7 Top Reasons Why People Avoid Going To The Dentist

dentistDid you have a painful experience in the past that makes you afraid of the dentist? Is getting bad news regarding your dental health something you dread? Whatever your reasons are, you definitely aren’t the only one. It is very common for Americans to skip going to see the dentist altogether. Approximately 65 percent visit the dentist. However, some states have much lower percentages. For example, in Mississippi, only 51.9 percent visit the dentist.

This goes beyond just being unfortunate. In fact, it can be quite dangerous. One of the key factors to overall dental health is regular dental visits. According to Jennifer Shin, DDS, a New York City dentist, we use our teeth numerous times a day. They get a lot of abuse, so if you go to see a dentist two times per year, it gives them a chance to assess any changes that need to be addressed. If the problems are discovered early on, there is a higher chance that the solutions will be inexpensive, quick and easy. However, an undiagnosed cavity may result in a toothaches, which requires more expensive and extensive treatments.

Why We Are Afraid Of The Dentist

So why do people avoid visiting the dentist? There are several different reasons:

Cost. One of the major factors that prevents many people from having regular dental checkups done is high prices. According to a recent survey, 44% of individuals who were not going to the dentist was because they didn’t have dental insurance. John Dodes, DDS, author of the book Healthy Teeth: A User’s Guide and Forest Hills, NY dentist, says that if you take good care of your mouth and teeth that your annual dental visits won’t be expensive. He adds that adding a few easy things to your routine such as flossing your teeth and rinsing with Listerine or another therapeutic mouthwash can help to get your mouth healthy and keep it that way.

Dental anxiety. According to David Keen, DDS, a Beverly Hills, California dentist, many people fear the dentist office. He says, there are several things that can be done to help minimize the fear. One thing that can be very effective in making it a positive experience is to discuss your fears with your dentist and listen to nice music to make the environment soothing and pleasant so that it’s more like a spa-like atmosphere. The best method for creating a positive dental experience is usually communication.

Fear of needing to have dental work done. Dr. Dodes says that in his 40 years of practicing dentistry that most patients aren’t afraid of having their teeth cleaned. What they do fear is hearing bad news about dental problems they might have. Denial and avoidance are both very strong emotions that sometimes are a factor into why individuals don’t go to see their dentist as frequently as they should.

Afraid of dental instruments. Dr. Dodes says that the main reason why people are afraid of bad news is because the treatment could be painful or involve a scary procedure that involves scary dental instruments. Fortunately, that isn’t the case very often these days. According to Jeffrey Gross, DDS, a Cleveland area dentist, there are be many advances in dental care in recent years, including laser dentistry, which doesn’t normally require Novocain. In addition, the drills that are used these days are very advanced and there isn’t much discomfort or noise.

Bad memories. Even highly advanced dental equipment and techniques can’t get rid of bad memories from past dental visits. Dr. Gross says that one of the reasons why many people are afraid of dentists is because they were told as children to not be afraid. This actually made them afraid and the fear lasted for many years. Today, dental visit are quite different. Many dentists provide TVs, music and new high-tech procedures to help erase bad memories.

Too busy or too lazy. We all have lots going on in our lives, so sometimes people just simply don’t want to make the effort to visit the dentist. Gross says, we are creatures of habit. If it isn’t something that’s part of our routine, then it just turns into something we need to “get around to.” After skipping one or more visits, it’s not part of our routine anymore. That’s why so many dental offices these days make a big effort to remind people to get their visits set up. There are programs that have been designed to specifically address these issues and solve them.

Afraid of getting lectured. No one want to get a lecture regarding their dental health. If you have neglected brushing and flossing your teeth for a long time, you might be afraid of getting lectured. Dr. Gross says that reprimanding or lecturing is the last thing he thinks of. Those kinds of comments are really counterproductive. Just having to go into the dentist office is enough of a reprimand. However, many patients do fear they are going to get a lecture. This is often caused by guilt since they know they should be doing better, and they just don’t want to hear about it any more.

The best thing you can do to address your personal fears for avoiding going to dentist is to discuss them with your dentist. Let him or her have a chance to reassure you and help you get back on the path to good dental health.

Ways To Soothe Painful Mouth Burns

05-29-2013-Pic01Painful mouth burn has happened to everyone at one time or another. This becomes frustrating especially if you have a hot pizza and you cannot bite it until it is cold. In other cases, even if you eat a cold one, you will still feel pain. The pain is as a result of burned mouth, tongue or even gum.

The good news is that, when you find yourself in such an embarrassing situation, worry not. There are several things you could do that will help in providing immediate relief. Well, below are tips from dentists to help you heal and prevent such burns in the future.

The Top Tips For A Burned Tongue/Mouth From Dentists

Now the deed has been done, and it is too late your mouth has been burnt. Now, the question is; what is next? According to Hadie Rifai, who is a dentist in the Cleveland Clinic stated that; the first thing to do is to get something cool into your mouth to relieve the pain. Good examples include; Ice cubes or something frozen. The aim here is to alleviate the pain.

Another way is to coat the mouth or tongue with something soothing that provides another layer of relief. Milk is an excellent choice because of its coating action. Once you have done this, it is time to take steps for immediate relief. This means that it is time to seek medical attention to-directly-treat the burned tongue and mouth.

some of the medications that can do this better include; “ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or other pain medicines are the best choice, according to Steve Krendl from Hopewell Dental Care in New Jersey. A product called Orabase that acts as a film to cover and soothe the area temporarily can be used.

As the burnt area begins to heal, you should avoid some foods until you are better. According to Dr. Rifai, he advises that you should avoid crunchy and sharp foods or spicy foods that contain citrus.

As you do that, did you know that there are few things you could do to speed up healing? The trick is to ensure that you have squeezed a 1,000 IU of vitamin E. it helps to regenerate healthy skin and tissue. This information was provided by Dr. Shila Yazdani, who is a cosmetic dentist specialist in Washington D.C. In addition, avoid touching the burnt area with either your tongue, fingers or any objects.

Keep the mouth and area clean by brushing your teeth and give it time to heal. Remember, the body is remarkable when it comes to repairing itself. If, despite all your efforts, the burn or pain persists for seven days, ensure you visit your doctor for consultation. It might be an infection starting.

Future Prevention Tips

The best way to avoid or prevent burns is simply to use common sense, especially if the drink or food looks piping hot. If you see something like this, place a pause and wait for a while for it to cool a bit. Be extra careful with hot drinks and hot foods as well, says Aurelio Alonso, who is an assistant professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

Alternative And Complementary Therapies For Teeth Grinding

Alternative-to-Adult-BracesYou may be experiencing bruxism or teeth grinding at night. If you are, the main treatment is for your dentist to fit you for a mouth guard that you will wear while you are sleeping. However, mouth guards make many people uncomfortable. Sometimes, they keep people awake at night and this leads to a whole new set of problems. So, a lot of people who find that they are grinding their teeth look for alternative ways to treat the condition.

Alternative Treatments at the Dentist’s Office

There are prescription medicines that are having success in stopping teeth grinding at night. But these medicines are often just temporary to give relief and there can be problems if they are used for longer periods of time, according to Aurelio Alonso, DDS PhD, who is at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. He states that certain medicines such as anticonvulsants, anxiolytics and antidepressants can be helpful. But their side effects and the constant possibility of becoming dependent on them is an issue.

Botox injections are also being used as a medical treatment for teeth grinding at night. But in this case, again the relief might be only temporary. Dr. Steve Krendl of Hopewell Dental Care in New Jersey says that Botox might be used if a patient simply will not or cannot use a mouth guard if the individual is feeling acute pain. The Botox can be injected into the joint of the jaw to help relieve the pain. One of the problems with this treatment, however, is that it must be repeated often because the effects do wear off.

Alternative Treatments for Teeth Grinding: Behavioral Options

Since most of the benefits of medicines used for teeth grinding at night are temporary, Karen Kahn, DDS who is a dentist with the Cleveland Clinic feels that behavioral treatments might be helpful. She says that these therapies include biofeedback, stress reduction, yoga, acupuncture and physical therapy. When the patient develops awareness of what he or she is doing and receives help from the dentist they will be able to know when they are clenching and bracing their teeth during the day. Then they can learn methods to prevent contraction of the jaw muscle.

Practical Approaches to Teeth Grinding Treatments

Because there is really no cure for teeth grinding at night all treatments, whether they are alternative or not, are designed to stop the damage from the grinding and to provide relief to the patient. The best way to approach this problem is to have a good working relationship with your dentist so you can find a solution that will work for you. Shila Yazdani, DDS specializes in cosmetic dentistry in Washington, D.C. She says that when she treats patients for this problem she gets a full history first so she will be able to understand the symptoms. This includes a complete dental and medical history including any traumas that may or may not be related to the patientís mouth and teeth. After that, she takes x-rays of their temporomandibular joint and teeth. She also does a home sleep test. After all of this is completed, a complete treatment plan is put together. The point is to get rid of the source of the bruxism not just temporarily relieve it.

For a child who is going through teeth grinding at night, the situation may only be temporary and might not last very long. It is important not to over-medicate young children because then there may be other problems. According to Edward H. Moody Jr., DDS, who is the vice-president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, most bruxism in childhood is outgrown by the time the child reaches adolescence and, while the noise is painful to parents, there is no reason to be concerned as long as the child is not in pain and is not doing any permanent damage.

In the end, if you are grinding your teeth at night and have had problems using a mouth guard, you might want to try it one more time by getting a new guard that has been recently fitted to your mouth. Dr. Kahn says that if the mouth guard is designed properly most patients will be able to use it. So a visit with your dentist might be able to help you deal with your concerns and find an orthotic that is more comfortable.