FOR PATIENTS

Frequently Asked Questions

At Baker & Graham, we value Dental Education and strive to make sure that our patients have all of the knowledge they need to take charge of their dental health. Below are some of the most common questions we get from our patients. If you have any other questions, please be in touch!
How do I schedule an appointment?
You can request an appointment at any time conveniently on our website or by calling our office. Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.

Request an appointment online.

Give us a call: 601 268 3333

What should I expect during my first visit?
Your first visit is all about getting to know you and making you as comfortable as possible. Your dentist will talk to you about your dental and medical history, your hopes for your smile and health, and get to know you as a person. Then, we will perform a thorough examination (including your teeth, bone, gums, throat, cheeks, and tongue) to check for any signs of damage, decay, or oral cancer. You will then receive a thorough cleaning and any necessary diagnostic measures may be taken, such as x-rays or study models, and your dentist will recommend any necessary follow-up treatments.

Our aim is to make your first visit with us comfortable, fun, and informative. We are not here to force you into unwanted or unnecessary treatments, but to partner with you in the interest of helping you create a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.

How long will my visit be?
A standard checkup and cleaning will usually last around one hour. Other treatments/appointment types can vary in length but our team will be happy to talk you through the time logistics of your specific treatment so that you can schedule accordingly.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Not much! We only ask that you bring your personal ID card (if over the age of 18), your insurance card (if applicable), and your completed Patient Information Form.
What age group do you treat?
Baker & Graham takes patients of all ages, pediatrics through seniors. We are proud to provide high quality dental care for every member of your family!
What payment options are available?
We strive to make every step of your dental treatment – even payment – as easy and stress-free as possible. Our practice accepts cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX and CareCredit as well as most insurance plans. We will happily file your insurance claims for you and can create payment plans for patients with unique financial needs.
Do you take emergency appointments?
Yes, we do take emergency appointments for things like broken teeth, lost fillings and bridges, severe toothache, and more. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call our office immediately.

If you are unable to reach your dentist during a emergency or are experiencing severe pain or bleeding, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.

Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

Helps prevent tooth decay
Protects against periodontal (gum) disease [link to general – gum disease], which can lead to tooth and bone loss
Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist?
Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Likewise, your smile’s appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:

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

Learn more about our full range of smile makeover options

What should I look for when choosing the right dentist?
Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:

Is the appointment schedule convenient?
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?
Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?

How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?
ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.

Learn more about at-home preventative care

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

Read more about our Pediatric recommendations and services here.

How often should I see the dentist?
Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer, gum disease, or other dental health issues may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Your doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.

Read more about how to prevent cavities and decay here.

What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.
How often should I brush my teeth?
According to your dentist and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!

For more in-depth information on proper brushing technique, click here.

When should I change my toothbrush?
Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.
What is gum disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:
Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
Chronic bad breath
Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
Extreme tooth sensitivity
Receding gum line
Abscessed teeth

Learn more about periodontal disease and treatment.

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Phone 601-268-3333

Fax 601-268-6666

4216 Lincoln Road

Hattiesburg, MS 39402

Office Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8AM - 5PM
Walk-ins Welcome!
© Baker and Graham 2020                        Website by BREAD
© Baker and Graham 2020
Website by BREAD