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Last week we were able to take an afternoon before the long 4th of July weekend and gather as a team to celebrate the long hours and extra procedures it has taken to keep our team and patients safe over the last two months!

We decorated cookies from Indulgence Baking Co., tested out many tie dye techniques and were able to just take a breath and relax!

The fun event along with a 4-day holiday weekend has us rested and ready to finish out the summer while still navigating the additional safety procedures to protect our team and patients from COVID-19!

 

Did you know that brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once a day is instrumental in keeping yourself healthy?

While many things in your schedule probably look different than they did a couple of months ago, not everything has to. Keeping up with your oral hygiene is very important! Brushing and flossing regularly help prevent your teeth from decaying and you from developing gum disease. Flossing helps in addition to brushing by removing the plaque that builds between teeth and below the gum line. Diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body and your overall health; i.e. gum disease can be linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even premature births.

Please don’t forget to take the 2️⃣ minutes, twice daily to BRUSH and FLOSS!

Thanks to Jenna from Memories By Meyers for creating this tracker for us! Please feel free to print and share the tracker with anyone that might need a little boost in remembering to brush and floss. You could even have a little fun competition for everyone in your house to see who can finish the tracker first!

 

 

We have now been open for over a month after our COVID-19 related closure! We are so excited to be back helping our patients with their dental care!

For those with upcoming appointments, we wanted to give an idea of what to expect at your next visit:

PATIENTS

  • We will be contacting every patient prior to their scheduled appointment to confirm their appointment and to complete a COVID-19 screening. We will be rescheduling those patients with concerning symptoms, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
  • We ask that patients do not bring anyone else with them to their appointments, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Once patients arrive for their appointment, they will wait in their vehicle and call or text us to let us know they have arrived.
  • A team member will come out to the patient’s vehicle to take their temperature with an infrared thermometer. Patients with a temperature of 100.4 or above will be asked to reschedule their appointment. Patients with a temperature below 100.4 will be given a COVID-19 screening form to complete similar to the pre-screening questions they were previously asked over the phone.
  • Once we are ready for the patient, we will contact them to come in.
  • We encourage patients to wear masks as they are escorted in and out of our office.
  • Patients will use hand sanitizer upon entry and exit of the facility.

 

PROVIDERS & TEAM MEMBERS

  • All hygienists, assistants and doctors will have additional protective gear for certain procedures including N95 masks, eye wear, face shields, etc. and non-clinical team members will have masks.
  • All team members will both be asked the same screening questions as patients and have their temperatures taken daily as they arrive to work.
  • Additional surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected between patient visits.

 

If you have any questions about our additional protocols and processes, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

📱 701.237.4297 (call or text)
📧 info@savingsmilesdentistry.com

 

Did you know that we take blood pressure readings at some of our dental appointments?

We do this for a variety of reasons. First, we take it to establish a baseline for your health. This allows dentists to be aware of any risks associated with treatment. Dental anxiety is a very common condition. Fear and anxiety can raise your blood pressure, so we can encourage you to make sure that your blood pressure is normal and healthy.

We take blood pressure appointments that requires anesthetic, or a numbing agent. Undiagnosed hypertension affects about 30% of the American population and causes about 60,000 deaths per year. Some of the life-threatening conditions it can cause include heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.

Most people only have their blood pressure taken at their yearly physical, and many don’t routinely see their physicians. As dentists, we are able to see patients on a more frequent basis, which allows us to note potential warning signs. Exceedingly high blood pressure measurements are so serious, that we may delay treatment until the blood pressure has lowered or we may recommend you to visit your physician to have further evaluation.

Did you know that it can take years for a cavity to form and get through the outermost layer of the tooth called the enamel? But once the bacteria that causes cavities gets to the middle layer, the dentin, it can take only a couple months for that cavity to grow large enough where it can start to damage the pulp.

Each tooth has three layers:

The outer layer (ENAMEL): This is the hardest substance in the human body (85% mineral).

The middle layer (DENTIN): The dentin is harder than bone, but nowhere near as hard as enamel (47% mineral).

The innermost layer (PULP): This is where the nerve and blood supply to the teeth is located.

Many times when Dr. Johnson or I perform our routine dental exams we place “watches” in your electronic chart to indicate the start of a cavity (the cavity is just in the enamel). If that cavity grows large enough where it reaches the dentin, we need to treat that cavity as soon as possible to prevent it from reaching the pulp. If the pulp is reached, you run the risk of having a painful (abscessed) tooth. Trust me, having an abscessed tooth is not fun!

Dr. Johnson and I are better able to monitor “watches” in your chart and help educate and encourage you to keep up with regular dental care when you come in for cleanings and checkups at least 2 times per year. The frequent visits also allow us to diagnose and treat cavities when they are small. If you start to miss your periodic exams, we could start seeing an increased frequency of large cavities, other issues and severe tooth pain.

Please make sure to continue with your regular dental care, even through this pandemic! Most dental offices, including ours, are taking steps to keep their patients and team safe, while continuing with routine dental care. Click here to see what we are doing to keep our patients and team safe: Saving Smiles Dentistry COVID-19 Response.

If you are at an increased risk of complications from the novel COVID-19 virus, please continue bushing twice per day for two minutes and flossing daily until you feel you are able to visit your dental office for your regular cleanings and exams. If you have any questions about keeping up with your dental health, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Stay safe and healthy,

Dr. Kenny Bartholomew, DDS

 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most dental offices have put their team and patient’s health as the top priority and are only open for dental emergencies.

So what is a dental emergency? Here is a list of typical symptoms of a dental emergency:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Trauma
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • A crown that has fallen off

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dental office immediately. They are your best resource on how to treat and manage your dental emergency. If you chipped or broke a tooth, call your dental office and discuss the situation with them. It is likely that your dentist will want to see you and visit about treatment options.

Many dental offices have limited hours and may not be available immediately. If you feel you need to be seen right away and are unable to get a hold of your dental office, try reaching out to another office. Remember that your dentist is here to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dentists are trying their best to keep patients out of emergency rooms to both limit your exposure to the virus as a patient and also to help conserve essential hospital and clinic resources for those battling the virus.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions and/or for any dental emergency (tooth pain or swelling) concerns:

📱 701.237.4297 (call or text)
📧 savingsmilesdentistry@gmail.com

If we are unable to answer right away, we will get back to you as soon as possible!

What do you know about oral cancer? Are you at risk? Learn more about the risks, symptoms and prevention steps you can take to avoid oral cancer below.

What can increase the risk of having oral cancer?

· Tobacco and alcohol use, especially if used together.

· Age, your risk increases over the age of 40.

· Diet, poor diets low in fruit and vegetables increase the risk.

· HPV, a sexually transmitted infection known as Human Papillomavirus.

There is good news though, you can control most of these risk factors by not using tobacco products and eating a healthy diet!

 

What are the common symptoms of oral cancer?

· A lump, irritated area or sore in your mouth.

· Difficulty chewing or swallowing.

· A red or white patch, mostly on the tongue or the floor of the mouth.

· A feeling of numbness in the mouth or on tongue.

· Having a hard time moving tongue or jaw.

· Sensation of something caught in throat.

· A firm lump found around jaw or neck area.

· Change in speech and ability to speak.

 

Regular visits with your dentist are the first step in prevention. Dentists can spot any early indicators of trouble. However, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above for two weeks, see your dentist right away.

If you have these symptoms or feel like you need an exam, please feel free to call us at (701).237.4297.

Did you know that March 26th is National Spinach Day?

Most of us remember Popeye and his love of spinach! It started as a government campaign during the Great Depression to promote spinach as a meat substitute since it is so rich in iron.

However, did you know that it is also high in calcium? Calcium is one of the key minerals that helps to build strong enamel for teeth which helps prevent decay. It also plays an important role in making the jaw bone healthy and strong to hold teeth in place. Spinach contains folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including gum health.

Although we cannot guarantee that eating spinach will give you superhuman strength, we still recommend following Popeye’s lead and adding it to your diet. If you struggle adding this leafy green into your diet, try adding a handful into your next salad or smoothie.

We had our first team retreat in early March to step away from the day to day, work on team building and have a little fun!

One of our first tasks was to split up into small teams and build the tallest structure with the items on our tables, all in three minutes. It was fun to see the collaboration in each of the teams! Dr. Johnson, Tiff, Nancy and Bailee were the winners, having the tallest structure when the buzzer went!

We can’t wait for our next day of team building!

To continue our celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we wanted to bring awareness to the importance of cavity prevention in children. Did you know that cavities are the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years?

Children with tooth decay are more likely to have ear and sinus infections and have an increased chance of developing other chronic problems, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

For this reason, we highly recommend children to have the fluoride varnish applied every six months at their hygiene appointment while they are developing good oral health habits. Fluoride is a natural mineral that works to harden the enamel which aids in cavity prevention.

If you have any questions on ways you can encourage your children, don’t hesitate to ask at your next visit or give us a call at 701.237.4297!

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