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Monthly Archives: February 2019

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Dental Anxiety: 3 ways to stop fearing the Dentist

Dental Anxiety: 3 ways to stop fearing the Dentist

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If you ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist, you’re not the only person. The thought that the visit might hurt, or the fact that you haven’t been in a while and you’re not sure what the dentist will find.

Whatever your reason, the right dental team will always make sure you are comfortable while they are taking care of your dental health. The more you delay – or just don’t go – to the dentist, the higher your risk of developing dental problems that will make gearing up for future dental visits even more difficult. In fact, seeing your dentist regularly can actually make the entire process – from making an appointment to sailing through it – much easier on many levels.

Use these strategies at your next appointment to help ease your anxiety and strengthen your smile.

1. Let your dentist know what you are feeling…It’s Important

Anyone with anxiety knows sharing your feelings makes a world of difference. If you’re tense or anxious, do yourself a favor and get your concerns off your chest. Your dentist and dental team are better able to treat you if they know your needs.

  • Tell your dentist about your anxiety. Share any bad experiences you may have had in the past, and ask for suggestions on coping strategies.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Agree on a signal like asking him for a break by raising your hand or something you come up with yourself.
  • If you experience pain even with a local anesthetic, tell your dentist.

2. Think about anything else

Taking your mind off the exam may seem impossible when you’re nervous, but there are some things that that can help distract your thoughts.

  • Wear headphones. If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring headphones so you can listen to your favorite music or audiobook. Some dental offices even have televisions or show DVDs.
  • Occupy your hands by squeezing a stress ball or playing with a small handheld object, like a fidget spinner.
  • Imagine your happy place and visualize yourself at a relaxing beach or garden.

3. Relax Yourself.

Relaxation starts in the mind. Try deep breathing exercises to help relax tension in your muscles.

  • Count your breaths. Inhale slowly and then exhale for the same number of counts. Do this five times while you’re waiting for your appointment, or during breaks while you’re sitting in the dental chair.

Do a body scan. Concentrate on relaxing your muscles, one body part at a time. Start with your head and work your way down to your toes. For example, you can focus on releasing tension starting in your forehead, then your cheeks, your neck and down the rest of your body.

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Signs you need to see a Dentist

Signs you need to see a Dentist

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  • You Have Some Pain : Pain / Swelling in your mouth or around your facial area can mean a lot of things, but be sure to get in touch with your dentist if you experience pain.
  • Your Gums Are Acting Up : If your gums are puffy or tend to bleed when you brush or floss, or you have a family history of gum disease, it’s time to make an appointment.
  • You Try to Hide your SMILE : Don’t be shy about talking to your dentist whether you’re self-conscious about a missing tooth or hoping for a brighter smile.
  • You’ve Previously Had Work Done : If you have fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures, see your dentist regularly to make sure everything is in great shape.
  • Ongoing Medical Issues : Make your dentist part of your team if you have any medical condition like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders or are HIV positive.
  • You are Pregnant : It’s always safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. In fact, pregnancy can make some dental problems worse, so don’t miss your regular checkup.
  • Having Trouble Eating : Difficulty chewing or swallowing is not something you need to get used to. Try eating soft or liquefied foods until you can see your dentist.
  • Dry Mouth : Always feeling parched could be the sign of a medical issue or a medication side effect.
  • You have been using Tobacco : From bad breath to oral cancer, cigarettes and chewing tobacco are harmful to your overall and dental health.
  • Jaw Pain : If your jaw sometimes pops or is painful when opening and closing, chewing or when you first wake up. See a dentist also if you have an uneven bite.
  • Mouth Has Spots and Sores : If there’s something that doesn’t look or feel right in your mouth, your dentist should examine any mouth sore that lasts a week or longer. Types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia and candidiasis. They vary in their severity and causes. Mouth sores could be the symptom of a disease or disorder; infection from bacteria, viruses or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.
  • It’s Time For Your Checkup : Even if you don’t have any symptoms listed above, regular checkups are important because they can help prevent problems from developing and treat existing symptoms before they become more advanced.

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