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Dental anxiety is very common and is described as the feeling of being nervous or afraid of going to the dentist. Common fears include fear of dental pain, loss of control, the clinical environment, and needle phobia.

1 in 10 of us have dental phobia so strong that we actually avoid making visits to the dentist.

Dentists are habitual of treating nervous patients and have a range of solutions for making the visit easier, including distraction techniques, the ‘dental wand’ for easier delivery of local anaesthetic, and light sedation.

Having regular routine check-ups is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene & reduce the need for more complex treatments.

Here are some tips to reduce Dental Fear and Anxiety:

TALK TO THE DENTIST – The Dentist isn’t a mind reader. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.

MUSIC – Music acts as a relaxant and also drown out any fear-prouding noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.

 DISTRACTION– Taking a little vacation in your head by imagining that you’re on a beach or playing sports or anywhere else can also be an effective technique,if your imagination skills are strong enough.

 AGREE ON A SIGNAL– Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during appointment and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agee on a ‘’STOP’’ hand signal with the dentist. Both parties  can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.

TAKE A MIRROR– Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.

SEDATION– If there is no other way to cope, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be inhaled through a facemask to help patients feel relaxed and remove anxiety.

Are you a Snacker or a Grazer?

In today’s era, your busy lifestyle means that your eating habits are changing from the traditional three meals a day to more snacking or grazing while you are on-the-go, then now it’s a time to include chewing sugar free gum in your oral hygiene routine.

The definition for the word ‘grazing’ in the dictionary is ‘eating frequently at irregular intervals’ – not quite the same as snacking, but probably more frequent.  It comes down to grabbing something to eat on-the-go when and where we can. Breakfast at the desk, a couple of mid-morning biscuits, sandwiches and crisps for lunch and an afternoon treat to keep us going, with several cups of tea or coffee in between.

So,  this is not really a good news for our teeth which come under sustained attack from the plaque acids that form on teeth and can damage the enamel whilst all this snacking and grazing is going on. Every time we eat or drink the pH balance in the mouth changes, dropping into a danger zone where tooth demineralisation can happen. This can also leads to variety of oral health issues and can make you visit Dentist.

The simple and convenient step of chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking is a great addition to twice-a-day brushing because it helps neutralise those plaque acids, wash away food particles and re-mineralise tooth enamel.

There is plenty of scientific research to support the oral hygiene by simply having  sugar free gum, which are even more relevant now as we consume two or three snacks outside of meals every day. Both scientifically and practically proven chewing increases the production of saliva which helps clean the mouth and neutralise plaque acids, hence it’s a non-disruptive and simple oral care habit in addition to brushing and flossing. Therefore this keeps you fresh.