October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October marks the start of National Dental Hygiene Month!
You can take part by talking with your hygienist about the 4 simple steps you can take each day to enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.

  • Brush teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Rinse with mouthwash
  • Chew sugar-free gum

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photo of man in suit relaxing barefoot at beach

4 Pro Tips for a Relaxing Dental Visit

A lot of people get nervous or scared about seeing their dentist. We understand and are sensitive to patients’ concerns, and want to make your dental visit as comfortable as possible. Next time you need a dental appointment, try one or more of these tips for making your experience a positive one.

1. Talk to your dentist and dental team.

Talking to us about your concerns is THE most important thing you can do. We’re here to help and want to make you comfortable!

If you’re a new patient… Would you like a tour of the office? Do you have questions you want to ask the dentist before you make a decision? Just let us know!

If you’re already a patient… Do you like extra time to ask a lot of questions? Or maybe you’d rather not hear certain details? Is there something specific you would like to have done or not done during your treatment? You can always ask for breaks during treatment by raising your hand if you’re unable to speak. Every person is different, so the more you can help us get to know you, the better we’ll be able to tailor your experience to your needs and preferences.

2. Ask us for extras!

Most of our offices have comfort items available for you, like protective eye wear, pillows for a sore neck, blankets if you tend to get chilly, and bottled water if you are thirsty. Many offices have TVs available for patients to watch during treatment, so if you’d rather have a movie on than a cooking show, just say the word. (If there is something you know you will want, call us in advance to make sure that it is available at the office you visit.)

3.  Make yourself comfortable when you come in.

Wear your most comfortable clothing. If you have a favorite sweatshirt or flannel pants, wear ’em. If it will help you relax, wear your soft flannel pajamas! We won’t judge you for what you wear- we’ll be totally jealous that you get to wear PJs. Many patients like to listen to music or other relaxing sounds like ocean waves when they come in, so feel free to bring your phone, iPod or other device if this might help you. Another trick for helping you stay comfortable is chapstick. Put some on when you come in, or ask us if you forgot yours. Need something to do with your hands? Try bringing along a stress ball. Finally, if you are concerned about soreness, ask your dentist if it would be okay to take an over-the-counter pain reliever before your appointment.

4. Talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry.

Most of our offices offer some form of sedation dentistry. Sedation options include nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas), medication to help you relax, and conscious IV sedation. The type of sedation that is best for you will depend on your unique needs, including your personal comfort level and treatment needed. If you think you might benefit from some kind of sedation, your dentist would be happy to talk about the options with you.

We have lots of ways to help our patients feel more comfortable with their treatment. The more comfortable you are, the better we can help you maintain your dental health, and your optimal health is our number one priority! If you’re due for a checkup or have other dental needs, just give us a call – 912-629-9000 – or use the button below!

Request an Appointment

Use or Lose your Dental Insurance Benefits!

Use It or Lose It!

Get all you deserve this year.

Have you been putting off a check-up, cleaning or treatment? Call now and we’ll tell you what’s left of your benefits, down to the penny!

Part of our giving is making sure our patients get all they are entitled to.

You may not know it, but dental insurance is a “use it or lose it” proposition. 96% of patients let their unused dental insurance benefits expire before the year is out.

Make an appointment before the year ends.

We want to help you have a great smile!

photo of woman wearing Invisalign

Interested in Invisalign? Visit us on Invisalign Day!

You’ve come to the right place! Invisalign offers a comfortable, convenient and confident approach to teeth alignment.  Our Pooler, Midtown and Bluffton offices will be hosting Invisalign Days this fall.

Drs. Lindsay Sammons (Pooler), Julie Howard (Midtown Savannah), Adam Squicquero (Bluffton) and Jennifer Christy (Bluffton) will be providing free consultations to answer your questions about Invisalign treatment, the clear way to straighten your teeth! If you have wondered if Invisalign is for you, make an appointment for this special event!

  • $500 off payment due at the time of service.
  • No down payment and 24 monthly payments at 0% interest for qualified patients.
  • Free teeth whitening and bleaching syringe once Invisalign treatment is complete.
  • Space is limited to the first 15 appointments.
  • All discounts apply to treatment started on the doctor’s designated Invisalign Day.

Please see below for a full list of Invisalign Days this fall. Please call the office to make your appointment!

  • October 9th – Dr. Lindsay Sammons (Pooler)
    • 91 Brighton Woods Drive, Pooler – (912) 748-4858
  • October 23rd – Dr. Jason Howard (Pooler)
    • 91 Brighton Woods Drive, Pooler – (912) 748-4858
  • October 26th – Dr. Julie Howard (Midtown)
    • 533 Stephenson Avenue, Savannah – (912) 236-3557
  • October 29th – Dr. Adam Squicquero (Bluffton)
    • 10 Pinckney Colony Road, Bluffton – (843) 593-9380
  • November 3rd – Dr. Jennifer Christy (Bluffton)
    • 10 Pinckney Colony Road, Bluffton – (843) 593-9380

National Grandparent’s Day

Grandparents And Granddaughter Walking On Winter Beach

National Grandparent’s Day is this Sunday, September 13th.

Grandparent’s Day is not a well-known holiday, but is a valuable and important day. Started by Marian McQuade, the day was created primarily to bring awareness to lonely elders in nursing homes and to help grandchildren learn from their grandparent’s heritage and wisdom.

We encourage you to show an act of kindness to an elderly person in your community or visit with your own grandparents, if you are fortunate to still have them in your life. It is always nice to show appreciation and make someone’s day brighter! 🙂

illustration of tooth with text: older adults and aging - take the quiz

Know What You Need to About Aging and Oral Health? Take this Quiz.

September is Healthy Aging Month! Howard Family Dental wants support adults living healthy lives as they age by making sure everyone knows what they should about oral health for older adults.

Ready to test your knowledge? True or False:

  1. Bacteria stick to both natural teeth and dentures.
  2. As we age, we enter a second cavity-prone stage in our lives.
  3. Research has shown links between oral health and health problems common to older adults, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
  4. The average age of for people diagnosed with mouth cancers is 62.

 

How do you think you did? If you answered TRUE to each point above, then you got them all right! (Click on any point above to visit our sources.) Whether you aced the quiz or were tripped up by a few surprises, keep reading so you know the best steps to take to protect your teeth and mouth.

Brush Twice and Floss Every Day – Dentures Too!

 

This is one of the basics of oral health care at any age, and should be continued throughout your life. If you wear partial or full dentures, this also means brushing your dentures daily since bacteria in your mouth attaches to dentures as well as teeth. Be sure to use a cleaning product made for use with dentures; don’t use standard toothpaste or household cleaners! These can hurt your dentures and cause unnecessary expense if you have to replace damaged dentures.

Drink Plenty of Water

 

Many adults’ cavities are brought on by dry mouth. While dry mouth itself is not expected in typical aging, it is a side effect of hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Saliva does some important work in the mouth, including washing away bits of food, neutralizing acids in food and beverages, and providing defense against infection. When your mouth is too dry, you’re not producing enough saliva, and cavities can become more likely as a result. To combat dry mouth, drink lots of water, check with your family dentist about an oral rinse, or consider talking with your physician about possible medication alternatives.

Visit Your Dentist At Least Once a Year

 

Your local dentist can offer the best recommendation on how often to be seen for checkups, but at a minimum, you should be going once each year. Prevention and early detection are so important! The nerves in your teeth get smaller and less sensitive as you get older, and the decreased sensitivity means that you are less likely to feel pain from a cavity early in its existence. When you do feel pain, it is possible that the cavity may be too far gone and cause you to loose your tooth.  And remember the links shown between oral health and other health issues? Your dentist and dental team can help spot warning signs of other health problems, as well as perform oral cancer screenings. Last but not least, be sure to let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.

We want everyone to age happily and in good health! If you follow the steps above and maintain your oral health routine, you will be well on your way to ensuring a healthy mouth for a long time. Time for a visit? Just click below to request an appointment and any of our offices.

Request an Appointment

Welcoming Dr. Kris Kasik to the Brunswick office!

Kasik

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kris Kasik has joined our practice at the Brunswick location, in addition to Dr. Kevin Ritola. Dr. Kris Kasik is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. He earned a bachelor’s degree in History at Furman University before earning his doctorate degree from the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry.

Dr. Kasik enjoys spending time with family, golfing and spending time outdoors. He is married to wife, Emily.
The Howard Family Dental Brunswick office has expanded and been renovated to accommodate more patients each week.

Dr. Kasik is looking forward to building relationships with his patients in Brunswick. 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 specialties include: crowns, bridges, fillings, dentures, root canals and periodontal therapy. His first day seeing patients will be Tuesday, September 1st.

Howard Family Dental is located at 159 Altama Connector in Brunswick, Georgia. For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Kris Kasik or Dr. Kevin Ritola, call (912) 264-8408 or Request an Appointment

close up photo of boy in sports jersey with mouthguard

Why We Love Mouthguards (And You Should Too!)

As parents, we’re always concerned with keeping our children safe. When it comes to sports, one of the best ways to protect your child’s teeth–and their brain–is a mouthguard.  Whether you’re preparing your kids for soccer, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport, don’t forget one of the best ways you can protect their dental health and reduce concussion risk.

What makes a mouthguard so important?

1. Sports-related dental injuries affect a lot of people.

Naturally, no one wants their child to be injured in any way while playing sports, but, unfortunately, dental injuries happen more frequently than you might think. From the American Dental Assistants Association’s Sports-Related Dental Injuries and Sports Dentistry educational materials (emphasis ours):

“Approximately 20 million children participate in various sports programs in the United States and another 80 million are involved in unsupervised recreational sports. In addition, 15 million Americans suffer dental injuries and 5 million teeth are lost annually in sports-related injuries. During a single athletic season, athletes have a 1 in 10 chance of suffering a facial or dental injury. In fact, the lifetime risk of such an injury is estimated to be about 45% according to the National Youth Sports Foundation.”

2. Mouthguards are effective in preventing dental injuries.

There are a few types of dental injuries. Teeth can become chipped, broken, loose, or lost altogether. Dealing with a dental trauma can be hard for anyone, especially kids. Your teeth affect how you smile, how you eat, and how you speak. Treatment for dental injuries can also be costly. A mouthguard helps by protecting your teeth and decreases risk of all of these types of injuries. In fact, studies have found that mouthguards are not just one way to prevent sports-related dental injuries, they are the most effective way.

3. Mouthguards are available for a range of prices.

There are three kinds of mouthguards:

  • Ready-Made: These mouthguards can be found in many grocery and drug stores and are ready to wear out of the box. They are the least expensive option, and while they do work for some, they don’t often fit very well, and as a result can be uncomfortable and make speaking difficult.
  • Boil-and-Bite: Also available in drugstores and grocery stores, as well as sporting goods stores, boil-and-bite mouthguards are a way to get a better fit while still being relatively inexpensive. Before initial use, you soften the guard material by boiling, and then “bite” into it, allowing the material to mold around your teeth and gums.
  • Custom-Made: A custom-made mouthguard is made just for you by your family dentist. For many people, this option offers the best and most comfortable fit. When your dentist makes your mouthguard, s/he can also tailor it to the needs of the individual athlete and their sport. These are also the most expensive mouthguards, but are a worthwhile investment for active kids (and adults).

If your child needs a mouthguard for the fall sports season, just get in touch with us! We’re here to help.

Request an Appointment

Girls on the Run Shoe Drive!

At Howard Family Dental offices, we are collecting gently used shoes for Girls on the Run Coastal Georgia as part of their Shoe Drive!

In the U.S. alone, approximately 630 million pairs of shoes are thrown away each year! These shoes can help families in impoverished nations in a big way. Gently worn shoes are used in developing nations for impoverished people to start, maintain, and grow a Micro-enterprise. Because of this opportunity, individuals are able to feed, clothe, and house their families.

We are collecting gently worn shoes to help under-developed nations, while raising funds to promote the Girls on the Run programs in our area! Help us make a difference in the world by giving us your gently worn shoes – any style: cleats, heels, sneakers, etc.!

If you’d like to donate, please bring your gently worn shoes to a participating office: Midtown Savannah, Southside Savannah, Wilmington Island, Pooler, Richmond Hill, Rincon, Statesboro or Bluffton, SC.

To learn more about Girls on the Run Coastal Georgia, please visit http://www.girlsontherun-ga.org/

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