Tag: semi annual dental exams

Office safety

A lot of time, thought and safety equipment upgrades have been made to ensure that new and returning patients of Dr. Baker, as well as our own staff, are safe during routine exams, cleanings and other procedures. We enacted these measures based on recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA) Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit.

Here are a few of the safety initiatives we’ve put together to make everyone feel comfortable at our office:

Screening—You will be asked a series of questions about exhibiting common symptoms before your appointment and upon arrival. Your temperature will also be taken prior to admittance. If you are feeling at all unwell, please consider rescheduling your appointment.

Cleaning—We will be wiping down areas such as the counters, clipboards, chair rests and other high-touch areas thoroughly after each patient visit, just as we have always done. The fish tank is still bubbling away, but we’ve eliminated magazines and other communal objects. There are a few seats available for those who must wait in the lobby, but the staff requests people either come alone or have people wait outside.

Masked—Dr. Baker and the hygienists will wear masks and shields when performing procedures, while the front staff will use masks. This is for our health and safety as well as yours.  If you are being treated by one of our hygienists, a cone-shaped suction apparatus will be used by the patient to help block any fluid or air particles from scattering during a dental process.

Scrubs—All staff changes into or out of scrubs and “office wear” at the start and end of each shift. That way, we leave anything that might be a contaminate at the office and also don’t bring in anything from outside.

Purified—In each room and the front office, HEPA air purifiers have been installed to help clean and clear the air. Hand sanitizers stations are set up around the office for convenience and safety.

Thank you for understanding and working with us to keep everyone safe during this unique time. If you have any questions, please call us at 586-992-9222.

Going beyond checking for cavities

Scheduled visits to the dentist are more than just checking for cavities and  routine cleaning. Dentists like Dr. Baker and their professional teams are at the forefront of recognizing and preventing oral cancer. More than 51,500 people are diagnosed with the disease every year and it claims nearly 10,000 lives.

There are many factors that contribute to the cancers of the mouth, throat, tonsils and tongue. While oral cancer traditionally afflicts older men (50 and older) who indulge in tobacco (pipe and smokeless) and excessive drinking, the disease is also being seen in younger adults as a result of the virus HPV16.

April is oral cancer awareness month. While a professional checkup is the best way to detect oral cancer, contact your dental care provider if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:

  • Any mouth sore or ulceration that does not heal within 14 days.
  • Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched.
  • A red, white, or black discoloration of the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually border of the tongue.
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, does not heal.
  • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth.
  • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, that has been there for at least two weeks.

The signs and symptoms of HPV-caused oropharyngeal cancer are a bit different and can go on for longer than two-three weeks and may include one or more of the following:

  • Hoarseness or sore throat.
  • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.
  • Constant coughing that does not resolve.
  • Difficulty swallowing; a sensation that food is getting caught in your throat.
  • An earache on one side that persists for more than a few days.

April is oral cancer month awareness month and while COVID-19 has disrupted our typical routine, Dr. Baker and the Smiles by Baker team in Shelby Township want you to know they remain steadfast in providing clients any dental assistance they can during this time. Please call the office at (586)-992-9222 with any concerns.

Sources: Oral Cancer Foundation, American Dental Association.

New Year Resolutions for Dental Health

If you usually include a healthy effort as a New Year resolution, why not this year put your money where your mouth is, literally, and turn your attention to making dental health a top priority in 2020.

The cool thing is, even if your resolution doesn’t include brushing or flossing, many other typical resolutions will also have benefits on your oral health. Quitting smoking, eating healthier and limiting alcoholic drinking will all help improve your teeth and gums as well as your overall health.

Here are some good dental habits to begin the new year right!

2 x 2—Scientists say it takes 66 days (just over two months) to form a good habit. If you start today, by mid-March, the healthy routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day will be totally second-nature for you. Make sure one of those times is before bed to clean off the accumulation of food from the day.

See ya, soda—Soda, especially energy drinks, are basically liquid sugar, which is extremely detrimental to your teeth’s protective enamel layer and can lead to all sorts of oral health issues including decay and tooth loss. Diet or sugar-free sodas are not much better as the acid content in them can do serious damage to the drinker’s teeth. Consider seltzer water as a refreshing alternative.

Make a date—Resolve to making you and your family’s cleaning appointments within the first month of the new year; as well as scheduling recommended dental work like crowns, implants and fillings for later on.

Change it up—When you change out all the batteries (and recycle them!) in the house, don’t neglect changing your toothbrush. Old, crushed and corroded toothbrushes don’t clean effectively and are just harborers of germs and crud.

Healthy eating—You know the foods to avoid, but did you know that there are some foods that are actually helpful in protecting your teeth? Cheese and cranberries have been shown to protect tooth enamel by “sticking” to your teeth and forming a protective coating on the enamel, while other foods like apples, celery and carrots naturally help clean your teeth while snacking on them.

Five dental resolutions for 2018

Many of us are making resolutions to exercise, lose weight and get organized.  What about your teeth? Here are a few suggested resolutions to help your smile stay bright and healthy.

  1. Brush twice a day and floss daily. Brushing your teeth twice a day fights plaque and decay.  Flossing gets rid of food particles trapped between your teeth and gums that a toothbrush just can’t reach.
  2. Use mouthwash. A daily rinse with antiseptic mouthwash will help kill germs and bacteria that you can’t reach with a toothbrush. Mouthwash will also freshen your breath and fight plaque.
  3. Drink more water. At least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day is the recommendation. If you are drinking water, you are less likely to drink cola, tea and coffee, which can stain your teeth.
  4. Use protective devices. Wear a custom-fitted mouth guard when playing sports (even during practice!) to protect those pearly whites.
  5. Visit your dentist twice a year. Taking care of your teeth at home is just the first step in keeping a bright and healthy smile. Your dentist can diagnose and treat any potential problems before they become big issues.