• If You Have A Tooth Removed, Here’s How to Care for Your Mouth

    If you are about to have a tooth removed at the dentist, or other oral surgery, here are some tips about how to help your mouth recover quickly and with a minimum of pain.

    While You Are at The Dentist

    Right after they remove the tooth, your dentist will pack the area with padding and ask you to bite on it to put pressure on the area and aid in the formation of a blood clot. Because of the moist environment in your mouth (think saliva), a wound there will take longer to heal because it can’t form a scab. So a blood clot in the affected area will protect the bone while the wound is healing.

    First Hour After the Procedure

    Keep the pressure on the wound by continuing to bite down gently – but firmly – on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Avoid changing the gauze pack for the first 60 minutes after the procedure so that you can keep constant pressure on the wound. You can then gently remove the gauze pack. If bleeding persists, place another gauze pack over the wound to keep pressure on the site for another half hour. Also remember to moisten the gauze pack and fluff it a bit to make the positioning over the wound more comfortable. And be sure to not disturb the wound the first day other than changing the gauze.

    Oral Hygiene Recommendations

    Be sure to keep your mouth clean after the tooth removal. This will help the wound heal and prevent infection. Go ahead and brush your teeth the evening of your surgery, but be sure to brush gently around the wound site. You can also use saltwater rinses beginning a full day after the surgery. Swish gently and let the saltwater dribble out of your mouth into the sink (to avoid stressing the surgical site). Rinse two to three times a day – especially after you eat.

    Keep the pressure on the wound by continuing to bite down gently – but firmly – on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place.

    Activities Following Surgery

    Avoid strenuous activities for a full day after your oral surgery. That means avoiding bending and lifting. You should also not exercise for 3-4 days after surgery. You may see an increase in swelling, bleeding,  and pain if you don’t follow these guidelines.

    What to Expect Physically

    You’ll notice a fair amount of swelling after the surgery. It won’t reach its maximum swelling until several days after the procedure. Use a cold pack, bag of ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to reduce the swelling. Apply firmly to the cheek adjacent to where the surgery was performed. Apply the cold pack for 20 minutes at a time, with a 20-minute break in between. Try to do this for the first 24 hours after the surgery when you are awake. Your dentist may also prescribe a medication to limit the swelling – so be sure to take the medication as directed.

    You may encounter a dry socket if the blood clot covering the wound is dislodged or loosened. It is called a dry socket because the bone is exposed. This can last for several days and you may experience sever discomfort, including in some instances ear pain. Call your dentist if this happens.

    Feeling some degree of discomfort or pain is normal following oral surgery. Your dentist will most likely give you a prescription for a pain medication. Be sure to take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off – this will help you manage the discomfort and/or pain more effectively.

    Eating and Drinking Following Surgery

    Look for nourishing foods that you can eat or drink comfortably for the first few days after your surgery. Be sure to avoid hot foods and don’t use a straw for a couple of days following your surgery. It often helps to just limit yourself to liquids or pureed foods for the first 24 hours. Think puddings, yogurt, soups, milk shakes, etc. Avoid foods like rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods.

    Each person’s oral surgery is different, since none of our mouths are alike. The healing process following surgery also differs for each of us. Be sure to rely on your dental care team at your dentist’s office for the best advice on how to have the best outcome from your oral surgery.

    Source: DentalCareMatters.com

  • What to do When You Need Emergency Dental Care in Roseville, MN

    Many things can cause a dental emergency. More often than not, trauma to your mouth is the leading cause. In this scenario, you could end up with severely cracked or chipped teeth that must be treated right away. But, you may also just wake up one day with intense pain in your mouth that won’t go away and inhibits your ability to eat or drink. Here, the cause of your emergency could be tooth decay or an infection. 

    Regardless of what’s caused your problem, you need to seek out emergency dental care in Roseville, MN. If you’re unsure what to do, then here are a few simple steps to follow:

    Contain the problem as best as you can

    First of all, you have to try and contain your dental emergency as best as you can. If your mouth is bleeding, then try and keep a clean cloth or tissue on it to soak up the blood and stop the flow. If you’re in pain, then take some type of pain relief medication to help soothe the discomfort and make life more manageable while you wait for treatment. 

    Act as quickly as possible

    If you need emergency dental care in Roseville, MN, then you have to act soon. Don’t waste time, pick up the phone and give Personal Care Dentistry a call. We will have a brief conversation where we ask the extent of your problem. Give us as many details as you can, so we understand what’s wrong and can get to work as soon as you arrive. The longer you wait for treatment, the worse a problem can become.

    Keep any parts of your teeth that have come off

    A lot of emergency dental care revolves around chipped teeth – or teeth that have been knocked out. If this has happened to you, then we advise you to try and keep the tooth and bring it to your appointment. Clean it, then preserve it in a clean container – preferably with liquid inside to provide the tooth with moisture. One top tip is to put your tooth in milk as this does an excellent job of preserving it. The reason we ask you to keep the tooth is that we might be able to re-attach bits that have been chipped off. At the very least, we can use it to help model our own restoration. 

    Stay calm

    The final step is to remain calm. It can be nervewracking when you suffer trauma to your mouth or have another type of dental emergency. Loads of thoughts may be running through your head, but take a deep breath and relax. You’ve given our team a call, and your emergency dental care will be happening soon. You’re in the safest possible hands, so there’s no need to worry. No matter the problem, we will provide the perfect solution to free you of any pain and sort out any issue. 

    So, if you need emergency dental care in Roseville, MN, then these are the steps you need to follow. Give us a call right now, and we can book you in for an emergency appointment at our clinic.

  • What Do Hippopotamus Bone, Silver Coin Shavings, and Seashells Have in Common?

    Oral health has been a topic of interest to humans since earliest times. Dentistry first appears in recorded text in 5000 BC, when the Sumerians thought that dental decay was due to tooth worms. The first dentist shows up in 2600 BC in an Egyptian tomb, which includes an inscription referring to Hesy-Re as the greatest physician in Egypt who dealt with teeth.

    Two famed Greek physicians and philosophers, Aristotle and Hippocrates, wrote extensively about dentistry around 400 BC to 300 BC.  Among the oral health topics they focused on were treating gum disease and decayed teeth, the eruption pattern of teeth, how to extract teeth, and using wire to stabilize fractured jaws and loose teeth.

    Celsus, a Roman who wrote extensively about medical topics around 100 BC, included a wealth of oral health content in his famed medical encyclopedia. He wrote about stabilizing loose teeth, treatments for toothache, pain from teething, and fractures of the jaw.

    Fixed bridgework and gold crowns were noted for their use around 200 AD by the Etruscans. Dental implants first appear among the Mayans in 600 AD, when they used shells to replicate missing teeth. But it wasn’t until 1965 that a successful implant system that was scientifically documented was introduced.

     There was very little in the way of dental advancements during the Dark Ages (500 AD to 1100 AD).

    In 1728, Pierre Fauchard published a dental manuscript that was considered the first comprehensive scientific book on dentistry. Fauchard wrote about the use of carved ivory obturators with attached teeth for cleft palate, a description of tooth dysplasia, new prosthodontic devices for replacement of missing teeth, and innovation in the type and use of dental instruments.

    Toothbrushes in various forms have been in use since ancient times, but the first mass-produced toothbrush was invented in 1770 by William Addis, an Englishman. He used swine bristles threaded through holes in a carved cattle bone for his initial toothbrush that he mass-produced.

    Amalgam was first used for tooth restoration in the 1830s, when two Englishmen – the Crawcour brothers – introduced the filling material in the United States. They used shavings from silver coins, along with tin and mercury, to create a paste that they used as a tooth filling. Until recently, amalgam was the main material used for restoration. The introduction recently of fracture-resistant aesthetic bonding materials has reduced the usage of amalgam.

    The use of anesthesia in dentistry first appears in the 1840s, when a Connecticut dentist – Dr. Horace Wells – used nitrous oxide on a patient to extract a tooth.

    The 1850s were an important decade for changes in materials used to replace missing teeth. Until then, dentures were made from ivory, hippopotamus or human bone, or metal (lead and brass). A dentist used vulcanized rubber, which had been invented by Charles Goodyear, to create a new type of denture.

    Although dental drills had been in use since 5000 BC, the first modern dental drill was invented in 1868 by Dr. George F. Green, an American dentist. This pneumatic drill was operated by a foot pedal. Dr. Green patented the electric dental drill in 1875.

    Modern toothpaste in a tube made its first appearance in 1878, when Dr. Washington Wentworth Sheffield claimed a patent for a collapsible toothpaste tube.  Dr. Sheffield borrowed the idea from French painters, who he saw using collapsible tubes for their paints when he visited France.

    The cause of tooth caries (cavities) was accurately described for the first time in 1890, when an American scientist, Dr. Willoughby D. Miller, wrote about his Acid Dissolution Theory. Before Dr. Miller’s theory, it was thought that cavities were caused by worms.

    Fluoride’s critical role in the prevention of cavities has been called one of the 10 greatest public health advances of the 1900s. Research on fluoride began in 1901 when Frederick McKay, a new dentist, opened a practice in Colorado. When he arrived, McKay was astounded to find scores of residents with grotesque brown stains on their teeth and began research, in collaboration with renowned dental researcher Dr. G.V. Black, that led to recognition of fluoride’s preventive capabilities, and, 30 years later, to the knowledge that water-borne fluoride can prevent cavities.

    Source: NYU College of Dentistry, American Dental Association ffff

  • Looking for A Brighter Smile? Here Are Your Teeth Whitening Options

    Did you know that 96 percent of Americans believe that a smile is important to a person’s appearance? So if you’re avoiding smiling because you feel like your teeth aren’t as white as you would like, then teeth whitening might be an option for you to consider.

    The best long-term way to keep your smile bright is to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up, and go easy on teeth-staining foods and beverages. But if your teeth are still stained and a bit yellow, we have detailed below the main options you can use to whiten your teeth.

    Whitening Toothpastes, Whitening Strips and Whitening Pens

    Whitening toothpastes look like regular toothpaste, but contain some additional ingredients that help to polish your teeth and remove stains. However, using a whitening toothpaste is not a quick process. You’ll need to use it 2x a day for as long as six weeks to see results.

    Whitening strips are small, flexible, and coated with a whitening gel that includes hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent. You wrap the strips around your teeth and keep them on for 30 minutes each day to remove stains and discoloration. This can take from two weeks to much longer (you’ll often have to get a second set of strips to see any effect).

    With a whitening pen, you “color” your teeth with the pen, which contains a flavored peroxide solution. Like whitening strips and toothpaste, this can take many weeks and results can be inconsistent.

    At-Home Whitening Trays

    With this approach, you purchase an over-the-counter kit from your local drugstore or grocery store. Or you can order the kit online – you’ll find a wealth of choices. You’ll often get a mouthpiece that you put whitening gel into and then wear the mouthpiece for a certain amount of time. Some kits include an LED light option or the mouthpiece is warmed while you wear it to increase the whitening power of the gel. The whitening gel contains peroxide. The higher the percentage of peroxide, the more powerful the gel is for whitening. However, the higher the percentage of peroxide, the more you have to worry about gum irritation or damage.

    Dental Office

    If you’re looking for the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth, then going to your dentist is your best options. The cost will be higher than some of the at-home approaches, but the results will be superior and you won’t have to worry about damaging your gums from using peroxide.

    At Personal Care Dentistry, we use custom-made trays for bleach and hydrogen peroxide that is clinical strength that you can’t purchase online or over the counter. Plus, our dental are team has years of experience safely applying clinical-strength peroxide in a safe, effective approach.

    When you visit Personal Care Dentistry for teeth whitening, we’ll get rid of any plaque or tartar on your teeth on your first visit, and then take an impression of your teeth. We will then make a custom mouth tray that will fit your teeth like a glove. That’s important because the better the tray fits, the higher the likelihood that each tooth will be properly bleached. When you come in for your second whitening visit, your dental team will explain how to use the gel that goes in the tray.

    How long will you need to use the whitening trays from Personal Care Dentistry? It depends on how stained and yellowed your teeth are and the strength of the peroxide gel used. Generally, you’ll use the whitening trays for 30 minutes per day for about two weeks. If you have tooth sensitive, our care team will provide you with an alternative bleach.

    If you’re interested in a brighter smile solution that is effective and safe, call our care team at Personal Care Dentistry to get started. You’ll feel confident smiling again!

  • 7 Dental Gifts for Dad On Father’s Day

    Father’s Day is this Sunday, but if you haven’t done your gift shopping yet, we have 7 unusual gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on your father’s face on June 16. Plus, they’ll help keep his smile bright and his oral health in good shape.

    Electric Toothbrush: If your Dad likes power tools, then an electric toothbrush is the way to go. You’ll find a wide variety of types and prices for electric toothbrushes, but if they make brushing less of a chore for your Dad, then they are worth the money you spend.

    Travel Kit: Does your Dad like to camp or hunt, or does he travel regularly for business? If he does, then give him an oral health travel kit. Include a toothbrush made for traveling, a small tube of toothpaste, floss and flossers in travel packs, and a mini bottle of mouthwash. Plus add a small bottle of over-the-counter pain medication, latex gloves, and cotton pads – all things he will need if he has a dental emergency.

    Water Pick: Lots of Dads get electric razors for Father’s Day, but how about giving him something for the inside of is mouth? Water picks – also called water flossers – are a great way to remove particles of food and plaque from your teeth. If your Dad isn’t a fan of flossing with floss, this is the perfect gift.

    Mouthguard: If your Dad likes to still play hockey with his buddies, or maybe plays rugby or lacrosse, then a sports mouth guard is the perfect Father’s Day gift. You can make an appointment for yourDad with your dentist to have a custom-fitted mouth guard made. They are less than $100 and will provide your Dad with many years of protection for his teeth and gums.

    Teeth Whitening: Help your Dad brighten his smile with a teeth whitening program. A recent research study found that after their teeth were whitened, 58% of the study participants were more likely to be hired and 53% were offered a higher salary. Purchase an in-clinic teeth whitening program from your dentist and make an appointment for your Dad to help him brighten his smile.

    Unique Toothbrush Holder:  Does your Dad have a favorite sports team or hobby? Do some research online and you’re bound to find him a toothbrush holder with his team’s logo on it or shaped like something from his hobby (golf bag, bait bucket…you get the idea).

    Headphones – Noise Canceling: Here’s a gift that your Dad can enjoy just about anywhere – including when he visits the dentist. Wherever he is, he’ll be able to listen to his favorite music or podcasts without having to listen to sounds around him – including dental tools when he’s at the dentist.

    Sources: DeltaDental.com 00000

  • 7 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Toothbrush

    You’ll spend more than 1,500 hours during your life brushing your teeth if you’re brushing two times per day (and two minutes per time). So it’s kind of important for you to choose the right type of toothbrush if you’re going to be that “close and personal” with this bristly tool!

    We have 7 tips below to help you enjoy your toothbrushing and to make the two minutes twice as day as impactful as possible on your oral health.

    Buying a New Toothbrush: You should be switching to a new toothbrush as soon as the bristles on your current one start to fray or look worn. Figure that will happen about every 90 days if you are brushing twice a day for two minutes per brushing. Also, if you’re ill, toss your current toothbrush. Those germs from your illness can stick to the head of your toothbrush and make you ill again. 

    Soft is Safe for Bristles: Soft is the way to go when it comes to the bristles on your toothbrush and the way you brush. Toothbrush heads with stiff bristles can actually damage your gums and teeth. The stiff bristles cause your gum tissue to recede from your teeth, exposing the root and leading to increased sensitivity to hot or cold food and beverages. In addition, the hard bristles can scratch the enamel on your teeth, exposing them to plaque (which causes cavities).

    Head Shape Is Important: Be sure to take into account the shape and size of a toothbrush’s head when you are choosing a new one. You should be able to easily brush your back molars with the toothbrush head, and the toothbrush should be comfortable in your mouth when you are brushing.

    Get A Grip on A Good Handle: Comfort is the key here, since you’ll be using your toothbrush twice a day. The handle of the toothbrush should be comfortable to hold, and long enough to reach all areas of your mouth. Also, be sure your toothbrush handle is wide enough for you to get a firm grip so it doesn’t slip while you are brushing.

    Don’t Be Cheap: Buying a dozen no-name toothbrushes at a big-box store might seem like a steal for your pocketbook, but the real steal is from your oral health. If you purchase a toothbrush from a manufacturer you’ve never heard of, can you be sure the materials used to make the toothbrush are safe? Will they actually help your oral health or hurt it? Invest in a recognized brand for the best oral health care.

    Make It ADA: Be sure to buy toothbrushes with the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. The ADA only awards its Seal if a company can prove through scientific evidence that its toothbrush is safe – and effective.

    Is Color Important: If you consider the color of your toothbrush a big deal, then be sure to buy a color you adore. You’ll be spending time twice a day holding that toothbrush, so the happier it makes you, the better!

    Sources: The American Dental Association (ADA)

  • Toothpaste Ingredients Through History Included Oyster Shells, Soap, and Charcoal

    When you reach for a tube of modern-day toothpaste, do you ever wonder what exactly is in that tube? You probably know there is fluoride in the paste, which is a great cavity fighter. Often it will include a whitener for brighter teeth, plus ingredients for flavor, color, smoothness and moistness.

    But have your ever thought as you reached for your tube of toothpaste, “I wonder what the ancient Greeks or Romans used to keep their gums and teeth clean?” Or “How did they whiten their teeth and freshen their breath?” Well, we have the answers!

    The Egyptians were using a paste for teeth-cleaning (approximately 5000 BC) even before they were using toothbrushes. The ingredients for the Egyptians’ tooth powder included the ashes from the hooves of oxes, eggshells that had been burned, and volcanic pumice. It was guaranteed to scrub away plaque but the taste must have been something not to look forward to using.

    However, the Romans – and Greeks – liked their tooth cleaners to be even more abrasive. So their ingredients often included bones that had been crushed and the shells from oysters. Flavoring was added by the Romans (thanks goodness), but they also added bark and charcoal that had been powdered (yuck!).

    For the Chinese, toothpaste often included ingredients such as herbal mints, salt and ginseng root.

    By the early1800s in England, the technology of toothpastes still hadn’t advanced much beyond what the Egyptians were using 7,000 years previously. In England, the betel nut was included in toothpastes, which brought a smile to users faces since betel nut juice is a mild narcotic. Additional ingredients included soap (you washed your own mouth out!), chalk and ground charcoal (which would kind of ruin a bright smile).

    Plus – even in the early 1800s – all of the recipes for toothpastes were still based on creating a powder. It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that the first “modern” toothpaste was developed. It came in a jar and was named “Cream Dentrifice”. It wasn’t until the early 1870s that Colgate began mass-producing toothpaste in jars. Twenty years later, Colgate brought toothpaste-in-a-tube to consumers.

    Fluoride was added as a key ingredient in 1914 to aid in preventing tooth decay. Soap continued to be a key ingredient in toothpastes up until the mid 1940s because of its usefulness in making the toothpaste smooth and emulsifying the paste. Soap was replaced with sodium lauryl sulphate, which is still used in today’s toothpastes.

    Specific conditions and diseases were the focus of toothpaste development after the 1940s. These included tooth sensitivity and low-abrasive toothpastes.

    Recent advances included adding Triclosan to toothpastes. This ingredient offers additional protection against cavities, plaque, disease of the gums, and bad breath.

  • Tips to Help Your Child Avoid Cavities from Their Baby Bottle

    Here are nine tips for baby bottle usage to help you keep your little one free of cavities.

    Avoid Sugary Beverages

    Sports drinks and fruit juices are packed with sugar and are not recommended for your baby’s bottle. That’s because lots of sugar leads to tooth decay and can create a host of dental problems as their baby teeth start to show. Plus, cavities in your baby’s teeth can sometimes create problems in their new adult teeth when they start to appear.

    Be Sure to Wipe Their Mouth After a Meal

    Fifteen minutes after each liquid or solid meal, wipe out your baby’s mouth with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove sugar and residual food and beverage than can increase the chance of cavities.

    Beware the Bedtime Bottle

    A bottle at bedtime might seem like a good idea for an infant, but it can negatively impact their teeth and gums. The sugar in formula, breast milk and milk can lead to infection if a bottle is regularly given to a child at bedtime. That’s because you won’t be able to wipe out your child’s mouth before they go to sleep, so that sugar will stay in their mouth all night. Try to develop a routine at bedtime that doesn’t involve a baby bottle, or if it does, use water in the bottle.

    Encourage a Drink Before Bedtime

    Encourage your child to develop a routine that involves them taking a long drink before they go to bed. This will help them avoid wanting a bottle at bedtime.

    Skip the Microwave

    Don’t heat a formula-filled baby bottle in the microwave. Granted, it’s more convenient and quicker, but your microwave won’t heat the formula evenly and may produce formula too hot for your baby to drink. Also, the plastic in your baby bottle may be damaged from the heat produced by the microwave.

    Use Warm Water to Heat

    Your best approach to warming a baby bottle is to use a pot on the stove filled with water. Be sure to use a pan that will allow you to completely cover the baby bottle with water. Use a low to medium setting, warm the water for five minutes, then put the baby bottle in the warm water and heat for up to two minutes. Squeeze a drop on the inside of your forearm before giving the bottle to your infant – it’s a good way to check the formula’s temperature.

    Walking and Baby Bottles Don’t Go Together

    Avoid letting your child walk around while drinking from a baby bottle. They are bound to fall when they are learning to walk, and a fall with a bottle in their mouth can result in a facial injury.

    Lidless Cups Should Be the Goal

    Around the time your child begins to walk (generally 12 to 18 months) is when you should start to wean your child off their bottle. Start by having them drink from a sipping cup at mealtimes, or even from a cup without a lid. There’s bound to be a good deal of spilled liquids initially, so start with water (or a beverage without sugar) because it’s easy to clean up.

    Regular Check Ups

    The #1 way to help your child avoid tooth decay is by making sure they see a dentist before they turn one. It’s important to have your child become relaxed about going to a dentist. It will make their check up every six months much easier and set them up for a lifetime of good oral health.

    Source: Healthychildren.org

  • Dr. Walter Hunt: Practicing the Golden Rule of Dentistry Since 1977

    Most people are familiar with the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And most of Personal Care Dentistry’s patients know that the Golden Rule guides the dentists and staff at the clinic when they are assisting or treating patients. But when did Dr. Walter Hunt, DDS, the founder of the practice, start implementing the Golden Rule as a driving force at Personal Care Dentistry?

    From the first day he opened his practice in 1977 on Hamline Avenue, Dr. Hunt emphasized the Golden Rule of Dentistry.  According to Dr. Hunt, “Our practice has always taken the time to really listen to our patients and provide close, personal attention to best customize their care. I know the kind of care that I demand as a patient, and that is the kind of care that I strive to provide. I call it ‘Golden Rule Dentistry.’ It is a philosophy shared by all of our staff members.”

    But you have to go back even further than 1977 to learn about how and why he developed his approach to dentistry that focuses on compassionate care.  Dr. Hunt grew up in northwestern Indiana in a small town named Merrillville. By the time he was in high school, he had become an accomplished athlete in both football and baseball. It was then that he also reached a defining moment in his life, one that has influenced his approach to life and dentistry.

    “My family didn’t have much money. We lived in a poor neighborhood in Merrillville so I had a lot of friends who were also poor. But because I was a good athlete, I also had a group of friends who came from families with money. And I didn’t like the way the kids with money would treat the poor kids. It was then that I vowed that I would always treat everyone equally with the same amount of caring and respect,” emphasizes Dr. Hunt. “The worth of a person should not be defined by what they have or how they look.”

    For Dr. Hunt, being a dentist and the founder of Personal Care Dentistry is not a job. It is a passion. He has had the same goal for almost half a century — treat people with dignity and respect, and as a dentist, provide them with the best care possible.

    “This is my passion, and this is how I can contribute to helping other people have better lives,” he says. “Even today, I still feel like I get more out of caring for others than they do. I love being here at Personal Care Dentistry,” concludes Dr. Hunt.

  • How to Overcome Dental Anxiety

    If you feel anxious or afraid at the mere thought of  going to the dentist, you should know that you’re not alone. More than 33% of Americans feel the same emotions about dentists. Often, people who suffer from dental anxiety or fear never go to the dentist, and then are faced with a lifetime of poor oral health, pain, and potential adverse effects to their overall health.

    Interestingly, patients who are anxious or fearful of a dental visit often find that an actual dental procedure isn’t nearly as “scary” as they expected. Patient surveys done prior to and after some of the most fear-inducing dental procedures (i.e. root canals or wisdom tooth removal) found that patients’ expectation of discomfort was not matched by the actual discomfort they experienced.

    Common Reasons for Dental Anxiety – And Tips to Overcome Them

    Not knowing what will happen: The unknown is often at the root of many of our fears, so sitting down with your dentist to discuss your situation and what dental procedures would be used to help you can be critical in reducing your anxiety level. Also, to make you feel more comfortable, bring along a friend for your dental visit. Your familiarity with them will help overcome the unfamiliarity of a dental office.

    Physically feeling uneasy: Simple techniques like controlled breathing can help reduce the physical manifestations of fear and anxiety. For controlled breathing, take a big breath, then hold it, and finally let it out slowly (pretend you are a leaky tire). A second technique you can try is progressive muscle relaxation – tense and relax muscle groups one after another.

    Dental equipment: Not understanding what those often odd-looking tools are used for during your dental visit can create lots of anxiety. Ask your dentist if you can hold the tools and examine them so you don’t feel like alien objects are going to probe around in your mouth.

    Gag reflex: Dental X-rays are often difficult to cope with if you are anxious about your dental visit because of the tabs that are put in your mouth. Luckily, most dentists now use digital X-rays, which don’t need tabs.

    Loud noises: The sound of a dental drill or other dental instrument often generates anxiety or fear in patients. Ask your dentist for earplugs or headphones that will eliminate sounds during your visit.

    Lying back in a dental chair: For some patients, lying back in a dental chair creates anxiety because of the loss of control. For other patients, they may have back issues. Ask for your dental chair to be only put halfway back. Or also ask for pillows to reduce aches and pains in your back when the chair is lowered.

    Breathing through your mouth: If you tend to breathe through your mouth, then you probably feel like your breathing is impaired when you are in a dental chair. After all, the dental care team will need to be working in your mouth during the visit, which can make it tough to breathe. You might try a nasal strip to open up the air passages in your nose. Or ask for nitrous oxide, which will help you relax and will make breathing easier while you are in the dental chair.

    Sources: WebMD, Huffington Post ffffffff