Baer Dental's FAQ

Get answers for your dental questions and concerns directly from the experts at Baer Dental. We understand better than anyone how people can be apprehensive about visiting the dentist, but being fully informed can help relieve the anxiety. Uncomfortable about your visit to the dentist? Don't fret - Baer Dental is here to help.
Here you will find a valuable guide of frequently asked questions from patients, prepared by Dr. Baer and his staff. There's a lot of information covered here, and if you've still got questions, be sure to reach out!

What is Dentistry?

Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the diseases, disorders, and conditions of the mouth, gums, jaw, and teeth. Dentistry is essential for complete oral health, and your dental health can impact your entire body.

Who is a dentist?

A dentist is a specialized doctor who works specifically to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health issues. 4 years of dental school are required to earn a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. A few dentists like Dr. Baer, go on to receive additional training to further their skills in a dental residency program.  Dr. Baer has sucessfully completed one of the most prestigious dental residency programs in the country and can provide advanced dental services to patients of all ages. Other dental specializations include:

  • Endodontics (root canals)
  • Oral and maxillofacial (including pathology, radiology, and surgery)
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Periodontics (gum disease)
  • Prosthodontics (implants)

Why are regular dental visits important?

Your dentist and dental hygienist helps to keep your mouth, teeth, gums, and jaw healthy. Your oral health also strongly correlates with your overall health. Dental care is important because it can help prevent tooth decay, protects against gum disease (periodontal disease), manage bad breath (halitosis), removes tooth stain, and ultimately make your smile more attractive!

If my teeth feel fine, why visit a dentist?

Just because your teeth feel fine doesn’t mean there aren’t problems you don’t know about. Your dentist can analyze your xrays and screen for tooth decay and gum disease to help keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. The advances of modern dentistry mean you no longer need to endure missing, misshaped, misaligned, or chipped teeth. Dentists today offer a comprehensive array of care options including:

  • Professional teeth whitening
  • Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
  • Tooth replacement and full smile makeover

How do I choose the right dentist for me?

Finding a dentist you’re comfortable with is important, and can take visiting several dentists before making a decision. Baer Dental works to give patients the most welcoming and thorough dental care experience possible. At the first visit with any dentist, you should consider the following:

  • Is the practice philosophy consistent with my desire to maintain my teeth?
  • Is the office easy to get to and close by?
  • Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
  • Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?

How should I care for my teeth between dental checkups?

  • Brush at least twice per day, usually after meals.
  • Be sure to brush your tongue!
  • Floss daily
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride, and ask your dentist if a fluoride rinse is needed – this can prevent cavities.
  • Avoid foods with sugar, sugar increases bacteria which cause bad breath, plaque, and cavities.
  • Avoid tobacco, it causes gum disease, oral cancer, and unsightly tooth stains.
  • Schedule routine dental checkups at least every six months

At what age should my child have their first dental visit?

The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends your child have their first dental visit once their baby teeth have started to come in. This way, the dentist can examine your child’s first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

How often should I visit the dentist?

Regular checkups should be scheduled base on your risk to gum disease and cavities— everyone is different. If you have a greater risk for dental issues like gum disease or oral cancer, you may need to visit the dentist more often. Your dentist and dental hygienist will determine how often you should be visiting.

What is a cavity?

Cavities are holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay from plaque buildup.  Plaque on your teeth mixes with sugars and starches in your food to form an acid that eats away the enamel on your teeth. The dangers of an untreated cavity should not be understated. Untreated cavities can become dental abscesses, which can be fatal.

What is a filling?

A dental filling is made of synthetic material which fills in a cavity after all the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings won’t hurt because the dentist will use an anesthetic to numb your mouth. Fillings can be made from different materials: composite, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, Dr. Baer will go over your options carefully and determine the best course of action for you.

How often should I brush my teeth?

You should brush at least twice daily, for at least two minutes, thoroughly cleaning top, bottom, front, and back surfaces of your teeth.  Always use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities. Be sure to brush your tongue also, as it helps keep your breath smelling fresh!

When should I change my toothbrush?

Toothbrushes wear out, especially if you’re following a proper dental care routine. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every 2-3 months. Electric toothbrushes may have different guidelines – be sure to read the instructions. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every 4 to 6 weeks to prevent bacterial growth. Be sure to always rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep its bristles clean. If you were sick recently, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a condition of the gums that can lead to tooth, gum, and bone loss if untreated. It is caused by untreated plaque and bacteria buildup on the gums, tobacco use, teeth grinding, a variety of medications, and occasionally genetics. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and is treatable. Untreated gingivitis often becomes gum disease. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups help to prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of gum disease. Common signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen, irritated, or bleeding gums
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gum line
  • Dental Abscesses (potentially fatal)

If I have braces, should I keep scheduling regular dental checkups?

Yes, and it’s even more important to do so. Patients receiving orthodontic treatment must visit the dentist regularly. Braces can catch food in places that your toothbrush cannot reach. This causes excess plaque buildup and may lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Dr. Baer will work closely with your orthodontist to ensure your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy while you’re wearing braces.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

Just give us a call at (303) 557-6453. The team at Baer Dental is looking forward to helping conveniently schedule your next dental checkup. If you’re a new patient, be sure to let us know and we’ll give you all the information you’ll need for your first visit.