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Important Coronavirus Update

This is a difficult time for all of us as we navigate our way through the coronavirus. From our family at Dogwood Pediatric, we certainly hope that you and your family stay healthy as we get through this crisis together. As we learn more about COVID-19, we will be providing you with information about how it may impact your child’s dental care and our office procedures.

Our Office Always Maintains the Highest Standards for Patient Safety

In recent weeks, the media, all industries of business, and people in general have been putting extra emphasis on the importance of precautionary cleanliness and health safeguarding measures. It is important to remember that our Statesboro and Savannah offices have always followed all requirements from the American Dental Association (ADA), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) to protect our patients’ health. 

Your safety is important to us every day and always has been! In terms of patient care, our professional and experienced team members wear protective gear, including gowns, masks, eye protection, and gloves to ensure your child’s safety. Our two facilities strictly adhere to OSHA’s requirements to maintain a sanitary environment during the workday by thoroughly cleaning all surfaces. Our office is cleaned at regular intervals—consistently and thoroughly disinfecting dental treatment rooms, dental equipment and instruments, our waiting room, bathrooms, and our reception area. And we even make sure we wipe down the waiting room reading materials, children’s toys, and other items we have for our patients’ enjoyment. 

Temporarily Only Open for Emergency Care 

Even though we always maintain a safe environment for our patients, the American Dental Association and our state government have recommended that dental practices limit their care to emergency treatment only, for the safety of patients and dental staff. Based on their recommendation, we have decided to postpone all non-emergency services in our offices for the time being. This was not an easy decision because your dental treatment is very important to us, but we want to ensure the safety of all our patients and our team.

Doing Your Part

For those who make emergency dental appointments, we do advise social distancing practices in the office. If you prefer, instead of using our waiting room, you may call to let us know when you’ve arrived and remain in your car until we let you know that it is time to come into our office. Additionally, we request that you limit the individuals attending the appointment to two (guardian and patient), if possible.

We also ask that if you have an upcoming appointment with our office and are currently experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, and/or have traveled out of the country in the last two weeks, please reschedule your appointment for a later time. You can email admin@dogwoodsmiles.com or call our offices to reschedule your appointment now.

We Care about Your Dental Health & Health in General!

At Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, we care about the health of all our patients, and caring for your safety as we provide exceptional dental treatment is our number one priority. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide updates when necessary. Thank you for your cooperation and trust in us as we move forward in this unprecedented time.

Please take care of yourself and your loved ones!

— Drs. Krista, Phillip, and Morga

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Can a Child Lose a Baby Tooth Too Soon?

Losing baby teeth is one of childhood’s most quintessential milestones, and it’s always exciting when a tooth starts to come loose for the first time. But while it’s normal for children to lose baby teeth, many parents wonder: can a child lose a baby tooth boy covering mouth with two handstoo soon? At Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, our mission is to help kids throughout Statesboro and Savannah achieve healthy, beautiful smiles, so we’d like to shed some light on what’s normal and what’s not for losing baby teeth.

Did My Child Lose Their Baby Tooth Too Soon?

First, we should say that the answer is a definitive yes: it is possible for a child to lose a baby tooth too soon, and this can cause serious orthodontic problems to develop if left untreated. Usually, a child loses their first baby tooth around age 6 and finishes around age 12. While there’s plenty of variation in this schedule, if your child loses their first tooth before age 3 or 4, it’s a cause for concern.

So why is early primary tooth loss a problem? The answer has to do with the adult teeth. Normally, the baby teeth act as guides to help the permanent teeth erupt in a healthy alignment. But if your child loses a baby tooth before the permanent tooth underneath is ready to erupt, it can cause the adjacent teeth to drift into the space left behind. This can disrupt not only the eruption of the permanent tooth in the middle but also the nearby teeth, leading to serious alignment problems. Without treatment, this can necessitate extensive orthodontic treatment.

Accordingly, you should always schedule an appointment with us if your child loses a baby tooth before age 4. We can treat the problem using a space maintainer to keep the empty space open for the permanent tooth underneath, and it will also allow us to monitor your child’s dental development to ensure everything progresses normally.

Contact Your Savannah & Statesboro Pediatric Dentist

We hope you find this information helpful, and if your child loses a baby tooth prematurely or you have any other questions about your child’s dental health, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about the role of the primary teeth in your child’s dental development or to schedule a check-up at our local Savannah or Statesboro offices. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Sedation Dentistry For Kids

child afraid at dentist

When it comes to dental care for kids, you know it’s necessary—and even critical—for your child’s health. But there are some situations in which visiting even a trusted dentist for kids can be difficult, scary, and nearly impossible. In these situations, your Statesboro kids dentist is pleased to offer sedation dentistry for children of any age. Continue reading to learn more!

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a form of medication during dental treatment that allows patients to relax and cooperate with their dentist to receive the care they need. There are different forms of sedation, ranging from mild calming sedatives to general amnesia—which is only administered in a hospital setting.

Nitrous oxide is the most common type of sedation dentistry for kids. Also known as laughing gas, this sedative is administered with oxygen and has a calming effect for nervous patients, or for those who need help relaxing and being still to receive treatment. Its mildness allows patients to remain conscious and interact with their Savannah kids dentist. The effects wear off nearly instantly once treatment has been completed. Side effects are very rare, but some patients may experience mild nausea and constipation.

Your Statesboro kids dentist is committed to providing a dental experience that is gentle, compassionate, and effective. Our expert team is dedicated to providing top quality dental care for kids along with warm and friendly service, all in a comfortable and fun environment. If your child is in need of sedation for a procedure, we will go above and beyond to ensure he or she has the best experience and outcome possible, as well as provide you with adequate pre- and post-sedation instructions.

Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to dental phobia. There are a variety of circumstances in which sedation dentistry may be helpful:

  • A child is very anxious
  • A child is in need of a complex procedure or treatment
  • A child has a low pain tolerance
  • A child has a strong gag reflex
  • A child who has special needs or physical handicaps
  • A child has previously had a traumatic dental experience

The most common types of treatment in which sedation dentistry is used are fillings, crowns, and extractions.

Contact Your Statesboro & Savannah Kids Dentist!

At Dogwood Smiles, we’ve helped countless young patients receive the dental care they need through sedation dentistry for kids. Our success stories show that even children who have the most difficulty visiting the dentist can have a comfortable and pleasant experience, overcoming their fears to receive the care they need. If you’d like to learn more about sedation dentistry for kids, contact us or book an appointment with your Savannah kids dentist today. We look forward to helping your child receive the quality dental care he or she deserves, in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

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5 Tips To Overcome Dentist Phobias

Child getting teeth worked on in the dentist.

At Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing top-quality dental care for kids in Statesboro, Savannah, and the surrounding areas. As your trusted dentist for kids, we understand that sometimes patients may experience dental related fear and anxiety. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help children of all ages receive the dental care they need for a healthy smile in the most comfortable and fun way possible. Here are 5 ways you can help your child overcome dental phobias.

Use Positive Language

While you’ll want to discuss the process of going to the dentist with your child to prevent fear of the unknown, it’s important to keep your language positive. Let your child know that their Savannah kids dentist will be checking to make sure their teeth are strong and healthy, and cleaning their smile so it sparkles. Don’t give too many details, and avoid words like drill, shots, or things related to pain. Putting a positive spin on dental visits helps kids to view the experience as something good rather than scary.

Read Books

Books are a fun, familiar resource for children of any age. Put their minds at ease with a colorful book on dental care for kids. Take it a step further and try to find a book, movie, or show that portrays your child’s favorite character going to the dentist or taking care of their smiles at home. The key is to familiarize and normalize dental care, making it non-threatening and enjoyable.

Practice Going to the Dentist!

You can get your child comfortable—even excited—about visiting the dentist by playing pretend. Alternate and let your child play both roles. Grab a small mirror and count each of his or her teeth, and then use a toothbrush to do a pretend cleaning. Then reverse and have your child be the dentist. Your child may even look forward to having their dentist check their teeth!

Provide Positive Reinforcement

While kids may not understand the benefits of going to the dentist now, there are ways you can provide positive reinforcement without giving in to bribery. Teach your child about the good things that happen when visiting your dentist’s office, like the toys they can play with, the fun flavors of toothpaste they’ll get to choose, and the goodie bag of items to help them grow strong, healthy teeth and gums.

Make It Comfortable

When it comes time for the appointment, your dentist will allow you to accompany your child to most visits. Bringing along a favorite stuffed animal or blanket may help ease nerves. You’ll also be able to be close to your child and hold his or her hand during the visit, which will provide a calming presence. Try being silly or telling some jokes to lighten up the situation if your child is nervous. Humor goes a long way in easing anxiety.

Dental Care For Kids

At Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, we go above and beyond to provide exceptional care and compassionate service for kids of all ages. Throughout our years as your Statesboro and Savannah kids dentist, we’ve helped countless young patients overcome their dental phobias and go on to have a comfortable, pleasant experience. Many of our patients look forward to their visits with us! Each member of our friendly staff is here to provide gentle, compassionate care to each patient we see. When visiting us, your child will soon discover there is nothing to be afraid of!

We’re also pleased to offer sedation dentistry services for children who have more difficulty or who need special care.

Book An Appointment Today!

If you’re ready to provide your child with exceptional dental care, book an appointment with Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry today. You may also fill out our contact form with any questions. We look forward to providing you with the superior care your family deserves!

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Food As Bad As Candy

We all know that candy can easily rot a child’s teeth, but unfortunately, it’s far from the only danger when it comes to your child’s diet. Some foods are just as bad as candy for a child’s teeth, and sometimes, even worse. At Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, our mission is to help kids throughout Savannah and Statesboro develop beautiful, healthy smiles through comprehensive pediatric dental treatment, so we’d like to highlight a few foods that can contribute to tooth decay just as much as candy.

Top Foods That Damage the Teeth

Controlling and moderating the consumption of sweets is important for helping your child maintain a healthy smile, but unfortunately, candy isn’t the only culprit. Here are a few common foods that can be just as damaging as candy for your child’s smile:

  • Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits may be delicious and packed with Vitamin C, but they’re also packed with acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Overexposure to citrus fruit can weaken the enamel and leave the teeth vulnerable to bacteria and cavities. 
  • Potato Chips: Crunchy snacks like potato chips are free of sugars and most acids, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Unfortunately, the carbohydrates in starchy snacks break down into sugars, which combine with bacteria to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Plus, potato chips can stick themselves to the teeth after chewing, allowing them to sit on the tooth for a long time and slowly corrode the enamel. 
  • Pickles: Pickled cucumbers may seem like a relatively healthy snack for kids that like them, but the vinegar can cause problems. Vinegar is acidic and has a low pH of 2.4, which means it breaks down the enamel in the same way as citrus. 
  • Popcorn: While popcorn isn’t bad for the teeth offhand, it can cause a problem later on. When popcorn shells get lodged between the teeth and under the gums, they can trigger an infection of the gums and a host of other problems. 

Contact Your Savannah, GA Kids Dentist

All of these foods pose a risk to your child’s healthy smile, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely off-limits. What matters is to ensure your child consumes foods like this in moderation, and to always practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. We wish you luck in maintaining a tooth-friendly diet for your child, and if you still have questions, feel free to contact us to learn more about pediatric dental health. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit

As your premier choice when it comes to providing dentistry for children, we at Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry are always glad to go above and beyond in delivering the most compassionate care in our dentist office for kids. We offer a wide variety of pediatric dentistry services that are aimed to set up your child for a lifetime of healthy smiles. While we’re always here to do all we can to help while your child is in our office, it’s also important for you to keep an eye out for any potentially harmful oral habits that he or she engages in throughout daily life. One of these habits is thumb sucking, a behavior that’s more harmful than it seems. 

Why Thumb Sucking Is Harmful

Many people don’t realize thumb sucking can actually cause oral problems for a child. Since children are constantly developing, a child that engages in thumb sucking will have the pressure of the thumb interfere with natural jaw growth and tooth eruption when it rests against the gums. This can end up causing crooked teeth and other orthodontic problems, such as an open bite (where the upper teeth and lower teeth don’t overlap). This isn’t merely a cosmetic issue – it can make it more difficult for a child to chew, speak and interfere with sleeping habits. In most cases, thumb sucking is completely natural and will typically go away on its own. However, this isn’t always the case. If thumb sucking continues after your child has reached the age of four, it’s vital that you take steps to stop this behavior.

How to Stop a Thumb Sucking Habit

Thankfully, there are many different strategies for how to stop a thumb-sucking habit. Your kids’ dentist in Savannah and Statesboro recommends that you first try the following.

  • Openly Communicate with Your Child – Oftentimes, the best method to stop a thumb sucking habit is simply to talk to your child about it. Many children don’t recognize the oral problems that thumb sucking can cause, which is why they continue to do it. You should first talk to your child about why thumb sucking is harmful and why it’s so important to curb this habit.
  • Praise or Reward Your Child – Reinforcing proper behavior is very important. However, you should try to focus on making sure that your reinforcement is positive rather than negative. Praise – or even reward – your child if he or she lessens the act of thumb sucking. Feel free to get creative with your rewards – you could buy a new toy, allow for some dessert or delay bedtime!
  • Avoid Problematic Circumstances – For some patients, the thumb sucking may occur in certain situations or times. If you’re noticing a pattern where your child begins to suck his or her thumb, it’s best to either avoid these circumstances completely or just keep your child occupied during these times. When your child is distracted or has his or her hands occupied, the thumb-sucking should be prevented.

Contact Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry Today!

If previous methods aren’t quite working the way that you’d like, we also offer habit appliances that are made to curb harmful oral habits. Feel free to contact us at (912) 298-KIDS or (912)-402-KIDS if you have any questions about our office or your child. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child in Savannah or Statesboro, please don’t hesitate to request a visit. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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The Importance of Choosing a Pediatric Dentist 

Thank you for considering Dogwood Pediatric Dentistry, your home for children’s dentistry in Savannah and Statesboro, GA. As providers of dentistry for children, we’re glad to offer a plethora of preventive dentistry services in our warm and welcoming, family-friendly environment. While we pride ourselves on the dental care that we offer, we’re well aware that patients have many options to choose from. In fact, when choosing a dentist, you may notice that there’s a number of different types of dentists – from general to cosmetic to family. We want to take this time to tell you why you should come and visit us for all your children’s dental needs instead of visiting a general dentist. 

The Difference Your Kid’s Dentist Offers

While the obvious difference between children and adults when it comes to dental care is that children’s teeth occasionally fall out, there’s actually so much more to take into consideration. Children require their very own specialized attention and care; unlike general dentists, pediatric dentists are capable of giving that to them. Pediatric dentists have extra training beyond dental school which allows them to better understand the needs of children. While general dentists and pediatric dentists may both be equally qualified and skilled in helping patients, general dentists don’t have the same training to specifically deal with all of a child’s unique needs.

Advantages of Your Kid’s Dentist

There are many reasons why you should consider going to a pediatric dentist in Savannah and Statesboro like us over a general dentist. Here are just a few of them:

  • Pediatric dentists require an additional two years of training beyond dental school. In these two years, they’ll learn valuable skills that will provide exclusive dental benefits to children. They’ll learn about child behavior and psychology, the treatment of developing teeth, and the ability to make kids feel more comfortable during treatment.
  • At Dogwood we are focused on the treatment of kids, which means there’s a greater emphasis on preventive dentistry and stopping any bad oral habits. This proves to be much more helpful for children, especially in the long term.
  • Additionally, pediatric dentists offer many beneficial services to help ease the nerves of children, such as sedation dentistry.
  • A dentist’s office for kids will typically provide a much more kid-friendly and comfortable environment.
  • Since dental care is often provided exclusively to children, your pediatric dentists will have unparalleled levels of experience when it comes to dealing with kids.

Visit Us for Fun and Professional Children’s Dentistry!

If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with us for your child in Savannah or Statesboro, GA, please feel free to give us a call at (912) 298-KIDS or (912)-402-KIDS. Alternatively, you can request a visit through our website. We can’t wait to see you and provide your child with the best and most personalized dental care in our dentist’s office for kids!

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