woman in work setting, looking tired with eyes closed

Not Sleeping Well? Two Ways Your Dentist Can Help

Do you often feel like you don’t get a good night’s sleep? When your sleep is disrupted, it’s not only unpleasant, it can be bad for your overall health. There are lots of reasons you might be sleeping poorly, and your dentist can be your ally in discovering or ruling out certain causes.

1. Oral Appliances for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which your upper airways close off and interrupt your breathing while you sleep. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Routine loud snoring
  • Waking gasping for air
  • Feeling overly fatigued during the day
  • Falling asleep unintentionally in the daytime

If you think you may have OSA, talk to your doctor. To properly diagnose OSA, you will have to do an overnight sleep study. Many people diagnosed with OSA can be treated using an oral appliance, a small, plastic device that you place in your mouth while sleeping that helps keep your airways open. Your dentist can help to fit you with an oral appliance made specifically for your unique needs.

2. Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can also cause you to sleep poorly. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night, your sleep might be disrupted by the sound of the grinding, hard clenching, or associated pain. Some signs that you might be grinding your teeth include:

  • Pain in your teeth, mouth or jaw
  • A clicking or popping sound in your jaw
  • Visibly worn down teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

If you’re thinking these sound like you, talk to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and mouth to help determine if you are grinding your teeth. Often, teeth grinding can be treated with a mouthguard, which your dentist can custom-make for you.

Don’t neglect your sleep. Talk to someone.

Your sleep is important to your health, so don’t ignore signs that you’re not getting adequate sleep. Give us a call, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment to see you. 912-629-9000 You are also welcome to use our online appointment request form by clicking the button below.

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young woman with brilliant smile

Whitening Your Teeth: Three Common Questions

A brighter smile can be a great confidence booster for lots of people! We are often asked how to prevent tooth discoloration and how we whiten teeth, so we’ve rounded up the answers here for you.

What causes teeth to change color?

Teeth can appear discolored on the outside when there is a build-up of plaque, or the tooth enamel becomes stained. Common contributors to stains are dark colored beverages, like coffee and cola, and smoking. Teeth can also change color on the inside due to too much fluoride exposure or use of tetracycline during childhood, trauma to a tooth, or a rare medical condition. (Find more details here: causes of tooth discoloration.)

What can I do to prevent tooth discoloration?

  • Don’t smoke / quit smoking.
  • Avoid or consume sparingly foods and drinks that stain your teeth, including red wine, coffee, tea and cola, and foods that change the color of your tongue.
  • Rinse with water after meals, especially when you enjoy a food or drink that may cause stains.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.


How can I whiten my teeth?

If you decide you’d like to whiten your teeth, your best first step is to consult your dentist. Depending on the cause of discoloration and other health factors, you may or may not be a good candidate for whitening treatments or products. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you will benefit from whitening treatment.

The most common whitening solutions are in-office whitening treatments, and over-the-counter products.

In-office treatments:

  • Are performed at your dentist’s office
  • Can yield immediate results
  • Can whiten teeth as much as 10 shades


At-home products:

  • Are used in the comfort of your home
  • Come in both dentist-supervised and non-dentist-supervised varieties
  • Can take about two weeks to see results


How long whitening results last is varied for both methods, depending on a patient’s unique oral health, diet, genetics and other factors. A ballpark idea would be around six months to two years.

If you have more questions about teeth whitening, you can call any Howard Family Dental location and we’d be happy to talk with you. And don’t forget about our Smiles for Life whitening promotion, March through June!


Howard Family Dental 2015 Summit!

We had a blast celebrating all of our team members today at the Annual Howard Family Dental Summit! The event was held at the Savannah Hilton Desoto in downtown Savannah, which we turned into the land of OZ! We hoped to convey the message of ‘You’ve got the Power!’ to everyone.

Brian Biro, the World’s Breakthrough Coach, was on site to speak and teach our team about leadership, possibility thinking, thriving on change, and team-building.  Our teams enjoyed their own ‘breakthroughs’ by actually breaking through a wood board, which they personally labeled with a situation or trait they have been struggling to get through. We are so proud of all of our team members!

Dr. H.A. Zaren and his team from St. Joseph’s Candler attended our event, where we were able to donate $30,000 for the Howard Hand in Hand support program! The money will be used to provide support, education and guidance to children and teens with a family member facing a life threatening disease.

Throughout the day, we had great fun with contests, games, prizes and awards. We also held a Silent Auction for (100% proceeds benefiting) ‘Howard Hand in Hand,’ and were able to raise $1,400! At Howard Family Dental, we truly appreciate each and every one of our team members and love celebrating all their hard work!

HFD Summit 2015 IMG_0121 Check donation to St. Joseph'sIMG_0122 IMG_0123 IMG_0124 IMG_0129 IMG_0130 IMG_0132

Smiles for Life, Now through June in HFD offices!

Your teeth get whiter, a child’s life gets brighter!

Smiles for Life, Fundraising, Children's Charities

Howard Family Dental offices are participating in Smiles for Life, March-June!

Our offices will offer take-home whitening kits for a discounted price – a donation to Smiles for Life!

100% of proceeds will go to children’s charities; 50% towards national and global children’s charities and 50% towards local charities. The proceeds Howard Family Dental raises will benefit Howard Hand in Hand, a support program for children at St. Joseph’s/Candler that will provide support, education and guidance to children and teens with a family member facing a life threatening disease.

Howard Hand in Hand

For more information on Howard Hand in Hand, visit http://www.sjchs.org/howard-hand-in-hand.

What is Smiles for Life?

Smiles for Life is a national fundraising campaign that Crown Council members participate in. It is a non-profit organization that donates proceeds raised to children’s charities around the world.

Since 1988, Smiles for Life has raised over $33 million benefiting hundreds of children’s charities including Children’s Miracle Network, St. Jude’s Children Hospital and the Kids Cancer Care Foundation.

Visit any of our ten locations during the months of March – June for your Smiles for Life whitening kit or to simply make a donation. Please make checks payable to ‘Smiles for Life.’

You can also check out our post on some common teeth whitening questions.

Early Detection is Key: Free Velscope Oral Cancer Screenings during the month of April

Howard Family Dental recognizes April as Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Month.

Oral cancer is most typically thought to be caused by smoking and tobacco use, but there are many other causes that are often ignored. There is a growing number of young adults that have been diagnosed with oral cancer, due to HPV. According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 43,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.

Howard Family Dental is offering FREE oral cancer screenings during the month of April to promote not only awareness and education, but to also help with early detection.

“Most people think of oral cancer as a disease people get later in life after many years of using tobacco products. That is not the case anymore. Typically, your General Practitioner does not check for signs of oral cancer, unless you ask him/her to. As dentists, we are trained to look for the signs of oral cancer and to use early detection tactics. We are seeing a trend of young people being diagnosed with this terrible disease. Early detection is key,” says Dr. John Howard.

To learn more about oral cancer or to schedule an appointment for a screening with your Howard Family Dental office, call (912)629-9000 or use our online appointment request.

Oral Cancer screening

Dr. Christy Cole Harpring of the Wilmington Island office speaking with a patient about the Velscope oral cancer screening.


Howard Family Dental Richmond Hill office Ribbon Cutting!

Dr. Carlos Martinolas and team celebrated our Richmond Hill office Ribbon-Cutting with Richmond Hill & Bryan County Chamber of Commerce and Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler this afternoon.

Thank you to all that came and supported us! We are so grateful for the Richmond Hill and Bryan County Chamber of Commerce and to be a part of the growing Richmond Hill community.

The Howard Family Dental office opened its doors in Richmond Hill in December 2014. The office is located at 1962 Highway 17 in Richmond Hill, next to the Royal Oak Car Wash.

To make an appointment with the Dr. Martinolas, please call the Richmond Hill office at (912)756-3000.

Richmond Hill Ribbon Cutting Richmond Hill Mayor Richmond Hill office

Know the Basics of Your Oral Health

March 20th is World Oral Health Day! It’s time to spend a few moments on your oral health.

Maintaining your oral health can be as easy as 1-2-3. In honor of World Oral Health Day, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to care for yourself and your smile. Take a few moments to look over the resources linked below, and remember these three guidelines to help ensure your optimal oral health.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.

Make sure you know the right way to brush. Take a minute and check out the American Dental Association’s (ADA) proper brushing technique. And we know flossing isn’t high on everyone’s list of favorite things to do, but investing such a small amount in your oral health each day can benefit you big-time in a number of different ways.

2. Choose your diet with care. 

What you eat can make a big impact not only in your overall health, but also in your oral health. Do you know the top foods that can damage your teeth?

3. Visit your dentist regularly.

Work with your dentist to determine the right frequency of dental visits for you. Twice a year is common, but you may find that your needs are different. Also consider these signs you should see the dentist from the ADA.


Howard Family Dental Bluffton Office Ribbon Cutting

Our Pinckney Colony office in Bluffton, South Carolina celebrated a ‘Re-Ribbon Cutting Event’ this afternoon with the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce!

The Howard Family Dental office has been open in the Bluffton location for 5 years. However, today we celebrated the expansion of the office and formally welcomed Dr. Adam Squicquero and Dr. Jennifer Christy to the Bluffton community. Dr. Squicquero joined the practice in June 2014 and Dr. Christy joined the practice in January 2015. Both doctors are currently accepting new patients.

Thank you to all that came and supported us! We are honored to be part of the wonderful Bluffton area!

Bluffton SC, Ribbon Cutting Pinckney Ribbon Cutting 038 Pinckney Ribbon Cutting 035

Botox! At the Dentist Office?

Botox, Smile

Botox in a Dentist Office?

Most people are surprised we offer Botox in several of our dental offices. However, the soft tissues around the mouth are just as important as the color and position of the teeth in determining how your smile looks!

Meanwhile, dentists are the most knowledgeable in the healthcare field on muscles used to chew and the muscles of facial expression, which routinely receive these treatments.

How can Botox Help My Smile?

While thought of as mostly a cosmetic treatment, Botox actually has benefits that can aid a number of dental issues. Botox has indirect clinical uses for bruxism cases, even more so for patients with moderate chronic TMJ and facial pain, as well as migraines.

The temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) is located where the jawbone meets the skull on both sides of the head and is used during talking, eating, swallowing, and many other everyday activities. This joint can become displaced or overworked through excessive teeth grinding, which can cause severe tension headaches and sharp pain in the jaw.
According to the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, BOTOX® relieves jaw tension by making muscles unable to engage in the powerful, often unconscious movement of the jaw that produces headaches and pain.

Additionally, we occasionally do lip enhancements and mid-face volumization, not just for aesthetic reasons, but to give volume to the lips to cure angular cheilitis or chronic chapping in the corners of the mouth.

Botox can also be used to reduce a “gummy smile” or when a person’s gums show too much when they smile. It is often used with dermal filler therapy as a non-surgical alternative to high lip line cases. Dermal fillers can also be used to get rid of “black triangles” or spaces between the teeth due to gum recession.

Botox is offered by these dentists at Howard Family Dental:
Please call the office to set up an appointment to see if Botox is right for you.

  • Dr. Lindsay Sammons
    Howard Family Dental Pooler
    91 Brighton Woods Drive
    Pooler, GA 31322
    (912) 748-4858


  • Dr. Christy Cole Harpring
    Howard Family Dental Wilmington
    206 Johnny Mercer Blvd
    Savannah, GA 31410


  • Dr. Adam Squicquero
    Howard Family Dental Pinckney Colony
    10 Pinckney Colony Road
    Building 500, Suite 503
    Bluffton, SC 29909
Call (912)-629-9000
to make an appointment

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