Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Do You Have Dentophobia or Dental Anxiety?

I was sure I made up the word "dentophobia", but I discovered that someone else beat me to it.  While I would categorize myself as slightly dentobphoic, I am in reality, like 75% of adults, feeling some dental anxiety.  Dentophobics are a smaller, more elite group who suffer fear from the trauma caused by previous dental experiences.  I think that maybe I could overlap into this 10% group due to my twenty-something run-in with an alcoholic dentist. Fortunately, my current dentist, Dr. Bell, is a peach of a guy and does his best to make my visits short and as pleasant as possible.
So that being said (or written,I thought it would be fun to play a little game of Dentistry Family Feud.
Question One:  What are the top three reasons people don't like to go to the dentist?
1. Drill and shots
2. Pain
3. Cost
Question Two:  What are the top three reasons your dentist doesn't like you.
1.  You fail to show up for appointments.
2.  You don't follow his advice.
3.  You wait until you're desperate to come in.
Question Three: What are the top three reasons to have your teeth cleaned regularly?
1.  Prevent gum disease
2.  Check for oral cancer
3.  Have clean, whiter teeth
Okay, think you're pretty smart.  Well, besides the above, there are some very important health reasons to have frequent teeth cleanings.  I will give you a bonus point for every one of these that you manage to come up with.
Infections in the mouth can spread to the heart.  People with missing teeth have a higher rate of heart disease and that expands exponentially to over 10% for those who have complete tooth loss (edentulous).
People who have good oral habits have better circulation and better memories, as in dementia.
Men with gum disease have lower sperm counts.
Women with periodontal disease are about 4% more likely to have a premature baby.
Diabetics are at higher risk for gum disease.
People without any natural teeth are more likely to have kidney disease.

Open wide!!! (unknown hygienist)
If you haven't been inside a dentist's office lately, you may be surprised at the advances in oral care.  My daughter's dentist has TV and headphones.  I think it is the only time when she can pick the channel and watch a program uninterrupted.  Many dentists offer sedation dentistry for those who suffer from a large dose of fear factor.  Although I'm strictly a mint girl, my hygienist has many flavors of teeth cleaning product including birthday cake and chocolate chow. Yes, I have tasted them for research purposes and the chocolate is pretty darn good. Since I have a tiny mouth (yes, I can hear the jokes now) I always take an Advil before having my teeth cleaned.  It really helps when you have to keep your jaw open wide for a half-an-hour. I also smear up my lips with lip balm to keep them from drying out.  My hygienist, Susan, stays on time, asks about my family and is thoughtful about my inability to open my jaw too widely. Most dental plans cover the cost of six-month check-ups, so  take advantage of this and stave off other dental procedures.  You'll also have a stain-free smile and better smelling breath.

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