Hand Washing Tips From the “Experts” in Lewisburg!

Hand washing probably seems like second nature to you. It certainly does to us! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studies have said that regular hand washing is the best way to prevent infectious diseases. And they’ve published guidelines for washing our hands at home and at work. How many of these suggestions do you follow?

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.

  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

  • Rinse your hands well under running water.

  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.

There are more occasions to wash our hands than most of us usually think of. The CDC recommends hand washing after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, touching an animal or even animal feed, and after touching garbage.

A clean and sterile environment is the first priority in any dental office, but especially at Lawrence J. Winans, DMD in Lewisburg. The CDC and the state of Pennsylvania have stringent requirements that keep our patients and our dental team safe.

We follow or exceed every guideline for your safety and for ours. Treatment rooms are disinfected before your appointment, we use gloves and masks for even the simplest exams, and we clean and sterilize our instruments after each use. Our sterilization equipment is regularly inspected to make sure it’s working properly.

Have you visited our dental office in Lewisburg yet? Call us to make an appointment and experience the highest standards of care and protection for you. We know how important your dental health is to maintaining your overall well-being, and we want to help keep you healthy for a long time!

Oral Cancer – Do You Know the Risks?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, but at my dental practice in Lewisburg, it’s an important topic all year round. Oral cancer may not be in the news as often as other cancers, but nearly 7,000 people will die in 2013 as a result of oral cancer, with approximately 36,000 new cases diagnosed. (Source: ACS, revised 02.26.2013)

Oral Cancer Symptoms

It’s important to have an oral cancer screening at every dental checkup. Oral cancer isn’t difficult to diagnose, but the danger is that it’s often caught in late stages when it’s spread to other parts of the body. If you notice any of the following symptoms in between checkups, please call us right away:

  • A sore that doesn’t heal

  • A lump or thickening of the lining of the mouth

  • Difficult or painful chewing or swallowing

Who Gets Oral Cancer

More than 80% of oral cancers in men (65% in women) occur in tobacco and alcohol users, and combined heavy tobacco and alcohol use increases the risk 300 times that of non-users. (Source: National Institutes of Health, 2006)

Notice I didn’t say “smokers.” There is NO safe tobacco product, despite what you might hear. Even smokeless tobacco, pipes, and clove cigarettes dramatically increase your risk.

HPV and Oral Cancer

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause genital cancers (and warts) in men and women. HPV also causes approximately 25% of oral cancers and is as important a risk factor as tobacco and alcohol.

At Lawrence J. Winans, DMD, we perform an oral cancer screen at every exam. It’s also a good practice to check your own mouth for any changes when you brush and floss.

You probably have annual and periodic health checkups and cancer screens. Why not make a visit to our dental office in Lewisburg for regular checkups and oral cancer screening part of that practice? Call us today at 570-524-4454 to schedule your appointment.