3 Real Ways People Cope With Dental Anxiety

Do you dread going to see the dentist? You’re not alone. Surveys estimate between 13 and 24 percent of people have some form of dental anxiety.

Fortunately, that also means people have come up with all kinds of real ways to cope with dental anxiety. Try one of these techniques the next time you’re facing the dental chair – you might just find one that works for you.

1. Laugh Before You Go In

Laughter is a proven form of stress relief. The act of laughing releases endorphins, gets your lungs to take in more oxygen-rich air, and aids muscle relaxation. Plus, it helps to take your mind off of distracting and troubling thoughts, like the ones that plague you in the waiting room.

When you head out for the dentist, bring along a pair of headphones and a laugh-out-loud TV show, audiobook or podcast on your phone. Try to have a laugh while you’re waiting to be called. This will help to prepare your mind and body for the task ahead.

2. Listen to Soothing Music

Music has a unique link to our emotions, making it a powerful stress management tool. It draws our attention away from gnawing anxiety, and can even slow our pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels.

Many dentists have caught onto this, and give patients the option of listening to soothing sounds while they’re in the chair. If that’s not available, ask your dentist whether you can listen to your own favourite tunes on your phone or mp3 player. This small effort can make a big difference in your stress level.

3. Ask Questions

Wait…what’s that tool for? Why’s it making that sound? Is this going to hurt?

For many people, fear of the unknown is a big part of dental anxiety. While we usually know what to expect from an appointment in general, the details are often a mystery until it’s well underway.

If you’re one to fret about dental work, it’s worth taking the time to ask the dental hygienist or dentist for more information. Knowing exactly what to expect can take a huge weight off your shoulders. A good provider will know it’s worth the extra few minutes.

5 Foods to Try for a Healthier Smile

food for a healthier smile

You can’t simply eat your way to a healthier smile (unfortunately), but what you put into your body does have an impact on oral health. You may be surprised to learn that some of the best foods for your teeth and gums are also pretty darn tasty! Here are five foods to try if you want a healthier smile.

Greens

No surprise here – leafy greens are the image of healthy eating, to the chagrin of sweet tooths everywhere. But they’re popular for a reason. Kale, spinach, cabbage, and other so-called “rabbit foods” are full of calcium, an essential nutrient in building your teeth’s enamel, which prevents sensitive teeth.

If you’re not a salad fan, there are subtler ways of sneaking leafy greens into your diet, like putting them in a smoothie. You could also use them as a pizza topping – which isn’t altogether bad for you, as you’ll see in the next point.

Cheese

Cheese lovers are often dismayed to find this gooey goodness on the list of foods to avoid. But cheese offers benefits to oral health, and not just because it contains enamel-building calcium. Eating cheese raises the pH in your mouth, which helps prevent the effects of acids that cause tooth decay! So if you’re planning to indulge in something sweet, it’s not altogether a bad idea to top it off with a bite of cheese.

Yogurt

Ice-cream’s healthier cousin offers a welcome protein and calcium boost. Yogurt with active bacteria cultures (marketed as probiotics) adds ‘good’ bacteria to your mouth, which can take the place of the ‘bad’ bacteria that’ll give you cavities. However, be warned: much of the yogurt you’ll find on grocery store shelves is chock-full of sugar, which won’t go your mouth any good. In terms of health benefits, a low-fat, sugar-free yogurt is the snack of choice.

Almonds

Yes, these tasty little nuts can get stuck between your teeth. However, if you’ve got a craving for chocolate, almonds are a far better alternative for your oral health. They’re low in sugar, high in calcium, and packed with protein. Just remember to floss after enjoying a handful.

Apples

Fruits like apples contain natural sugars. While they obviously contain less sugar than cake and candy, the sugar they do contain is no better for your teeth than the others. However, apples contain a lot of water, and chewing the fruit’s fibrous flesh stimulates saliva in your mouth, which helps to wash away any remaining sugars from your teeth. Finishing off your lunch with a few apple slices can actually help keep your teeth clean!

 

What’s the Best Part of Being a Dentist?

Dentists love being their own boss.
Dentists love being their own boss.

When it comes to careers, dentistry gets kind of a bad rap. Casual observers tend to focus on the low points of the job: the long hours, the fatigue, and, of course, the mess. But every job has its downsides, and if you’re passionate about what you do, working in a dental office is highly rewarding work.

The Joys of Dentistry

To start, dental practitioners do a lot of good for the world. They spend their days helping others improve their health, relieve pain, and become more confident in their lives. They get to meet folks from all levels of society and become part of the community. Dentists literally work hands-on to make people feel better, and they can see the results of their work in each patient’s smile.

Dianne Glasscoe sums it up well in this article: “The joy of changing a person’s life by creating a beautiful, healthy smile is one of the intangible rewards of being a dentist that can’t be measured.”

The opportunity to help people isn’t dentistry’s only draw. There’s also the work environment. Practicing dentists work as part of a team that includes dental hygienists, office staff, and fellow practitioners. It’s also a career with stability and good pay.

But the best part of the job?

Being Your Own Boss

According to this year’s Annual Practice Survey, it’s the ability to be your own boss. 47% of dentists who completed the survey said this was the most satisfying part of the job.

You choose which days you work, make your own hours, and decide how many patients to see each day. You have the freedom to do some procedures and refer other out. You select your own tools and materials. And you can determine, based on your own experiences, what your services are worth.

As Roger Levin wrote for Dentistry IQ, “There’s something to be said for working for yourself. You call the shots, you set the hours, and you reap the rewards.”

That’s not to say the job is easy. Running your own business always comes with challenges, and being your own boss takes a great deal of discipline and perseverance. But if you do it right, you can set yourself up for a lifelong, rewarding career.

How Dental Hygienists Can Help Patients With Dementia

More hygienists are coming into contact with patients who have dementia.
More hygienists are coming into contact with patients who have dementia.

With our aging population, it will soon be common for dental hygienists to encounter patients who suffer from a type of dementia. The most prevalent form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, currently affects over 5.2 million Americans who are 65 or older.

As the disease progresses, it can become increasingly difficult to provide dental care. Caregivers, hygienists, and dentists must work together to establish a treatment plan that suits each individual patient’s needs.

 

Why Dental Care is Important for Dementia Patients

When someone receives a dementia diagnosis, their oral health tends to take a back seat as the person and their family focuses on more pressing health issues. However, it’s important that a person with the disease continues to receive regular dental care, as the effects of dementia can cause new problems to develop and exacerbate existing dental issues.

One of the major components of the disease is short-term memory loss. A person who suffers from dementia may forget to brush their teeth or lose sight of why it’s important. In the middle to late stages of the disease, they may lose the ability to brush or loss their teeth without help. This can result in gum disease and tooth decay from oral neglect, which causes discomfort and puts the person at risk of infection.

Sometimes, the medications prescribed to a person with dementia can increase the potential for dental issues. Many patients use antidepressants and sedatives, which both have dry mouth as a side effect. The lack of saliva can lead to a build-up of plaque, increasing the risk of dental decay and gum disease. Syrup-based medications, like lactulose, can cause tooth decay due to the high sugar content.

Many older people also wear dentures, which accumulates plaque build up quickly.

Maintaining good oral health is an important part of a patient’s overall health. Having healthy gums and teeth makes it easier for a person to eat and digest food, which reduces the risk of malnutrition and improves their quality of life overall.

 

How Dental Hygienists Can Help

  • Understand the condition. There are several types and degrees of dementia, and different patients are living at different levels and progressions of the disease. If possible, find out about the patient’s condition ahead of time and learn what you can about their cognitive state.
  • Develop a good rapport with the patient. Before the appointment, take time to connect with the person (and their caregiver, if applicable) to put them at ease. This will help to avoid misinterpretations.
  • Be patient. Those with moderate to severe dementia may have a limited ability to follow instructions or communicate their needs. Don’t take it personally if you have to repeat yourself. It helps to break instructions down into small, easy steps (sit down, lean back, open your mouth, say “ah.”)
  • Keep constant communication. Short-term memory loss is a common feature of dementia. Be sure to reassure the patient and let them know what’s going on throughout the appointment.
  • Write it down. Whether the patient arrives with a caregiver or not, it’s important to write down your instructions and recommendations in case they forget.

The Link Between Dental Health and Mental Wellness

Studies show a clinical connection between a person's oral health and general well-being.
Studies show a clinical connection between a person’s oral health and general well-being.

There’s more to your smile than meets the eye.

It’s long been recognized that oral hygiene plays an important role in your overall health. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly helps to prevent cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and infections.

Now, there is a growing body of evidence that healthy teeth contribute to mental health and well-being as well.

A by the University of Manchester’s School of Dentistry confirmed the first clinical link between teeth and quality of life. Researchers surveyed adults with full or partial dentures and found the patients were more prone to mild forms of stress than people with natural teeth or dental implants. Those with dentures were also more likely to lack confidence in their appearance.

In another study by University College London, nearly one in three adults felt an improved smile would improve their confidence and help them overcome embarrassment about how they look. 46% of participants also believed an attractive smile was key to a better appearance.

For better or for worse, society puts a lot of stock in the appearance of your smile. We tend to associate a spotless, white smile with beauty and good health. And as social scientist Malcom Gladwell observed in his New Yorker piece, teeth have also become as a sign of social status. Since dental care is not covered by universal health care in either Canada or the United States, many people must pay for trips to the dentist out-of-pocket. Perfect teeth are a sign of wealth; bad teeth imply you lack the means or the knowledge to care for your oral health.

“Anxiety about their appearance means people quite literally cannot grin and bear it,” wrote Dr. Andrew McCance, a researcher in the UCL study. “Their embarrassment with their facial appearance has hampered their careers or stopped them forming relationships.”

No wonder people feel self-conscious about their smile.

It’s not to say that access to dental care would instantly boost a person’s confidence. Not everyone with bad teeth has poor self esteem, of course, and even those with a perfect smile still suffer from stress and low self-esteem. But there is clearly a link between teeth and mental wellness.

For many people, better oral health would be a big step in improving their overall health and wellness. These findings underline the importance of promoting good oral hygiene and providing access to dental care.

Why Isn’t There Universal Dental Care in Canada?

Almost half of all Canadians pay for dental care out-of-pocket.
Almost half of all Canadians pay for dental care out-of-pocket.

Suppose you wake up one morning with a splitting headache. In most cases, you can trust that the doctor will treat your condition regardless of your ability to pay. After all, Canada’s universal health care system (called Medicare) provides equal access to medical services for all Canadians.

That is, unless, the pain stems from a toothache.

People outside Canada are often surprised to learn that our universal health care system stops where the teeth meet the gums.

Dental care in Canada is almost entirely privately-funded, with 51% coming from employment-based dental insurance and 44% paid out-of-pocket. The remaining 5% consists of the few Canadians who receive support from the federal or provincial government, like low-income children, members of the armed forces, and some aboriginal groups.

Unfortunately, this system leaves millions of Canadians without the care they need, including the ones who need it most. Almost half of all Canadians without dental insurance (over six million people) skip going to the dentist due to the cost.

Immigrants, the elderly, children, and adults working low income jobs are most likely to avoid the dentist for this reason. They are also the groups most likely to have problems with tooth and gum disease due to limited access to healthy foods, which increases the risk of other health problems like diabetes.

That means those who are most in need of dental treatment are least likely to be able to get it.

 

Why Canada Doesn’t Pay for Dental Care

When Canada created Medicare back in 1966, legislators did consider including dental care as part of the system. However, social and economic forces kept dental care in the private realm.

Dentists lobbied for a private system, arguing a lack of human resources and a desire to keep the government out of the patient-practitioner relationship. The government anticipated the cost of universal dental care in Canada would be too high, as the U.K. saw 16% of the population seek dental treatment when it was brought into the National Health Service. There were also alternatives, like water fluoridation, that could help promote good oral health for less cost.

For these reasons, the government left dental treatment out of the universal health care system.

Today, there is some public assistance available. All provinces and territories pay for in-hospital dental surgery, and some have prevention programs for children. Still, Canada spends just $700 million on publicly funded dental care each year, one of the lowest rates in the world.

Universal dental care would be a massive undertaking in Canada. In the meantime, the government should do more to ensure everyone has reasonable access to dental care. For example, putting more public dental clinics in hospitals and community health centers could help fill the gaps in access to treatment. More financing for vulnerable groups, like low-income children, could treat and prevent dental issues before they become serious and costly issues.

Advances in Scientific Testing

Genetic testing has entered popular consciousness with the emergence of detailed knowledge about the human genome. Whether it is deciding the paternity of a contested child, or looking out for early signs of hereditary disease, genetics are now at the leading edge of medical science, replacing more old fashioned methods like blood testing with a surprising efficiency. As is the case with any advance in science, it has affected the way people approach their health.

The Internet is flooded with offers of cheap DNA testing. These kits claim to offer a reliable paternity test that makes the process easy and painless, for under 100. At the chemists, a DNA testing kit can be bought for a period of less than half of this price. As DNA testing becomes more popular, many are tempted by these bargain rates.

The ease of access to the kits is a key element in their popularity. Paternity testing isn’t always about legal rights, but for the peace of mind of either or both parent: their proliferation is a reflection of how important this security is.

A slight change of direction..

There are a few drawbacks to the cheap DNA testing decision. First of all, the cheap DNA testing that can be brought over the counter isn’t the same thing as a paternity test that can stand up as evidence in a tribunal of law. Despite the high drama of shows like Jeremy Kyle, where a DNA test seems to prove paternity, only an approved test by a doctor is recognised by judges.

There is also the issue of accuracy. In the last few years, genetics have become the key area of scientific research, and so it’s become fashionable to search for genetic solutions to medical and social problems. Nevertheless, cheap DNA testing often cuts corners, not checking against all the variables, and offering a less than a hundred per cent accuracy. While this might be fine in most cases, the fraught nature of a paternity test isn’t a site for margins of error.

The accuracy of the genetic test procedures is one of the themes of debate in the scientific community. All medical testing has the potential for laboratory errors. The errors can be due to sample misidentification, chemical contamination, and human errors.

Scientific Testing; There’s Even More……

The possibility of having inaccurate results with genetic tests can lead to serious consequences. Consequently, genetic tests are considered services by the FDA. Thus, no regulations are provided for the assessment of the accuracy and dependability of gene testing procedures. The lack of oversight on the part of the government is the cause of the concern over the accuracy of the results of such tests.

The difference always comes down to the thoroughness of the procedure. Anyone considering DNA testing would do well to examine the technology being used. There is also the issue of additional, hidden costs: the over the counter kit might be tempting, but it often charges extra for analysis.

The biggest differences in DNA testing don’t necessarily come with the actual kit: it is the aftercare that counts. The turnaround time can be different-the significance of this, of course, is contingent on the urgency of the situation.

DNA testing works by comparing the parents’ DNA to the child ‘s, identifying a consistent pattern in the chain of four constituent bases. Some DNA testing kits add additional steps, check more genetic regions or have a specialist approach when treating the DNA. These, however, aren’t always taken into account in the price: yet they’ll impact on accuracy.

Ultimately, a DNA testing kit is most effective if it tests both the mother and the potential father: in many case, this makes the test absolutely accurate.

Dentists Investing in Quality Care Tools

We look to our dentists as guides on the road to dental health. While it is up to us to maintain our own oral hygiene to the best of our abilities through regular brushing, flossing, and oil pulling, in the end, it is the dentist and the hygienist who determine whether we have done a good job.

Most of us probably do not give much consideration to the equipment our dentist uses, but one can usually tell when it is lacking. If that is the case, the dentist is likely cutting corners or not using quality dental equipment providers. This reduces their ability to give your teeth proper treatment and can even lead to problems down the road for you.

You might not be able to spot quality dental instruments when you see them, but as a client, you have the right to ask your dentist about the equipment they are using on you. You can ask such questions as:

  • How often do you clean your equipment?
  • How often are the drill heads replaced?
  • How many times can my mouth be X-rayed before there could be excessive radiation exposure?

6596816_orig

While a dentist and their hygienist(s) are highly trained, they are really no different than any other professional who provides you with a service. Do you feel intimidated asking your mechanic about the parts they use on your car? Probably not. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist questions about their equipment and practices.

Chances are, they will be happy to provide the answers you seek. If they are evasive or rude about such a basic question, that is not a good sign. Any professional should be open about the way they work, so if answers are not forthcoming that meet your satisfaction, it might be time you consider switching providers.

Medical ID Bracelet For People With Medical Condition

Most people with medical condition nowadays prefer to wear emergency id. It comes with different form but the most common is the jewelry type. The medical id can be wear comfortably and look natural by the form of bracelet, necklace, ring or any kind of jewelry that can wear every day. The importance of emergency id for people with medical conditions is it will alert the paramedic, physician, emergency personnel or any health care professionals that will respond to the patient’s need. People wearing medical id usually have medical conditions that in times of emergency needs immediate attention. Also having this medical accessory, the responders during an accident will have knowledge to do the first aid properly. It means they will address the right intervention to the patient even if the condition of the wearer is not mindful enough to detail what happened, old enough to explain his/her condition or too injured to describe the situation.health

The medical id is very useful especially if you have medical condition. The medical emergency id can be accessed by any responder because of the ID code that engraved to the bracelet which all important information of the patient are present. The emergency medical id for wallets and id tags sterling silver or gold that only professional health worker will recognize that it is not just an accessory.

Having medical id bracelet is use for patient safety purposes. It is a bracelet to identify medical conditions people might have. The engraved code itself get the attention of the emergency personnel and he/she can provide the suitable medical assistance. The medical id is available with pre-engraved illnesses or can be custom engraved with your particular medical histories and have the advantage of that all info is self-sufficient and does not oblige any form of equipment to view in situation of an emergency.

Libby’s Health & Lifestyle Blog

yoga

Hello everyone!

My name is Libby and I’m on my way to become a health and lifestyle coach.  My belief is that if I’m able to help people in real life, then I should be able to help people through a digital platform as well.  Hence, this blog was started.  I want people to be knowledgeable about the choices they make in their day to day life.  I want to give people a chance to better their circumstances and health just by doing something a little bit different each and every day.

Most people don’t know how easy it is to change your lifestyle.  True, there are times when it may be tough, but for an average person, all they need to do is tweak a couple of habits and their health could be changed forever.  I want to provide people with the information to achieve that.