For some, those two simple words are enough to induce panic, fear, and anxiety. Thoughts of drills, needles, and root canals begin swirling in our heads. This “dental fear” is an issue suffered by people all over the world.
For those who do suffer from dental fear, I bring good news! If you follow five simple and easy steps suggested by the American Dental Association (ADA), you can begin to put your fear of the dentist aside. These steps can be performed in the comfort of your own home and will lead you to improved dental hygiene. Not only that, but they will also result in quicker and more enjoyable dental visits. No, they won’t allow you to forgo dental visits altogether, but they will make going to the dentist a breeze!
Step 1: Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush your teeth once in the morning and once before bed. If you would like to take it a step further you can also brush your teeth after each meal. Doing so eliminates the bacteria that can create cavities and cause bad breath.
Step 2: Brush gently. Believe it or not, it doesn’t take much pressure to eliminate plaque. In fact, brushing too hard can irritate your gums.
Step 3: Clean all surfaces of your teeth. When brushing, take your time and be thorough. Ask yourself: how long do I usually spend brushing my teeth? If the answer is less than two minutes then it is time to make a change.
Step 4: Brush your tongue. Gently brushing your tongue from back to front has been proven to help kill germs that cause bad breath.
Step 5: Use floss. Toothbrushes are not made to effectively clean between your teeth, no matter what the commercials say. That’s why the ADA suggests flossing at least once per day.
I’m sure you are thinking that these five steps are nothing revolutionary. You have probably heard some combination of them over the course of your lifetime, most likely more than once. The issue really isn’t being aware of the steps; it’s whether or not you actually use them!
If you take the time to make a few quick and easy changes to the way you handle your oral hygiene, you can go from fearing trips to the dentist to being able to proudly show off those pearly whites!
By: Shawn McNally