Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Dental phobia and dental anxiety is a serious issue affecting over 35 million Americans alone. Many people have such an overwhelming fear of dental care that they deal with constant pain and discomfort. Research has shown a definite body/mouth connection. Not maintaining good dental care can have dramatic negative effects on your overall health and well being. In recent years sedation dentistry has become quite popular, but sleeping through dental treatment does not allow you to develop the tools to overcome dental phobia and dental anxiety in a healthy manageable way. Common dental phobias include fear of dental pain, loss of control, and fear of needles or injections.

Top Methods To Cope With Dental Anxiety

Fortunately, both dental anxiety and dental phobia can be overcome with some work from both you and your dentist. You should never let fear stop you from seeking regular dental care. With proper steps taken by patient and dentist, and some patience, those fears will minimize so that you can not only seek treatment, but actually feel comfortable in the dental office. Some of the top methods for coping with dental anxiety and dental phobia include:

-Communication – For many, the dental phobia began as a child. A dentist might have scolded or talked down to their younger patients, making them feel like they did not have a voice in their treatment or even when it was uncomfortable for them. Even adults have reported these similar feelings, where they feel they might be ridiculed for being afraid. Open lines of communication can give back a full sense of control over your dental treatment. This control helps to decrease the feeling of helplessness. Being a part of the decision making on treatment, knowing what to expect, and knowing if you feel uncomfortable your dentist will stop, can make any dental patient feel better. Communication and control can be the differentiating factor between those suffering from dental phobia and dental anxiety, and those who have found a way to work past it. A good tip is, if you are anxious about something just come right out and talk to the dentist about it.

-“Talk” with your hands. Most dentists will give their patients hand signals to communicate. This is very important for those suffering from dental phobia. This gives the patients an increased control knowing the dentist can till listen to them while dental care is ongoing.

-Distractions – Developing the ability to take control of your mind and allow yourself to be distracted from the dental treatment. The top ways to achieve distraction are:

1) meditation - a relaxation of mind and body musculature.

2) audio distraction - listening to music, or the voice of your dentist while they talk you through the process with casual conversation. Even the sound of a soothing voice can lower anxiety levels. A good tip is to listen to an audio book while undergoing treatment. This will engage your ears and your mind to distract you from the task at hand.

3) visual distraction–  watching television or a movie, even staring at a relaxing picture during dental treatment. For many, wearing headphones can help to block out much of the dental noises that increase their anxiety, listening to a personal story about  the dentist, visualizing a relaxing setting, and muscle relaxation can make the experience much more tolerable and possibly even enjoyable!

-Be Prepared - Ask your dentist in advance what you can expect during your visit and how procedures, such as injections, are handled. Some may enjoy hearing a play by play and others will not. Talk it over with your dentist when going through your initial dental examination.

-Muscle Relaxation Techniques - The key here is to place focus on your body parts, relaxing them one at a time. You can start with your toes or hands and work your way across your body, squeezing then relaxing each area of your body progressively. This removes your focus on the dental care and places it on your body achieving the goal of relaxing and calming yourself. Try squeezing a stress ball in 1 or both hands.

-Take A Mini Vacation In Your Mind! - To help ease your nerves and control pain during dental treatment, imagine yourself in a relaxing, enjoyable setting. For example, visualize calming colors or scenes such as the ocean, think about the sound of the waves as you relax on your favorite beach or, if you enjoy hiking, imagine yourself walking along a trail next to a river. The more detail you add to the image, the less focused you will be on the dental procedure. This technique takes practice initially, but once you gain confidence in yourself and your dentist it will get easier to do. If you find that your mind drifts away from your image, gently turn your attention back to the scene you created. Try practicing meditation with visualization at home before your appointment when you feel stressed about upcoming dental treatment.

-Breathing Exercises - This is a great technique for your drive over to the dental office, or while waiting for your appointment. Deep breathing can be a great technique to relax your mind and body prior to dental work. By taking in slow, deep breaths, the oxygen flow will have a calming effect on your entire body. Remember, slow and deep, NOT short and fast, as this can cause you to hyperventilate.

-Take Frequent Breaks. Patients may need to take breaks during dental procedures, when anxiety builds up or they start to feel claustrophobic. If you feel like you need a break, let your dentist know and he/she will gladly stop to give you the time and space necessary.

-Acupuncture/Acupressure - Acupuncture/acupressure have many benefits for patients who are dentally anxious. For this to be fully effective, the acupuncture  should be completed as close to the dental appointment as possible, while some acupressure can be done during the dental appointment. This will not work for all patients but it has been a successful technique for many in attempting to overcome dental phobia and dental anxiety.

Conclusion

The key to overcoming and coping with your dental fear is to remember that you are not alone. If you choose the right dentist and dental team, they will be with you every step of the way, guiding you to help you overcome your fears. In the beginning it may seem insurmountable but one step and one appointment at a time, and the visits become easier and easier. You might actually begin to wonder why you didn’t do this earlier. Do not let dental phobia prevent you from being healthy in all aspects of your life. Take control of your health today!

Summer is just around the corner which means school is out and traveling for many families. It is easy to overlook dental hygiene when on the road and forget to pack the essentials to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Below you will find some essentials to pack to ensure you keep up your dental hygiene while having fun on the road.

Dental Hygiene Essentials To Pack

-New Toothbrush. Start fresh and bring a new toothbrush on your trip. Then simply throw it out at the end of the vacation.

-Toothbrush Holder. This is a simple and cheap way to maintain a sanitary environment for your toothbrush.

-Travel Sized Mouthwash and Toothpaste. Not only will these follow the newer TSA regulations for air travel, they will make it easier to pack as well.

-Sugar Free Gum (preferably one with Xylitol). Being on the road it is not always easy to brush after meals or snacks. Keeping gum with you will allow you to freshen your breath and keep your mouth as clean as possible.

-Pain Medication. This can include Motrin or Aleve. Nice to have in case of a dental emergency while on vacation.

-Wax. Another good item to have in case of a dental emergency. If you accidentally chip a tooth, the wax can be used to cover the jagged edge of the tooth.

-Floss. Do not forget to floss at least once per day.

-Package of Colgate Wisps. This handy dental hygiene tool acts as toothbrush as well as a toothpick. These can help remove foreign objects lodged between your teeth.

-Plastic sandwich or freezer bag. Ever open your suitcase to find a tube of toothpaste or mouthwas exploded all over your clothes? It’s not a pleasant surprise. This can be prevented by putting your dental hygiene products in a sealed plastic bag.

-Electric Toothbrush/Charger. If you use an electric toothbrush make sure to pack the entire kit including the charger so you do not run out of juice while traveling.

-Waterpik Flosser Travel Size. The waterpik is an excellent adjunct to any dental hygiene program. If this is a product you use at home, then you would not want to leave without it.

Dental Hygiene Tips While Traveling

-Do not forget to brush after every meal. If you are unable to brush immediately, rinse with water after every meal.

-Limit snacking.

-Carry sugar free gum with xylitol to chew if you are unable to brush.

-Always brush and floss before bed.

Dental Hygiene Conclusion

Maintaining dental hygiene on the road can be quite challenging. Carrying your routine on the road is essential to stave off any dental issues down the road.

A good oral hygiene regimen often includes tooth brushing multiple times a day along with flossing but did you know there is more you could be doing? While brushing and flossing are very effective adding tongue brushing to your regimen can kick your dental hygiene into high gear. Neglecting to brush your tongue at least once per day can leave behind a lot of harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even bad breath. Our tongues provide a perfect environment for bacteria to live and grow. It has a rough surface allowing the bacteria to hide and prosper. This bacteria if left alone will spread throughout your mouth even if you constantly brush.

Will Tongue Cleaning Improve Our Breath?

Tongue brushing will be an effective way to maintain clean, fresh breath. Gum, mints, and mouthwashes only mask or hide our bad breath for a short period of time. The key to eliminating bad breath (halitosis) is to eliminate the oral bacteria causing it.

The correct steps for tongue cleaning include:

-Choosing The Right Tool For The Job. You have three choices for cleaning your tongue.

1. Tongue Scraper. A tongue scraper is the traditional method for properly cleaning the tongue. Tongue scrapers can be made from plastic or metal. Simple to use, place the edge of the tool on the back of your tongue, and gently pull the scraper forward gently removing bacteria and food debris.

2. Standard Toothbrush. The disadvantage of using a regular toothbrush on the tongue is that the bristles are designed to clean the smooth surfaces of your teeth. Your tongue is a rough surface with many tiny crevices, and regular toothbrush bristles may not do a thorough cleaning job. Recent research studies have shown that a standard toothbrush reduced bad breath by 45 % while a tongue scraper reduced it by almost 75 % The study measured levels of volatile sulfur compounds in the mouth).

3. Tongue Brush with bristles designed to clean out the crevices of the tongue.

Using Your Tongue Cleaner

Tongue cleaning can be done before or after brushing. It is important to be gentle as our tongues can be quite sensitive. Steps should include:

-Begin by cleaning the back of your tongue, and work your way forward.

-Scrape and clean the entire top and side surfaces of your tongue, not just the center.

-If you use a tongue brush, move it the same way you moved the tongue cleaner from the back of the tongue to the front of the tongue. You may have to use this method a few times in order to adequately clean your entire tongue.

-Rinse the tongue brush or tongue scraper off after each use it to remove bacteria and any food debris from the areas of the tongue you cleaned.

-Rinse your mouth after cleaning (preferably an antibacterial mouthwash like Listerine) your tongue.

Tongue Cleaning Conclusion

Maintaining good oral hygiene can have long lasting health effects. Adding tongue cleaning to this regimen will only improve your oral hygiene as well as freshen your breath. Speak to your dentist if you need any further tongue cleaning tips.

Summertime for most means lots of time by the pool and out in the sun but did you also know it could mean dental health issues? Below you will find a list of some helpful tips to keep your smile safe this summer.

Summertime Smile Protection Tips

-Stay Hydrated. This is good for your entire body but can especially be true when snacking and drinking by the pool. Keeping our mouths hydrated will help protect against tooth decay and keep our oral tissues moist and prevent them from drying out. Lemonade is a favorite summertime drink especially for kids but the high acidic content along with high sugar can equal a dry mouth and tooth decay development. Water will help wash away the excess sugars as well as neutralize that acidic content of the lemonade.

-Snack Wisely. Making the right choices can keep you healthy while the wrong choices can damage your health. Good choices include fresh fruits like watermelon and banana’s. Bad choices include many citrus fruits (which have a high sugar and acid content) and sugary snacks.

-Sunscreen Is Not Just For Your Body. Our dry summer heat here in Las Vegas can cause dry, chapped lips. Protected your lips with a lip balm or lip gloss with moisture and SPF protection is important. Damage to our lips can lead to oral cancer down the road. Try to use lip protection with an SPF rating of at least 15.

-Protect Your Teeth. Summertime also means outdoor activites including sports like basketball. It is important that you wear an athletic mouthguard to protect your teeth from the physical contact. There is also a possible reduction in risk of concussions when wearing a properly fitted mouthguard. A custom fabricated athletic mouthgaurd will keep your teeth safe while enjoying your favorite activities.

-Swim Wisely. Many people are unaware the damage swimming in a pool can cause on our dental health. Swimming in pools with high chlorine content can actually cause tooth enamel erosion. Swimming in the ocean is actually a better option. The high salt water content can actually reduce oral bacteria. SO, if swimming in a pool remember to brush and rinse regularly to limit the possible damage to your smile.

-Avoid Sports Drinks. Sports drinks have become extremely popular for athletes as well as non athletes. Most sports drinks are highly acidic with a high content of sugar. These drinks can lead to tooth enamel erosion as well as tooth decay. It is important to remember, sport drinks are made to replace what your body loses during extreme sweating and exertion, they are not meant to be a casual beverage consumed with lunch. Use them properly and you will not suffer the damage that they can incur.

-Do Not Forget Breakfast. People often forget the most important meal of the day especially in the summer. Skipping breakfast can lead to increased snacking on unhealthy items. Maintain a regular schedule of meals to stay healthy all summer.

Conclusion

Summertime is just around the corner and it is never too early to get ready to protect our smiles and our families. Following these simple tips can keep you smiling all summer.