August 31st, 2022
Labor Day honors the contributions that workers have made to this country, and for many Americans, the holiday is a great time to relax at home with family and friends. But there are quite a few people who celebrate the holiday by getting out of town, with an estimated 33 million people traveling more than 50 miles over Labor Day weekend each year. If you’re dreaming of a great Labor Day escape but you’re not quite sure where to go, here are a few ideas from our team at Baker Orthodontics to give you some travel inspiration.
Explore a National Park
On a national holiday like Labor Day, it’s only fitting to experience the beauty of America’s landscapes by heading to the nearest national park. If you’re confined to an office most days of the year, national parks can provide a relaxing and scenic escape, whether you’re by yourself, traveling with a group of friends, or bringing the whole family along. Depending on how close you live to the nearest park, you can stay for an afternoon or for longer than a week. With 58 parks located in 27 states, there are plenty of beautiful areas to choose from.
Chow Down in a BBQ Haven
Barbecuing is a popular Labor Day activity, but instead of sweating over your own grill or oven, try visiting one of the country’s BBQ capitals. U.S. News and World Report names Memphis as the top BBQ destination, with more than 80 BBQ restaurants in the city, most notably Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Kansas City is also known for the sweet taste of its sauces, while central Texas is said to have perfected the technique of smoking tender and flavorful brisket.
Relax on the Beach
Many people think of Labor Day as the unofficial start of fall, which brings cooler temperatures, more rain, and for many people, an end to lazy days at the beach. End your beach days with a bang by taking a trip to one of the coasts or to a lakeside beach. For an added dose of festivity, find a city or town that celebrates the occasion with a fireworks display over the water.
Whether you’re looking to turn your getaway into a full week affair or you simply want to experience a quick escape, make the most of your holiday by changing your surrounding scenery. Happy Labor Day from the orthodontic practice of Dr. David Baker!
August 24th, 2022
Perhaps you feel your teeth are not perfectly straight, or you think your bite could be adjusted. It’s quite possible that braces and other orthodontic treatments might be the right choice for you. As orthodontic professionals, our team at Baker Orthodontics works with your general dentist in order to determine the best options for your oral health and cosmetic appearance.
You might need braces if ...
- You lost your baby teeth relatively early in life. If your baby teeth fell out too early and your adult teeth did not come in for a while, this could have affected the way your adult teeth grew and developed.
- Your teeth look crowded or crooked. If you are embarrassed to smile because your teeth are not straight, it might be time to consider the cosmetic options available to you.
- Your jaw shifts or makes sounds. This can signify a developmental issue with your teeth and your jaw line, and orthodontic treatment may be able to help. Set up an appointment with Dr. David Baker if your jaw is recessed or protruding as well.
- You are constantly biting the sides of your cheek or hitting the roof of your mouth. This could indicate that your teeth are not properly aligned. Braces can address an underbite or an overbite.
- You have a difficult time chewing your food. This is not only an inconvenience, but it can also be detrimental for your health. Braces can help fix the alignment of your teeth.
- You have to breathe through your mouth on a regular basis. You may not attribute this to an issue with the development of your teeth or jaw, but orthodontic treatment might be able to help.
The ideal age for a child to be seen by an orthodontist is age seven. However, there are many orthodontic treatment options available to adults. It is becoming increasingly common for adults to wear braces and other orthodontic devices. We recommend that people who are interested in braces and other orthodontic treatment options set up a consultation appointment with Dr. David Baker today.
August 17th, 2022
Now that you’re a teenager, you have a lot more responsibility and independence. Choosing high school classes and electives. Getting a driver’s license. Landing your first job. And those new responsibilities extend to your dental health as well!
If you’ve just gotten braces, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Learning how to brush and floss effectively, attaching rubber bands several times a day, keeping track of your hours if you’re wearing clear aligners—it can seem like a lot. But you can do it! With time and practice, caring for your braces will become just another part of your daily routine. Dr. David Baker and our team are here to make sure you have all the information and tools you need to succeed. The most important thing to remember is that the better you follow our instructions, the quicker and more effective your orthodontic treatment will be.
If you’ve successfully completed your orthodontic treatment, dealing with your retainer should be a piece of cake! We will give you clear instructions on how long each day you should wear your retainer. Sticking to this schedule is really important--if you don’t wear the appliance as directed, you can undo some of the progress you’ve worked so hard to make. And when you’re not wearing your retainer, be sure it has a safe life outside your mouth. Keep it in a protective case, and keep it someplace where the puppy/the washing machine/the cafeteria trash bin won’t find it.
If you have a mouthguard for sports or athletic activities, wear it! Whether you have an over-the-counter device or a custom fabricated guard, it won’t do you any good hiding in your locker. A mouthguard cuts down on tooth and facial injuries caused by falls, physical contact, or other accidents that might happen in your active life. And if you wear braces, ask about a mouthguard designed to fit around them. These custom devices protect your braces and your mouth.
Finally, remember that sticking with your dental routine—two minutes of brushing morning and night and thorough flossing each day—will keep your gums and teeth healthy throughout your teen years. And, if you have any questions about your dental health in general, or a specific dental concern, give our Portland or Vancouver office a call! We’re here to work with you for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
August 10th, 2022
Now that you’ve graduated from your braces or aligners, you might think you’re finished with orthodontic cleaning tips. Not quite yet! Your retainer needs love, too—not just because it can look or smell “less than appealing” without your help, but because it’s good for your dental health.
If you have a Hawley retainer or a clear retainer, cleaning it whenever you remove it is a great idea. Unappetizing white patches mean plaque or mineral deposits from your saliva have dried and hardened on your retainer’s surface. And if you notice an unpleasant taste or odor, it probably means that germs and bacteria have made themselves at home and are growing in and on your appliance.
You don’t want old plaque or new bacteria in your mouth! Here are some ways to keep your retainer clean and fresh:
- After wearing it, you can clean your retainer with a toothbrush, but don’t brush too vigorously. You might scratch it. Use a soft or even extra-soft brush to clean out all the nooks and crannies, and then rinse.
- Use cleaning products which have been recommended by Dr. David Baker if your retainer needs a deeper clean. Denture cleaners, retainer cleaners, and even toothpastes can be too abrasive or cause discoloration, so use the products made for your specific retainer.
- Let your retainer dry before storing it in a dry place after cleaning. Shutting a damp retainer into a closed case provides bacteria with the damp, dark environment they thrive in. (PS—clean your case regularly, too!)
- One of the benefits of a clear retainer is that it’s almost invisible. And you can help keep it that way by removing it whenever you eat or drink. Your retainer can become stained from colored foods or liquids.
A permanent retainer is a small piece of wire that is custom-fit and bonded to the inside of selected teeth to keep them from shifting. Because food particles and plaque can accumulate around a fixed retainer, brushing after meals and at least twice a day is recommended. Bacteria and plaque cause bad breath, cavities, and tartar buildup, and removing tartar might require removing your retainer.
While a fixed retainer can be tricky to clean, there are techniques and products that make cleaning easier and more effective:
- An orthodontic toothbrush with a smaller head might reach behind your teeth more comfortably.
- Don’t forget to floss! Using a floss threader will help you get that wriggly floss behind the retainer and between your teeth.
- Try a water flosser. These handy devices direct a stream of water right into hard-to-reach places for more thorough cleaning.
If you’re having trouble keeping your retainer clean, our Portland or Vancouver orthodontic team can teach you all you need to know about tools and techniques to keep your retainer—and your teeth and gums—healthy. An attractive smile is a great thing. A healthy, attractive smile is even better!