you are having, they may also wear disposable face masks and gowns. Just like any other medical professional, this protects them from saliva and blood that could splash around, and it protects you from having your dental professional sneeze or cough in your face.

Spray disinfectants are used liberally, both in the waiting room and in the treatment rooms. This helps to guard against common colds and other easily transmitted illnesses.

Reusable dental tools are required by law to undergo an extensive sterilization process between patients. Increasingly, many dentists are using disposable tools instead. That way, they simply have to open a new pack for each patient. If you ever see someone at your dental office using a package of tools that is already open, ask for an explanation.

Protective Eyewear for Patients

Some dentists now provide protective eyewear for their patients, although this is not yet standard. There are a few reasons for this. One is to protect you from the glare of the light, which must be very bright to properly illuminate the back of your mouth.

In addition, dental tools contacting your teeth and gums can cause fluids to splash. Protective eyewear prevents those fluids from getting into your eyes. Likewise, since your dentist or hygienist is always above you, it is smart to protect your eyes from an errant cough or sneeze, especially if the dental professional is not wearing a mask.

Finally, dental tools tend to be sharp and/or heavy. If one is dropped, protective eyewear can ensure that you do not end up with eye damage.

Protective Eyewear for Dental Workers

Likewise, many dental offices now have employees wear protective eyewear or face shields when treating patients. This protects their eyes from your coughs or sneezes, as well as from being splashed with your blood or saliva.

Dental Dams

Many patients find dental dams uncomfortable, but they are very important. Made from thin latex, the dental dam separates the area that is being worked on from the rest of your mouth. This provides the dentist, tech, or hygienist with a clear view of the working area. It also helps to reduce the amount of fluid exchange with the rest of your mouth, making it easier to contain blood and tooth fragments and to clean you up when your procedure is finished.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Dental Anxiety: 4 Soothing Tactics Dentists Use

Calming Office Space

Sedation Dentistry and Soothing Tactics to Help Your Fear of the Dentist

Dental anxiety is extremely common. Some people experience a mild nervous feeling, while others have outright terror that reaches the level of a phobia. If your anxiety is severe, you might even go out of your way to avoid critical dental work. Fortunately, many dentists today are aware of dental anxiety and take proactive steps to help patients feel less afraid. Here are 4 soothing tactics your dentist might use.

Calming Office Space

Dentists are increasingly aware of how the look and feel of their office can affect patient anxiety levels. When visiting a new dentist, take a moment to look around the reception and waiting areas. Is the lighting scheme calming? Is the furniture warm and inviting? Is there space for each patient to speak privately with the receptionist? Some dentists go even further, borrowing ideas from high-end spas to create a soothing oasis. Even if yours doesn’t quite go that far, a calming office space is a good sign that the dentist is dedicated to reducing patient fears.

Sensory Aids

While most dentists today allow patients to bring earbuds and listen to their own music during treatment, many offices provide sensory aids to help soothe their nervous patients. Relaxing music, chairside movies, warm blankets, and heated face cloths are just a few ways that dentists attempt to make the treatment room as relaxing as possible.

Communication

Each patient is different, so communication is absolutely essential. Choose a practice in which staff members are aware of the signs of dental anxiety and know how to communicate with anxious patients. The receptionist might let you know what to expect. The hygienist might offer you a blanket or show you how to operate the remote control. The dentist should take a few minutes to sit with you and discuss your fear, and provide some suggestions for helping you feel more in control. For example, he or she might ask if you would feel more comfortable with the chair in a position other than flat, or suggest a hand signal for you to give if you need a break.

Sedation Dentistry

Many dental offices now offer sedation dentistry, which can be a real game changer if your anxiety is severe. From mild nitrous oxide to deep IV sedation, there are several options to keep you calm and comfortable. Talk to your dentist about your choices, including the pros and cons, risks, and any activity restrictions that may be required with a specific type of sedation.

Dental anxiety can range from mild to severe. If you have a serious dental phobia, you might need to consider seeking help from a mental health professional. For many people, though, soothing tactics and sedation dentistry can help manage the fear and turn a visit to the dentist into a comfortable and relaxed experience.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Understanding Dental Scaling

Understanding Dental Scaling

Understanding Teeth Scaling & Dental Deep Cleaning

Although it sounds a bit like a medieval torture process, dental scaling is actually a routine procedure designed to treat gum disease. While a regular dental cleaning focuses on the surfaces of the teeth, dental scaling goes below the gumline to treat built up plaque. It is typically performed in conjunction with root planing, which smooths the tooth roots and helps them reattach to the gums. Here is what you should know about dental scaling.

Why Do I Need Dental Scaling?

Brushing and flossing are the first line of defense against dental plaque, but they are not sufficient on their own. Regular dental cleanings remove the plaque and hardened tartar that home oral care leaves behind. In people with healthy gums, the gum tissue forms a tight seal just 3 millimeters or less below the gumline that prevents this plaque and tartar from invading any deeper.

If you have skipped a few dental cleanings or simply have bad genetic luck, these pockets can deepen, allowing plaque and tartar to build up below where regular dental cleanings can reach. If you have pockets of 4 millimeters or deeper, you will need dental scaling to clean them out.

Dental Scaling Methods

There are two basic methods for dental scaling. The first uses handheld instruments. Your dentist will gently insert thin metal tools known as a dental scaler and a curette below the gumline to scrape away plaque and tartar.

The second method is ultrasonic. In this case, your dentist will use an instrument with a vibrating metal tip and cool water spray. The tip chips off the plaque and tartar, while the water flushes it away.

Is Dental Scaling Painful?

Dental scaling can feel uncomfortable or even painful to those with sensitive gums. Talk to your dentist about using a local anesthetic to numb your gums if you have concerns about pain.

Some dentists prefer to divide the mouth in half, or even into four quadrants, and scale one section per appointment. If you are particularly nervous, though, or just prefer to get the process over with, ask your dentist if it is possible to do your entire mouth in a single appointment.

Aftercare

It is normal to experience some soreness and sensitivity, along with minor swelling and bleeding, for a few days after dental scaling. Your dentist might suggest that you use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth during this time. You may also receive a prescription mouthwash to help ensure that your gums remain clean and healthy. Though your mouth may feel sore, it is critical to brush and floss as normal to prevent plaque from re-forming in the same places.

You will be scheduled for a follow-up visit several days after your scaling procedure to measure the depth of the gum pockets and ensure that you are properly healing. Over time, if you maintain excellent oral hygiene, the pockets should heal. However, those who have had gum disease remain at increased risk for future recurrence. Your dentist may want you to have four cleanings per year instead of two to minimize this risk.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Understanding the Basic Dental Tools

dental tools

The dentist’s office is not most people’s favorite place. Unfamiliar sights and sounds, and the prospect of mysterious tools entering your mouth, can be downright unnerving. Fear of the dentist is extremely common, and some people are so afraid that they actually postpone even routine dental visits. Fortunately, knowledge is power. In many cases, simply understanding what to expect can help ease dental anxiety. Here is what you should know about the basic dental tools.

Mouth Mirror

Let’s start with the most basic and least intimidating tool of all, the mouth mirror. A small mirror attached to a metal stick, the mouth mirror has two basic purposes. First, it lets your dentist see clearly into the difficult to access parts of your mouth. Second, it lets your dentist easily move your tongue and the insides of your cheeks out of the way.

Sickle Probe

A sharp-looking hook attached to a long handle, the sickle probe can look terrifying. In reality, though, it causes minimal, if any discomfort. The sickle probe is used to examine the pockets between the teeth, to investigate visible cavities, and to remove plaque and tartar. It won’t necessarily feel pleasant, but use of the sickle probe doesn’t really hurt.

Scaler

Though brushing and flossing are vital for oral health, they are not enough on their own. A scaler is used to remove the plaque and tartar that are left behind. It looks sort of like a long metal stick that is bent at one end. Like the sickle probe, a scaler doesn’t feel entirely comfortable, but it should not cause much actual pain. It plays a vital role in preventing or reversing gum disease, and minimizes the risk of tooth decay.

Suction Device

A suction device is a vital but somewhat amusing dental tool. When your dentist is working on your mouth, it is often important to keep the surfaces dry. Yet you don’t necessarily want to swallow with a mouthful of dental tools. The suction device removes saliva, along with the added water used for some treatments, from your mouth. It’s sort of like a tiny wet vac, suctioning moisture away. It tends to stick to the cheek or tongue, and it makes some odd noises, but it is not in any way painful.

Dental Syringe

Dental syringes are feared by many people. They are fairly large, with hollow needles that deliver injections of local anesthesia. These shots are known to sting for a moment until the numbness takes over. This happens fast, but many dentists administer a topical numbing gel first to remove the pain of the shot. If you are afraid of needles, close your eyes or look away, and the shot will be over before you know it.

Dental Drill

The dental drill is arguably the scariest dental tool of all. It spins at more than 250,000 rpm while simultaneously spraying cooling water into your mouth. The result is loud sounds and strong vibrations that can drive patients nuts. Dental drills are absolutely essential in many procedures, though, from removing decay from a cavity to opening a hole in the jawbone for a dental implant. Fortunately, your mouth will be numb from local anesthesia, so while you will hear the noise and feel the vibrations, the drill will not cause pain.

Impression Materials

If you need a dental crown, bridge, custom mouthguard, or other prosthetic device, your dentist will need to take impressions of your teeth and oral anatomy. Although digital impressions are becoming more and more common, traditional impression materials are still frequently used.

Your dentist or tech will fill a small tray with a soft substance and ask you to bite down into it. Over the next minute or so, the impression material will harden in your mouth, and your dentist or tech will gently rock the tray to release it. The material doesn’t take the best, and some people feel like they’re gagging, but the entire process is generally over in less than two minutes and is not painful.

Other Tools

Dentistry is in a state of flux, with new technology constantly coming online alongside the tried and true. Dental lasers, 3-D cone beam scanners, digital panoramic x-rays, and more are important parts of many dental practices. Like the tools that came before them, these items can be intimidating but are ultimately harmless.

Dentists, hygienists, and techs are generally good about explaining what will happen before they begin, and if you have any questions, you are always welcome to ask. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that each tool plays a vital role in maintaining your oral health, and modern anesthetics keep even the most intimidating tools from causing pain.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Flexible Dentures: What You Should Know

Flexible Dentures: What You Should Know

Are Flexible Dentures Right For You?

Your natural teeth are always the best, but if you lose them due to dental disease or trauma, there are options to help restore both your smile and your ability to chew. If you select dentures rather than dental implants, there are several different types from which to choose. A lesser-known type that is perfect for some situations is a soft, customized flexible denture. Here’s what you should know.

Traditional Dentures

Traditional dentures consist of an acrylic base, possibly with a metal support structure below. Artificial teeth of resin or porcelain are attached, which can appear highly realistic.

However, it can be tough to get used to traditional dentures. A partial denture uses metal clasps or precision attachments to connect to the natural teeth, which may interfere with functionality and can be visible when speaking or smiling. A full upper denture uses suction to adhere to the roof of the mouth, while a full lower denture rests on the gums. Traditional dentures can cause mouth soreness, and they may slip and pinch. The acrylic base can also cause allergic reactions.

Flexible Dentures

Flexible dentures consist of a clear, soft, nylon base that is highly unlikely to trigger an allergy. The natural gums show through, while the material clings to the gums on its own. No attachments, clasps, or adhesives are required. Flexible dentures are more comfortable than traditional dentures, and many people find it easier to speak and chew. Flexible dentures are also far less likely than traditional dentures to break if they are dropped.

Disadvantages of Flexible Dentures

Of course, like any other medical device, flexible dentures are not right for everyone. The nylon base is more likely than a rigid acrylic base to build up bacteria that can cause gingivitis. If you are prone to gum disease, it is especially important to remove the dentures twice per day and thoroughly brush them with a soft toothbrush, and then use a medicated mouthwash.

Some patients also notice that flexible dentures provide less bite strength than rigid traditional dentures. Of course, dental implants are the best way to restore virtually all of your original bite strength, but whether flexible dentures cause problems for you depends in part on your normal dietary habits and how many teeth you are missing.

No single solution is right for everyone. If you are missing teeth, your dentist will work with you to find the restoration that best fits your needs, budget, and goals for treatment. For many patients who do not want dental implants, though, flexible dentures are a more comfortable and less visible alternative to traditional dentures on an acrylic base.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Dental Consultation: What to Expect

Dental Consultation: What to Expect

What Should I Expect to Happen at My Dental Consultation?

At Savannah Dental Solutions, it is extremely important to us that all patients feel comfortable, knowledgeable, and empowered to participate in their own dental health. That’s why we put a great deal of time and effort into each dental consultation. Here is what to expect.

Dental Exam

First, we will perform a detailed dental exam. Whether you are scrupulous about receiving your twice a year cleanings or have steered clear of the dentist for some time, we never want you to feel shy or uncomfortable about coming to see us. We will perform a judgement-free complete dental exam to determine how we can best restore or maintain your oral health.

We will examine your teeth, gums, and jawbones for signs of cavities, enamel erosion, or gum disease. We will also check your existing dental restorations for any wear or damage. Any issues we find will be carefully noted.

Dental X-Rays

Next, we will take X-rays to assess the areas that are hidden to visual inspection. This gives us a more complete look at your tooth structure, bones, and soft tissue. If you have recently had X-rays taken by another dentist, please let us know. We like to minimize our patients’ exposure to radiation, so we may be able to use another provider’s X-rays to formulate our own treatment plan.

Discussion

After the exam and X-rays are complete, we will sit down with you for an in-depth discussion of your dental goals and desires. You can prepare for this conversation by scrutinizing your smile in the mirror before your appointment. Pinpoint what you like and dislike about your teeth, and take detailed notes. If you are considering cosmetic dental work, it is also helpful to bring in photos of smiles that you particularly admire. If cost is a concern, as it is for most people, please be honest with us about your budget. Many times, we can create treatment plans that maximize insurance benefits and minimize out of pocket expenses.

Treatment Plan

With the information we obtained from your exam, X-rays, and discussion in hand, we will generate your treatment plan. If the dental issues you have can be treated in multiple ways, we may create several treatment plans, complete with timelines and cost breakdowns, for you to consider. Your treatment is a collaborative process, so please ask any questions you might have and volunteer any thoughts that might occur to you.

Next Steps

Before your consultation concludes, we will work with you to set up your next step. If you have a clean bill of health and no cosmetic concerns, your next step might be a cleaning. If you have complex oral health issues, your next step could be oral surgery or impressions or any of a myriad of other possibilities. No matter what your next step may be, we will set up your appointment and help you understand how best to prepare.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

How to Choose Between Braces and Invisalign

How to Choose Between Braces and Invisalign

Choosing Between Braces or Invisalign

Traditional braces were long the gold standard for straightening teeth, and they remain highly popular today. Increasingly, though, patients and dentists are turning to Invisalign, “the clear alternative to braces.” Both options can solve the majority of orthodontic issues, and in most cases, the decision is yours. Here’s how to choose.

Treatment Planning

You will receive a customized treatment plan for whichever option you choose, but the process is different. When planning for braces, we will show you the existing problems with your teeth and tell you how the braces will help. After the braces are placed, you will not see your teeth without them until the completion of your treatment.

With Invisalign, we will create a digital 3-D model of your current smile, and then morph the model to show you exactly what to expect at each stage. When you are happy with the models, we will use them to create your personal series of aligners. You will change aligners at home, allowing you to track your progress at home.

When deciding which is better, consider your personality. Do you love surprises? Then you might enjoy having a big reveal at the end. Are you a planner who likes to know what to expect? Invisalign removes the guesswork.

Control Issues

We retain control over traditional braces. We place them, adjust them, and remove them. You will learn a new oral hygiene routine and memorize a list of forbidden foods, but otherwise you only need to worry about keeping your appointments. If any emergencies arise, such as a loose bracket or a popped wire, you will need to see us right away.

Invisalign puts you in control. We will place attachments on your teeth and show you how to care for your aligners, but your treatment is otherwise up to you. You will wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day for two weeks, or as directed, and then change to the next set of aligners at home. You can remove them to eat and perform oral hygiene as normal. We will see you just once every four to six weeks to keep an eye on your progress.

Which you prefer is up to you. Those who like to feel in control and are responsible enough to keep up with their aligners generally prefer Invisalign. Those with a lot on their minds who don’t want to deal with something extra usually like braces better.

Comfort and Aesthetics

Invisalign aligners are generally considered more comfortable than braces. There are no sharp edges or wires to poke, scrape, or scratch the delicate tissues in your mouth. Many people with braces never quite adapt to the feeling of a mouthful of metal.

Aesthetics are a highly personal choice. Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible, meaning that no one needs to know you are straightening your teeth. Those who like to make bold statements, though, often like braces in fashion colors.

Cost Considerations

For many years, braces were a good bit less expensive than Invisalign, but this is beginning to change. Upgrades, adjustments, and emergency visits must be added to the base price of braces. Invisalign’s transparent pricing model includes all aligners and all office visits.

Dental insurance is complex, and benefits vary dramatically between plans. Some plans cover both braces and Invisalign, some cover one or the other, and some do not cover orthodontic care at all. Our knowledgeable office staff will help you understand your coverage and out of pocket costs before treatment begins.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Getting Used to Dentures: Tips and Tricks

Ways to Help You Get Used to Your New Dentures

When you first get your new dentures, it can be exciting. Dentures can dramatically improve your smile, giving you straight, white teeth free from decay or missing teeth. However, wearing dentures can take some time to get used to. Here are some tips and tricks to make the process easier.

Getting Used to Dentures

Cut Food into Small Pieces

When you first start wearing dentures, it will take time to adjust to chewing with dentures instead of your natural teeth. Over time, you’ll adjust. In the beginning, it is best to cut food into small pieces so it is easier to chew. If you need help deciding what size is most appropriate, it’s okay to discuss your concerns with your dentist who can give you additional advice.

Wear Only as Much as Recommended

It can be tempting to wear your dentures all day and night to show off your new smile. However, this isn’t recommended, as it doesn’t give your mouth time to heal and adjust. For most patients, wearing dentures for 8 to 10 hours a day is what your dentist will recommend, especially in the beginning.

Stay Hydrated

You may find that your new dentures cause your mouth to be drier than normal or that the dentures are more uncomfortable if you have dry mouth. To prevent discomfort, make sure to stay well hydrated to improve your comfort level. Drinking a lot of water can also help to keep your dentures free from tiny debris that could also cause discomfort.

Practice Talking and Singing

With your natural teeth, you were an expert in how to maneuver your mouth to talk. You had many years to practice. With your dentures, it’s going to take time to once again learn how to speak with dentures in your mouth. Speed up the process by spending a lot of time talking and singing while wearing your dentures.

Use a Dental Adhesive

A dental adhesive is an over the counter product that’s readily available to help keep dentures in their place. You can ask your dentist how to use a dental adhesive, which brand they’d recommend, and whether it’s a good idea for you to use in your particular case. When you first get your dentures, it’s possible that your dentist will go over this information with you anyway. If you have a lot of trouble with keeping your dentures in place after a period of time and your dentist doesn’t recommend dental adhesive, it’s worth checking in with them to ask about it.

Over the years, dentures have come a long way to be more comfortable and to have a better fit. If your dentist recommends dentures to you as a way to improve your oral health, it’s normal to have some questions and concerns. Many patients find that, after a period of adjustment, they actually like their dentures.

Want to Learn More?

If you have questions about dentures or other dental procedures, contact us today at (912) 354-1366 to learn how we can help.

Toddlers and Teeth: Starting Your Child on the Road to Excellent Dental Health

How Do I Teach My Toddler About Dental Health?

Although many parents underestimate the value of baby teeth, reasoning that they will fall out anyway, creating good dental habits in your child’s toddler years can set the stage for a lifetime of excellent dental health. A stunning 60 to 90 percent of kids develop at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and untreated childhood dental issues can cause permanent damage. Here are some tips for starting your child’s dental journey.

Dental Health of Toddler Teeth

Model Good Choices


Your kids learn from you, so this is the time to make a new commitment to your own oral health. Drink plenty of water, brush and floss regularly, cut down on sugary foods, and visit the dentist twice a year. Your kids will grow up viewing dental care as just a regular part of life.

Make Brushing and Flossing Normal


Within the first few days after your new baby is born, start wiping his gums with sterile gauze or a clean, damp cloth. When the first tooth emerges, start gently brushing it with a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste. When two teeth touch, start flossing them. Your child should never remember a time when oral hygiene didn’t happen every single day.

See the Doctor


Pediatricians typically manage infants’ first and second dental visits, which should occur around their first and second birthdays. These are excellent opportunities to learn how to properly brush the baby’s teeth and manage teething issues, as well as to ask any additional questions.

Minimize Sugar


It’s fine to give your kids milk or fruit juice, but keep an eye on the quantities. Teach your baby to drink plain water at naptime and bedtime so that it will feel normal as she grows up. When your child transitions to solid foods, focus on cheese, fruit, and other healthier options. When you allow your child to eat sugary snacks or drink sweet beverages, be sure to brush her teeth right away, or at least rinse her mouth thoroughly with plain water.

Visit the Dentist


Most kids are able to brush their own teeth with help by the age of three. This is the appropriate time to schedule a first visit to the dentist. The goal is to let your child get comfortable in the office without building stress. Some kids are ready for a cleaning and an exam during this visit, while others will just get a quick tour of the office and meet the staff.

After the first visit, consider bringing your child to your appointments to build familiarity. We will also start scheduling your child for his own appointments. We will be by your kids’ side as they grow up, dealing with any emergencies that arise and ensuring that their dental health is the best it can possibly be.

Want to Learn More?


If you want to learn more about how we can keep your entire family’s smiles in tip top shape, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.