Coping Skills for Facing Dental Fears
We all have something we are afraid of -- spiders, the dark, heights, maybe even going to the dentist. Sometimes, you can avoid scary things. You do not like heights? Stay close to the ground. But seeing your dentist is one fear you should not dodge. Here are some things you can do to help you get to the dental office and through the appointment.
*Speak up -- Let the dentist and the staff know that you are anxious. Tell them what makes you nervous or if you’ve had a bad experience in the past. Talk to the team about any coping skills that have worked for you in the past.
*Ask questions -- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
*Agree on a signal -- You can give, like raising your hand, if you need to take a break during treatment.
*Distract yourself --You have a lot of options for distracting yourself. Bring headphones and listen to some music or an audio book. Occupy your hands by squeezing a soft stress ball.
*Breathe --Deep breathing brings oxygen into your body, helping slow your heart rate and relax your muscles.
These are just a few coping techniques. Work with your dental team to develop a plan that not only gets you in the door, but keeps you coming back for visits on a regular basis.
Are you looking for a whiter smile? Start with your dentist. The staff at our office can help you sort through the information about ways to whiten your teeth. Some magazines, television programs, or websites tout do-it-yourself whitening approaches like sucking on, brushing with, or rinsing with acidic fruits or coconut oil. However, many off those approaches have not been shown to whiten teeth.
*Whitening in the Dental Office
Whitening toothpastes have little effect. Although some pastes may contain ingredients that seem to brighten your teeth, they are not bleaching the tooth or changing the actual color.
Home-use whiteners come in strips or as gels you paint on the teeth or put in a tray that you then put over your teeth. You can get home-use whiteners from our office or buy them over the counter. One benefit of using products from us is that the trays will be fitted to limit the contact that the gel has with your gums. This helps avoid gum irritation that can happen when gel is in contact with your gums. These whiteners bleach or lighten the tooth enamel with a chemical called peroxide. In most cases, these whiteners are used for short periods for approximately 2-4 weeks.
In Office Whitening
In office whitening is performed by our staff. Glenna will apply a peroxide gel--stronger than the one used in at-home whiteners---to your teeth. They may shine a light on the gel to get the whitening reaction started. The whole process takes approximately 1 hour. Because the peroxide is stronger, you may get whiter teeth with this approach then with the others.
Why work with my Dentist?
Our team can be a good partner when you are thinking about whitening your teeth. We will be happy to help you decide if whitening is right for you. For example, if your gums have pulled away from your teeth, whitening can be uncomfortable. Also, if you have cavities or other dental disease, Dr. Oldfield may need to treat it before you begin the whitening process to help limit any side effects like tooth sensitivity. You should also be aware that whitening will not change the color of fillings or crowns.
Are there any drawbacks?
Whitening may come with some side effects. Some people experience tooth sensitivity or their gums become irritated. Our staff will be able to help minimize these effects.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"You provide an excellent dental service, I have always had excellent treatment on each visit. I would always recommend you to anyone that is looking for great dental care." — Debra