Newly reopened orthodontics business helps kids in need

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — An orthodontics business in Escondido that recently reopened under new safety protocols is also helping children who can’t afford treatment.

Dr. Brad Baker of Baker Orthodontics says he has changed his practice to make sure patients can safely resume treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic. Patients and their parents must now wait on the sidewalk and call the office before the enter the facility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He sees patients using full personal protective equipment including masks, face shields, gowns and more.

“They need to be screened with a health questionnaire and also have their temperature taken before they can come in,” Dr. Baker said.

He also uses a high-speed suction to prevent the spread of droplets and aerosols from a patients mouth. 

“That’s the big thing in dentistry is aerosol production,” Dr. Baker said. “That’s what everybody is concerned about. We have measures in place to evacuate the aerosol as it’s created.”

These new safety measures are allowing him to see patients in need, like Brina Cortes. Dr. Baker treats her through the “Smiles Change Lives” program that allows her to get the braces she otherwise couldn’t afford. 

“All my dentists have told me I needed braces,” Brina said. “And it was obviously really expensive and I couldn’t afford it and like being able to go through this program and actually finally get it started has been such an amazing experience.” 

The program raises funds though an annual run/walk that has been forced to turn virtual this year. People can still help raise funds for the program by running while using an app to help other kids in need get the smiles they deserve.

“I took part in it as well and I donated it and did the race,” Cortes said. “It’s a good little fundraiser thing to help benefit other kids that need it because honestly braces are really expensive and it really does help.”

The Smiles Change Lives virtual race is still going until the end of July. To learn how to sign up, click here.

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