National Brush Day and Howard Family Dental logos over photos of children celebrating Halloween and brushing their teeth

National Brush Day 2016

November 1 is more than just the day after Halloween. It’s also National Brush Day, when we remind ourselves to brush twice daily and help educate our children on the importance of dental hygiene. In addition to other healthy habits, brushing 2 times for 2 minutes every day helps reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

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Teaching good dental hygiene to our children is especially important, so that they can make brushing twice part of their daily routine. According to Psychology Today, habits that develop early in life can be very difficult to change — so helping your children understand the importance of dental hygiene will transition into keeping healthy habits as an adult.

The Children’s Oral Health campaign encourages parents to reduce their children’s risk of oral disease by making sure they’re brushing for two minutes, twice a day. Their website, 2min2x.org, has plenty of educational and fun resources to help parents out, including these easy Tooth To-Dos:

  • Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for kids ages 3-6, and use slightly more when they’re older.
  • Teach them to spit out the toothpaste when they’re done so they don’t swallow it.
  • Help your kids place the toothbrush at an angle against their gums.
  • Make sure they move the brush back and forth, gently, in short strokes.
  • Help them brush the front, back, and top of teeth.
  • Teach them to brush their tongue to remove germs and freshen breath.

For more tips, be sure to read Colgate’s Teeth Brushing For Kids: Three Strategies For Proper Technique.

Show Your Support

If you’d like to show your support for #NationalBrushDay, there are plenty of ways to get involved on social media.

Dental-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

Headed to a Halloween party and can’t think of any costume ideas? We’ve got you covered! We looked all over Pinterest and found some fun, do-it-yourself costumes you can make right at home. From cute to spooky, these inexpensive ideas are great for kids and adults too! Be sure to check out our Dental Halloween Costumes board on Pinterest for the complete list.

For Kids: Tooth Costume

a young boy stands smiling in his tooth costume made from pillows

Why not, right? And this is a great way to recycle any pillows you own that have lost their fluff. Just grab those two old pillows you’re replacing, a pair of scissors, a needle and thread. Follow the simple directions in this YouTube video and in 15 minutes, your kid will be wearing one toothfully cute costume.

If you want to ramp  it up, you could add a pair of all-black sweatpants or tights and a black sweatshirt, then you’d look like a tooth floating through the night. Maybe wear some glasses, wear a beard or walk with a cane and tell people you’re a wisdom tooth! Or you can wear some ears and put on some make up to look like a bear, and call yourself a molar bear! It’s always fun to get a little punny with your costumes.

For Couples: Toothbrush and Toothpaste Costume

Young white couple poses dressed in costume as a toothbrush and tube of crest toothpaste

Probably the most classic dental-themed costume is the tube of toothpaste. This one’s super easy to make out of recycled household items too! Just grab an old sheet, a lampshade, scissors, thread and a needle. You might need to go out and purchase these though: hot glue gun, headband and felt paper. We bet you can guess how these all fit together, but here are some better directions if you need them.

As for being a toothbrush, there are plenty of ways to make a brush. Basically all you need is a headband and a way to attach something flat with “bristles” attached. We recommend cardboard for the head and drinking straws for the bristles, but you can also use some light wood, zip ties or any other materials found in your garage or basement. Then just make sure your shirt and pants match and now you’ve got yourself a toothbrush costume!

For Everybody: Tooth Fairy

Girl standing on a porch dressed as the tooth fairy

Of course the Tooth Fairy is often depicted as a woman, but guys can have fun with this costume too! Every good Tooth Fairy costume features four main components: wings, wand, crown and a tutu. Even though a lot of people buy wings, this YouTuber has a cool tutorial on making your own pair with coat hangers and pantyhose. And it’s pretty easy to convert plastic headbands into a crown with some construction paper, glitter or other art supplies you have at home.

As for making a wand, we’ve seen a lot of people get creative — this pin shows one made entirely out of toothbrushes! But if you take a look around your house or apartment, we bet you can create your own. We’re thinking covers of notebooks glued to look like a tooth in the photo to the left. Maybe some wrapping paper cut thin for streamers. We looked around the house and found a chopstick, flashlight, umbrella and a wooden spoon we could use to make a wand.

More Dental-Themed Halloween Costumes

That’s not all! For more dental-themed Halloween costumes, just visit our board on Pinterest where we’ve got plenty more to offer. We found some pretty spooky facepaint, some more horror-themed dental costumes and even Nemo and Darla (featuring her infamous headgear) from Finding Nemo! Click here to see the rest and … Happy Halloween!

Welcoming Dr. Hankla!

Hankla

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Isaac Hankla has joined our group at the Bluffton and Beaufort locations, in addition to Dr. Adam Squicquero (Bluffton) and Dr. Mark Squicquero (Beaufort). Dr. Hankla is originally from Jamestown, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology at Transylvania University and went on to earn his doctorate at University of Kentucky, School of Dentistry.

Dr. Hankla enjoys bicycling and collecting vinyl records. Dr. Hankla is looking forward to building relationships with his patients in Bluffton on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and in Beaufort on Thursdays and Fridays beginning October 25th. He enjoys a variety of dental procedures, the people he gets to know and the ability to help improve the oral health of patients. His skills include: crowns, bridges, fillings, dentures, root canals and periodontal therapy.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Isaac Hankla at HFD Bluffton, call (843) 593-9380. To make an appointment with Dr. Hankla at HFD Beaufort, call (843)781-8900.

Help spread the word — Free Dental Day is November 18th!

We are proud to offer our annual Free Dental Day, held on November 18th, 2016. Our staff and dentists at Howard Family Dental will provide one free service for both children and adults; choose a cleaning, filling or extraction. The event is first come, first served and is limited to the first 250 people. Learn more.

Over the last few years, the event has grown and includes many community organizations. America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Target Distribution brings food for individuals and families that are suffering with food insecurity. Help a Child Smile, a mobile dentistry program for children in Georgia, brings a bus fully equipped with dental chairs, hygiene supplies, an x-ray machine and technician. Strickland’s Funeral Home and Calvary Assembly of God generously allow parking and many local restaurants offer food donations for their volunteers.
Numbers will be handed out the day of the event, beginning at 6:30 am. The event is held at our Pooler location:

91 Brighton Woods Drive

Pooler, GA 31322

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#ndhm2016 brush floss rinse chew

National Dental Hygiene Month 2016

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. For the seventh straight year, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program (WOHP) are dedicating this month to starting the conversation about The Daily 4.

The Daily 4

The Daily 4 represent the foundation for a healthy smile. Brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing every day – also using proper technique – won’t guartantee perfect dental hygiene for the rest of your life, but they will improve the color of your teeth, the way your breath smells, the health of your gums and have a significant impact on your overall health. Are you doing the Daily 4 right? Keep reading for tips on technique and frequency, or head over to adha.org for some more in-depth information on #NDHM2016.

Brush: This one is easy. Brush for two minutes at least twice each day. Most people like to brush when they wake up and before they go to bed. But brushing after every meal doesn’t hurt! Are you using the correct technique when you brush? Click here to find out.

Floss: You might’ve seen some recent reports about the effectiveness of flossing. The ADHA and Mortenson Family Dental are united in our opinion — Flossing is still an important part of your dental hygiene routine. If you’d like to read more about it, check out this article we wrote.  And for tips on proper flossing technique, click here.

Rinse: Did you know teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth? Don’t forget about the rest! Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse helps eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. Talk with your dentist to figure out which mouth rinse is right for you. For a simple guide on rinsing, click here.

Chew: Believe it or not, chewing sugar-free gum is not just good at curing bad breath. Chewing sugar-free gum also stimulates salivary glands in your mouth, which helps clean out food and neutralize acids found on your teeth. So go ahead, chew some gum after your meal. Just make sure it’s sugar-free!

Show your support for #NDHM2016

Below is a poster you can print out and a banner that fits perfectly as your Facebook cover photo. If you’re serious about dental hygiene, show your support this month and help start the conversation!

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Welcoming Dr. Dunham!

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Roderick Dunham has joined the practice at our Statesboro location, in addition to Dr. Michael Whirt. Dr. Roderick Dunham is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of Louisville. He went on to graduate from the University of Louisville, School of Dentistry.

Dr. Dunham enjoys spending time with family and building model cars. He is married to wife, Peyton and has three daughters and one son.
Dr. Dunham is trained with an emphasis on restorative dentistry. He takes a holistic approach to dentistry and considers his patient’s entire health condition. He loves interacting with patients and building lasting relationships. His skills include; general dentistry, crowns & bridges, dentures, root canals, periodontal therapy, teeth whitening, and extractions. His first day seeing patients will be Monday, September 12th.

Howard Family Dental – Statesboro is located at 1076 Northside Drive East, Statesboro, GA 30458. For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Roderick Dunham or Dr. Michael Whirt, call (912) 225-4400 or Request an Appointment.

 

Dentist With Patient in Surgery

Help Dental Phobia with Oral Sedation

Do you hate going to the dentist so much that you avoid going at all? You’re not the only one. It is estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety or fear. A lot of them are worried about pain or feeling embarrassed. Others have dental phobia. No matter what is causing you stress, oral sedation dentistry can help.

 

What is Oral Sedation Dentistry?

 

Sedation dentistry is when patients take medication to relax during dental procedures. There are different levels of sedation from minimal sedation, where you are still awake but relaxed, to general anesthesia, when you are unconscious. There are several different types of sedation dentistry. At Howard Family Dental, we offer IV sedation and oral sedation.

Oral sedation involves taking a small pill an hour before your appointment. This pill, typically Halcion, is just as safe as taking a Valium. After you take the pill, someone else drives you to your appointment where we deliver exceptional care in a comfortable, anxiety-free atmosphere. Patients are awake during the procedure but many have very little memory of the visit. Some patients may fall asleep during the procedure, but can be woken with a gentle shake.

Reasons patients choose oral sedation:

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Safe?

 

Oral sedation dentistry allows you the experience dental procedures feeling relaxed and comfortable. Time will pass by fast and many patients report an amnesic effect, meaning they don’t remember the visit at all! While you’re relaxed, your dentist can perform the procedure confidently because they know you’re safe and carefree.

Oral sedation dentistry is even safe enough for children. Parents will need to take a little extra care to ensure their child is relaxed, but we trust you’re already a pro at looking after your loved ones. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has posted some really helpful guidelines on preparing for your child’s sedation dentistry visit.

If your child experiences dental fear or anxiety, please call our pediatric dental specialists at Kid’s Dentistree in Richmond Hill. We offer a kid-friendly atmosphere, fun activities in the waiting room and team members trained especially for caring for children. Take a tour of one of our offices by clicking here!

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

 

Oral sedation dentistry is a safe, minimal sedation method that can allow even the most anxious patients to have their dental needs taken care of. Most treatment plans are simple and take one or two appointments. But even the most extensive treatment can be provided using oral sedation dentistry. Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you and your family from having beautiful, healthy smiles.

 

Resources for People with Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

 

Howard Family Dental reacts to AP Flossing Report

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about the AP flossing report that claims the “medical benefits of dental flossing [are] unproven.” Needless to say, it has been causing quite a stir in the Howard Family Dental offices! Not because it’s changing our opinions about oral hygiene – but because the article itself is a little misleading. Read the report here, then we’ll tell you what the dental community has to say, including a response from Andrea Edelen, a Registered Dental Hygienist and the National Director of Hygiene at Mortenson Dental Partners.

 

A lack of good research doesn’t prove something is ineffective.

 

As you’d imagine, a number of dental groups have already publicly shown their support for flossing since the AP report was released. The American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) were both quick to address the duration of these studies, which in general have been conducted only over short periods of time. In the AAP’s official statement about flossing, their president acknowledges that “much of the current evidence does not utilize a large sample size or examine gum health over a significant amount of time. Additionally, many of the existing studies do not measure true markers of periodontal health such as inflammation or clinical attachment loss.” And that “because the development of periodontal disease is slow in nature and because a variety of factors can impact its progression, studies that examine the efficacy of daily flossing are best conducted over a number of years and among a large population.”

What the studies in the AP report failed to incorporate in their research were very important factors, primarily family history and the presence of other health issues. One doctor even said he doubted the patients in the study flossed correctly. So although there may be conflicting conclusions about the efficacy of flossing, it’s worth remembering that flossing is only one aspect of maintaining good oral health. Just like maintaining a good diet is only one aspect of physical health.

 

The American Dental Association still defends flossing as an essential part of taking care of teeth and gums.

 

The AP report, despite all its claims that flossing is ineffective, still never fully endorses an end to flossing altogether. In fact, the report ends with a recommendation from Dr. Iafolla, a public health analyst at the National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Policy, to keep flossing once a day. “It’s low-risk, low-cost,” Dr. Iafolla said. “We know there’s a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it.” In an August 4 release, the ADA argues that the federal government has never changed its stance on flossing and “the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) made a deliberate decision to focus on food and nutrient intake (i.e., added sugar).”

“According to the American Dental Association (ADA), interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.”

 

Dental hygiene care plans should be personalized.

 

The official statement from the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) endorses a dental hygiene care plan that is “personalized according to the individual’s unique oral health needs, general health status, values, expectations and abilities. Not all adjunct devices are appropriate for all patients, and it is important for dental hygiene professionals to work with their patients on which interdental cleaning method fits their needs.” For some patients, this could mean using a Waterpik®, or a water-flossing product that has been proven more effective than string floss at improving gum health. For others, like the dentist in the video above, the answer could be an old-fashioned wooden toothpick. Whatever decision you make, there is no better person to help you decide what’s right for you than the person who knows your teeth the best – your dental hygienist.

 

 

Now that you’ve heard how everyone else is responding, let’s hear what Andrea Edelen, a real-life Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), has to say:

Professional Portrait of Andrea Edelen

Andrea Edelen, RDH, BS, National Director of Hygiene, Mortenson Dental Partners

“We believe in dental hygiene practice that is both evidence-based and patient-centered. Our standard of care emphasizes that the oral hygiene recommendations be personalized according to the patient’s unique oral health needs, general health status, and abilities. Not all adjunct devices are appropriate for all patients, and it is important for dental professionals to work with their patients on which interdental cleaning method fits their needs. The ADA supports flossing with proper technique among other interdental cleaners being beneficial to removing bacteria, biofilm, and food debris from interproximal areas that a tooth brush cannot access.”

Four F’s for a Successful Fourth of July Weekend

This Monday is the Fourth of July, a day when we celebrate declaring our independence from Great Britain in 1776. In that Declaration of Independence we talked a lot about fairness and freedom, but our founding fathers probably didn’t foresee some other F’s that would make our Independence Day the awesome holiday it’s become.

What’s your favorite F? Let us know by voting in our poll on Twitter.

 

Family & Friends

Mixed Race young people making selfie at garden party. Man from Jamaica Playing Guitar. Man on right holding smart phone on selfie stick. In background people holding American flag.

Oops, look at us – already cheating.  This first F is a two-for-one because it’s really all about people. A lot of families plan road trips this weekend to visit other cities, go camping or hit a theme park like Fun Zone Amusement & Sports Park. And friends will get together for grilling out, lawn games or just hanging out enjoying the weather. Whatever you decide to do, remember to pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste or some mouthwash to help those relationships get even closer!

 

Food

A patriotic fruit tart.

This one’s a no-brainer. We’re talking Potlucks on patios with pounds of potato salad and pints of patriotic ice cream flavors. There is nothing quite like a hamburger, hot dog or veggies off the grill in the summer. Throw in an ice-cold glass of sweet tea to wash it down, and you’ll know you’re doing it right.

Don’t forget to drink a glass of water after your meal to wash some of that sugar off your teeth!

 

 

Fireworks

friend running with fireworks on a beach afer sunsetWho doesn’t love running around with sparklers after dark or shooting roman candles into the sky and hearing them pop? It really doesn’t matter how many times you’ve heard “I’m Proud to be an American” blaring over a loudspeaker as you watch fireworks light up your city, it’s awesome every time. ‘Nuff said.

 

 

Floss Fun

Group of teen girls laughing and eating ice cream at the beach together

You knew we were going to do it, didn’t you? Well here’s your reminder to floss every day. But the last one is not “Floss” and it’s actually the most important F of the weekend: FUN. Our country has come a long way in its short history and though we’ve been through a lot, we have a lot to be proud of! So let’s remember this weekend to enjoy good company, good food and have a great time celebrating what makes us unique.

 

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

 

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