Tag

sandfly family dental Archives - Carriage Trade PR

Sandfly Family Dental and Premier Dental Designs Welcome New Patient Coordinator, Sandy Virgin

By | Local NewsWIRE

Sandfly Family Dental and Premier Dental Designs Welcome New Patient Coordinator, Sandy Virgin

(SAVANNAH, GA) Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon are pleased to welcome Sandy Virgin to the general dentistry practices.

Sandy Virgin

Her duties as patient coordinator will entail greeting visitors and patients, answering the telephone, scheduling patient appointments, maintaining patient files, and submitting and processing insurance claims and payments.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sandy to the practice,” said Angela Canfield, owner of Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs. “She is genuinely enthusiastic about the well-being of our patients and will be a great asset to our team.”

Virgin’s previous experience includes serving as an operations expert for a mental health agency and as a patient coordinator for a large nonprofit dental agency. She attended Rockhurst University, where she studied business and office management.

“I am excited to work for a dentist who is always giving back to her community,” said Virgin. “Not only is this a supportive environment for both patients and staff, but the work we do and the projects we undertake are engaging and gratifying.”

Outside of her work duties, the Rumford, Maine, native enjoys going to the beach, hiking through wildlife preserves and reading. She is married and has two children.

ABOUT PREMIER DENTAL DESIGNS AND SANDFLY FAMILY DENTAL
Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She owns and practices at Premier Dental Designs in Rincon, 5871 Hwy 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®, Inc.
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Applications Sought for Free Mouth Shield Program for Local Sports Teams

By | Local NewsWIRE

Applications Sought for Free Mouth Shield Program for Local Sports Teams

(SAVANNAH, GA) Sports teams in the Savannah area are invited to apply for free custom-fit mouth guards for their upcoming season courtesy of Angela Canfield, a local dentist who operates Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon.

 

Angela Canfield Sandfly Family Dental Donates Mouth Guards to Bethesda Academy - 2017 Canfield Mouth Shield

Canfield fitting Bethesda Academy football player for custom-made mouth guard

Canfield will accept applications until Monday, July 1 for the 2019 Canfield Mouth Shield Program, which will provide mouth guards in team colors, valued at up to $10,000, for the team chosen for the program.

“Team sports are a major part of growing up in Savannah, but players need protective gear when they are out on the field or arena,” Canfield said. “Sports injuries are frightening, but wearing custom-fit mouth guards significantly reduces the risk of severe injuries to the teeth and jaw.”

Canfield developed and implemented the mouth guard program in 2014 as a way to help athletes in the greater Savannah area maintain a healthy smile. The first recipients were members of the Benedictine Military School football team. Since then, recipients have included teams at Groves High School, Hancock Day School, Bethesda Academy, Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School.

The program is open to teams in numerous sports, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, wrestling and roller derby.

“Nearly half of all kids will experience some type of damage to a tooth before they finish growing up, and that damage often comes as a sports injury,” Canfield said. “While these injuries are not usually life-threatening, serious complications could occur and restorations can be costly. Injuries can also have long-lasting effects on a person’s appearance and self-confidence.”

The custom-made mouth guards provide stability to the players’ jaws and cushion blows that can cause severe dental injuries such as broken teeth, fractured jaws, gum lacerations and injuries to the lips or tongue.

Canfield will donate the mouth guards, valued at $85 each, to every player on the selected team. Each appliance includes a one-year warranty that covers any dental expenses incurred by players while wearing the mouth guards. The warranty pays $1,093.75 per injured or replaced tooth up to a maximum of $35,000 per incident. Since the program started, Canfield has donated almost $100,000 worth of protective gear to local student-athletes.

Applications must be received by Monday, July 1. For more information or to apply, visit https://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/mouth-shield-program/

ABOUT PREMIER DENTAL DESIGNS AND SANDFLY FAMILY DENTAL
Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She practices at and owns two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs located in Rincon, GA, 5871 HWY 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah, GA. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
savannahpublicrelations@gmail.com
912.856.9075

Angela Canfield of Sandfly Family Dental and Premier Dental Designs Offers Free Oral Cancer Screenings in April

By | Local NewsWIRE

Angela Canfield of Sandfly Family Dental and Premier Dental Designs Offers Free Oral Cancer Screenings in April

(SAVANNAH, GA) In recognition of April being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon will offer free oral cancer screenings on Thursday, April 11 and Thursday, April 25. The exams normally cost as much as $80.

“I recommend anyone 18 and older to be tested annually for oral cancer,” said Dr. Angela Canfield, who owns both offices. “The oral cancer screening light shows a change in oral tissue that warrants a biopsy. For patients who show a change in tissue, I usually suggest a follow-up visit with an oral surgeon or an ear nose and throat specialist, depending on the levels found.”

The oral cancer screening is noninvasive and takes less than 10 minutes. While the screenings will be free, an appointment is necessary.

The death rate associated with oral cancer is high not just because it is hard to discover or diagnose but because it frequently is discovered late in its development. In the United States, one person dies every 60 minutes because of oral cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, 43 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancers will die within five years. While the disease has few, if any, early symptoms, early detection can increase survival rates to as much as 90 percent.

Oral cancer typically is associated with long-term tobacco use, but it’s becoming more frequent in young adults who have never smoked.

For more information, please contact Premier Dental Designs by calling (912) 826-4037 or visiting http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/.

For Savannah residents, please call (912) 349-0472 or visit http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

Angela Canfield

ABOUT PREMIER DENTAL DESIGNS AND SANDFLY FAMILY DENTAL
Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She owns and practices at Premier Dental Designs in Rincon, 5871 Hwy 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Cradduck
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
cynthia@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Creating Good Dental Habits at an Early Age by Angela C. Canfield, DDS

By | Local NewsWIRE

Creating Good Dental Habits at an Early Age
by Angela C. Canfield, DDS

It’s always a good time to think about the health of your children’s teeth. The routines you set in stone now will carry your children into adulthood and set the stage for healthy teeth.

When it comes to those teeth, a tried-and-true parental friend comes in handy: routine. Brushing and flossing should be a part of your child’s daily routine in the morning and before bed.

But additional routines are needed too. I’m talking about a twice-a-year dental checkup. You don’t want a dental visit to become a time of trauma and dread because of a dental emergency. A positive, cheerful visit with a dentist who understands children’s needs and is experienced in dealing with them should be as much a part of a child’s life as checkups with a pediatrician, back-to-school supply shopping or a photo with Santa.

For parents who want to build dental care into their children’s lifelong habits, the American Dental Association’s consumer website, mouthhealthy.org, can be a useful tool. It isn’t a preachy site full of boring demands to brush, brush, brush. It has helpful, real-world advice that parents can put to good use. The section with suggestions on tooth fairy visits almost reminds me of a sort of Pinterest for teeth.

Someday, your child will be a senior, not just a high school senior, but much, much later, a senior as in “senior citizen.” Whether that future senior citizen is eating with his or her own teeth 75 years from now has a lot to do with what you are teaching your child right now.

You wouldn’t take any aspect of your child’s health for granted, but some parents overlook the fact that dental health is health. Sometimes, a special promotion like National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder to make sure your children have a healthy dental routine.

Angela Canfield DDS

Angela Canfield DDS

Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentist. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs (www.premierdentaldesigns.com/located in Rincon, GA, and Sandfly Family Dental (https://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/) in Savannah, GA. Contact Dr. Canfield at molar799@yahoo.com or 912-826-4037

Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School Received Custom Mouth Guards from Sandfly Family Dental

By | Local NewsWIRE

(SAVANNAH, GA) Football teams from Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School received free custom mouth guards courtesy of the 2018 Canfield Mouth Shield Program sponsored by Dr. Angela Canfield of Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon.

This was the fifth year Canfield has donated mouth guards to local schools. These custom-made mouth guards provide stability to the players’ jaws and cushion blows that can cause severe dental injuries such as broken teeth, fractured jaws, gum lacerations and injuries to their lips or tongue.

Savannah Christian has three football teams that benefited from the donation: a fifth- and sixth-grade team, a seventh- and eighth-grade team and a high school team.

“We are excited to use this gift as a chance to educate our players on safety fundamentals,” said Eddie Wilson, a school board member and volunteer head coach for the SCPS fifth- and sixth-grade team.

Jenkins High School is the first Savannah public school to win consecutive regional football titles during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. Canfield’s donation will allow the team to put more of its booster club’s fundraising capacities toward providing pre- and post-game meals for its players.

“Properly fitted mouth guards are proven to reduce the damage of impacts that often lead to concussions and other severe injuries,” Canfield said. “It is a privilege to put my time and expertise toward protecting local athletes from these types of injuries.”

The full fitting, molding and examination of each player’s mouth guards usually costs $440. Between Jenkins and SCPS, 177 players will benefit from this donation, which amounts to $51,480 of donated protection pieces.

These mouth guards have a one-year warranty that covers dental expenses incurred by players who are injured while wearing the mouth guards. The warranty also pays $1,093.75 per injured or replaced tooth and up to a maximum total liability of $35,000 per incident.

Jenkins High School football team gets fitted for custom mouth guards by Dr. Angela Canfield of Sandfly Family Dental and Premier Dental Designs.

Custom Mouth Guard Fittings

Dr. Angela Canfield fits the football players of Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School for custom mouth guards.

ABOUT DR. ANGELA CANFIELD
Dr. Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentist. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs in Rincon at 5871 HWY 21 South and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/.

CONTACT
Angela C. Canfield
molar799@yahoo.com
912-713-1398 Cell
912-826-4037 office

MEDIA CONTACT
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School to Receive Custom Mouth Guards from Sandfly Family Dental

By | Local NewsWIRE

Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School to Receive Custom Mouth Guards from Sandfly Family Dental

(SAVANNAH, GA) Football teams from Jenkins High School and Savannah Christian Preparatory School will receive free custom mouth guards courtesy of the 2018 Canfield Mouth Shield Program sponsored by Dr. Angela Canfield of Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon.

This will be the fifth year Canfield has donated mouth guards to local schools. These custom-made mouth guards provide stability to the players’ jaws and cushion blows that can cause severe dental injuries such as broken teeth, fractured jaws, gum lacerations and injuries to their lips or tongue.

Sandfly Family Dental, Savannah Dentist, Savannah Public Relations, Carriage Trade Public Relations, Cecilia Russo Marketing

Savannah Christian has three football teams that will benefit from the donation: a fifth- and sixth-grade team, a seventh- and eighth-grade team and a high school team.

“We are excited to use this gift as a chance to educate our players on safety fundamentals,” said Eddie Wilson, a school board member and volunteer head coach for the SCPS fifth- and sixth-grade team.

Jenkins High School is the first Savannah public school to win consecutive regional football titles during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. Canfield’s donation will allow the team to put more of its booster club’s fundraising capacities toward providing pre- and post-game meals for its players.

“Properly fitted mouth guards are proven to reduce the damage of impacts that often lead to concussions and other severe injuries,” Canfield said. “It is a privilege to put my time and expertise toward protecting local athletes from these types of injuries.”

The full fitting, molding and examination of each player’s mouth guards usually costs $440. Between Jenkins and SCPS, 177 players will benefit from this donation, which amounts to $51,480 of donated protection pieces.

These mouth guards will have a one-year warranty that covers dental expenses incurred by players who are injured while wearing the mouth guards. The warranty also pays $1,093.75 per injured or replaced tooth and up to a maximum total liability of $35,000 per incident.

ABOUT DR. ANGELA CANFIELD
Dr. Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentist. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs in Rincon at 5871 HWY 21 South and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/.

CONTACT
Angela C. Canfield
molar799@yahoo.com
912-713-1398 Cell
912-826-4037 office

MEDIA CONTACT
Cecilia Russo
Cecilia Russo Marketing
912-665-0005
info@crussomarketing.com

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations, Inc.
912-844-9990
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

Applications Sought for Free Mouth-Guard Program for Local Sports Teams

By | Local NewsWIRE

Applications Sought for Free Mouth-Guard Program for Local Sports Teams

(SAVANNAH, GA) Any high school or group that offers team sports in the Savannah area is invited to apply for free custom-fit mouth guards for their upcoming season courtesy of Angela Canfield, a local dentist who operates Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon.

Angela Canfield Sandfly Family Dental Donates Mouth Guards to Bethesda Academy - 2017 Canfield Mouth Shield

Canfield fitting Bethesda Academy football player for custom-made mouth guard

Canfield is accepting applications until Monday, July 2 for the 2018 Canfield Mouth Shield Program that will provide mouth guards in team colors, valued at up to $10,000, for the team chosen for the program.

“Giving back to the community and protecting young mouths is a priority for me and my team,” Canfield said. “I choose to donate the gear because these children deserve to have healthy smiles and research shows that wearing custom-fit mouth guards while playing sports reduces the risk of severe injuries to the teeth and jaw.”

Canfield developed and implemented the mouth-guard program in 2014 as a way to help kids in the greater Savannah area maintain a healthy smile. The first recipient was the Benedictine Military School football team. Since then, she has provided mouth guards to organizations that include Groves High School, Hancock Day School and Bethesda Academy.

The program is open to teams in numerous sports, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball and wrestling.

“Nearly 50 percent of kids will experience some type of damage to a tooth, often in conjunction with a sports injury,” Canfield said. “While these injuries are not usually life-threatening, serious complications could occur and restorations can be costly. Injuries can also have long-lasting effects on a child’s appearance and self-confidence.”

She said injuries may result from anything from direct contact to a misplaced step while running. The custom-made mouth guards provide stability to the players’ jaws and cushion blows that can cause severe dental injuries such as broken teeth, fractured jaws, gum lacerations and injuries to the lips or tongue.

Canfield will donate the mouth guards, valued at $85 each, to every player on the selected team. Each appliance includes a one-year warranty that covers any dental expenses incurred by players while wearing the mouth guards. The warranty pays $1,093.75 per injured or replaced tooth up to a maximum of $35,000 per incident. Since the program started, Canfield has donated over $40,000 worth of protective gear to local student-athletes.

Applications must be received by Monday, July 2. For more information or to apply, visit http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/community/

ABOUT PREMIER DENTAL DESIGNS AND SANDFLY FAMILY DENTAL
Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She practices at and owns two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs located in Rincon, GA, 5871 HWY 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah, GA. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Free Oral Cancer Screenings in April

By | Local NewsWIRE

Free Oral Cancer Screenings in April

(SAVANNAH, GA) In recognition of April being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Angela Canfield of Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah and Premier Dental Designs in Rincon will offer free oral cancer screenings throughout the month at both of her offices. These exams normally cost up to $80.

Every 60 minutes, a person dies from oral cancer. The disease is typically associated with long-term tobacco use, but it is becoming more frequent in young adults who have never smoked. According to the National Cancer Institute, 40 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancers will die within five years. While the disease has few, if any, early symptoms, early detection can make a dramatic difference, increasing survival rates to as much as 90 percent.

“I recommend anyone 18 and older to be tested annually for oral cancer,” Canfield said. “Results can vary from negative to being ‘high risk’ or positive. For patients who test positive for precancerous cells, I usually suggest a follow-up visit with an ear nose and throat specialist, depending on the levels found.”

The oral cancer screening is noninvasive and takes less than 10 minutes. By using a VELscope to shine a visible blue light in the mouth, Canfield’s staff will be able to detect suspicious tissue that is abnormal.

While the screenings will be free, an appointment is necessary.

For more information, please contact Premier Dental Designs by calling (912) 826-4037 or visiting http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/. For Savannah residents, please call (912) 349-0472 or visit http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

ABOUT PREMIER DENTAL DESIGNS AND SANDFLY FAMILY DENTAL
Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She owns and practices at Premier Dental Designs in Rincon, 5871 Hwy 21 South, and Sandfly Family Dental in the Norwood Market in Savannah. Both offices provide Family/Preventative Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry, Orthodontic Dentistry, Digital X-Rays, E4D One Day Crowns, Electronic Claims, Intra Oral Camera and Paperless Charting. The offices are open Monday through Friday and offer evening appointments. For more information, call 912.826.4037 or visit http://www.premierdentaldesigns.com/ or http://www.sandflyfamilydental.com/

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations®
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075

Why Dental Care Should be Included in Our Healthcare Plans

By | Local NewsWIRE, Savannah, Georgia Public Relations Firm, PR Agency

Angela Canfield DDS

Why Dental Care Should be Included in Our Healthcare Plans
By Angela C. Canfield DDS

Did you know the No. 1 reason people don’t visit a dentist in the U.S. is the financial burden? Individuals with dental insurance and those without avoid dental exams because of cost. This unfortunate truth has serious implications for the healthcare system and patients alike.

The state of our oral health impacts our overall health. Advanced gum disease is linked to heart disease, diabetes and a number of other medical issues. Without healthy teeth, individuals can have difficulty chewing and biting, which could result in adverse diet changes and have negative effects on one’s nutrition.

In addition, 30 percent of low-income adults report that their dental condition affects their ability to interview successfully for a job.

While pushes have been made to begin programs that offer individuals various types of dental care, efforts to initiate a nationwide oral health care policy have been minimal.

I have seen firsthand the effects poor dental health can have on an individual’s general health and overall quality of life. Access to dental care should be available for everyone.

To increase awareness of the change our current system needs, I’ve listed my top five reasons for including dental care in our healthcare system.

1. Dental health corresponds to overall health. Early symptoms of various health issues are actually spotted by dentists first, and poor dental health often leads to other health-related complications.

2. Just as they visit a doctor for annual checkups, individuals should schedule regular dental visits. This isn’t the reality for many people who can’t afford to see a dentist regularly.

3. According to Delta Dental, individuals with gum disease are at a greater risk for heart disease than individuals with healthy gums.

4. Prevention is less expensive than treatment. Visiting a dentist twice a year for routine checkups will cost less than treating a mouth full of years of neglect.

5. Oral infections can cause infections elsewhere. Without a strong immune system, oral bacteria in the bloodstream can affect other areas of the body as well. Infective endocarditis, which affects an individual’s heart valves, is one example.

If you have similar thoughts on the lack of dental care in our healthcare system, please contact U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter at 6602 Abercorn Street, Suite 105B Savannah, GA 31405 or at (912) 352-0101.

In the meantime, remember to visit your dentist regularly and practice excellent oral hygiene daily.

Angela Canfield, DDS, is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentists. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs in Rincon, Ga., and Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah, Ga. Contact Dr. Canfield at molar799@yahoo.com or 912-826-4037.

Practicing Good Dental Health at Any Age

By | Local NewsWIRE

Practicing Good Dental Health at Any Age

by Dr. Angela Canfield, DDS

Making your teeth healthy and your smile shiny is a matter for all ages. Keep in mind, cavities can happen at any age. Adults are retaining their teeth longer, and dentures are not a given in the aging process. This trend also means cavities may be more likely. There is no time like the present to improve your at-home dental routine and stay informed of what to expect as your teeth age.

Whether caring for natural teeth or dentures, older adults face a variety of oral concerns from tooth decay to gum disease. And research has shown unhealthy bacteria in the mouth have a direct correlation to other more severe medical issues such as heart disease, pneumonia, dementia and diabetes.

Let’s make this simple and focus on the four key habits for a healthy mouth and smile for the young or young at heart: brush, floss, rinse and chew.

Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time is still the rule of thumb at any age. And contrary to what you may have been taught, you should be using a soft-bristled brush on your pearly whites. The proper technique for brushing includes small circular motions on the teeth and light back and forth strokes along the gum line with a fluoride toothpaste. Finish this step by lightly brushing your tongue to remove plaque and to ensure fresher breath.

Careful flossing is the next healthy habit to include in your daily routine. Floss between upper and lower teeth to remove plaque and any food particles that may have been missed by brushing. After flossing, be sure to rinse well with water.

Now it’s time to select your favorite flavor of mouthwash but be careful to choose one that does not contain alcohol. This healthy habit is important for cleaning biofilm and bacteria that you missed from brushing and flossing. Rinsing is also a great tool for getting an overall clean feeling.

The last habit to add to your daily plan may be your favorite. Chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking, has a positive effect on your oral health. Forget what you may have learned as a child and put your choppers to work with any flavor as long as it’s sugarless. Gum chewing for approximately 20 minutes produces saliva which in turn fights cavities, neutralizes plaque acids, protects the enamel to strengthen teeth and washes away any remaining food particles.

These four steps will take you a long way toward a healthy mouth, but let’s take it a step further and clear up a few other misconceptions to ensure tip-top hygiene for your mouth.

Older adults may still develop tooth or root decay due to gum recession. It is important to also clean the gums. You may initially see some bleeding from light brushing of the gums. This is a sign of infection and should stop once your gums are healthy again.

Another misconception I hear from some of my older patients is that the softening of teeth is normal. Your teeth should not become softer as you age. This tells me some sort of decay is happening, but the good news is treatments are available.

The final misconception that plagues many senior citizens is dry mouth. You may suffer from a chronic disease that is managed by medication. More than 400 medications are known to cause dry mouth. Treating this side effect can be as simple as drinking more water, rinsing more often and applying lip moisturizer.

I realize your oral health can easily be pushed aside by a busy lifestyle or other ailments. However, my hope for this month is that you make your oral health a top priority. A healthy mouth and smile are the first things people notice, and the rest of your body will appreciate this too.

Dr. Angela Canfield, DDS

Dr. Angela Canfield, DDS

Dr. Angela Canfield is licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry and the National Board of Dentistry. She owns and practices at two dental offices: Premier Dental Designs located in Rincon, GA, and Sandfly Family Dental in Savannah, GA. Contact Dr. Canfield at molar799@yahoo.com or 912-826-4037