Your dentist cares about you and about your oral health. It’s true that dentists want what is best for you. Dentists understand that there are many things that can interfere with your dental care. Here are some things you should know.

1. Fear of the Dentist

Dental fear is real! Dentists understand this fear and anxiety and they want to help. Be sure to let your dentist know how you are feeling. We can help manage your treatment in ways that will give you more comfort. Clear communication every step of the way can help. Music can be calming. Music or ear plugs can help block out the sounds from treatment that sometimes causes patients’ stress.

2. Embarrassment

If you haven’t been to the dentist because you’re ashamed of your teeth, or afraid of what he or she might find, you’re not alone. More than one third of Americans don’t visit the dentist regularly. According to a survey for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 48% of adults think an attractive smile is a person’s most memorable feature. But 37% of people feel that crooked or stained teeth make your smile unattractive. Unfortunately, that sentiment is enough to make some men and women want to hide their smile. Many of them would rather keep their smile out of sight.

But how do you know if you are hiding your smile? Here are a few signs:

  • You only smile with your lips or don’t smile at all in photos.
  • If you hold your hand in front of your mouth when you laugh.
  • Regularly you avoid looking at your teeth in a mirror.
  • You avoid social situations because you’re self-conscious of your smile.

Don’t compare yourself to that veneered Hollywood smile. Rest assured that your dentist has seen it all, and he or she is here to help, not judge. Taking care of your teeth and taking the first step towards a healthy smile is as simple as making an appointment with your dentist.

3. Brushing

We all know that we should brush twice a day. We know to go up and down, side to side, around, in front of, and behind the teeth. But did you know that there is actually a right way and a wrong way to use your toothpaste! Most people assume that toothpaste is like soap for your teeth. Really, though, it is more of a topical agent. The longer the toothpaste is on your teeth, the more effective it will be. This means that it is good to allow the toothpaste to sit on your teeth before rinsing. Instead, brush and spit, but wait a half hour to actually rinse.

Did you know that you should not brush right after eating a meal? Many of us think it is good to clean our teeth right away after eating something, especially something that could stain our teeth. However, this is not the case. Brushing right after you eat or drink something acidic can actually soften the enamel. The acid has already weakened the enamel and brushing will only soften it more. Instead, rinse with water first, and wait an hour to brush.

Finally, that toothbrush is not good forever. According to the American Dental Association, a toothbrush should only be used for 3 months. This means you need a new one! If your bristles are frayed or have gaps, or worse, some are missing, it is a clue that it is time to replace your brush. Swapping out your toothbrush regularly will help ensure you are brushing is most effective. In addition, it will protect you from any germs or bacteria left in the bristles. If you are sick, you will want to change it when you are well to avoid spreading your germs and getting sick again.

4. Flossing

We have all heard our dentist remind us that we need to floss daily. Without a doubt, many of us feel bad the day of our appointment and want to try to make up for not flossing. However, if you are not a regular flosser, do not floss the day of your dental appointment. It will only leave your gums irritated and sensitive and make your appointment more difficult and more painful. In fact, the dentist can tell if you floss regularly or not by your gums. The health of your gum tissue depends on ongoing care which is flossing daily with the proper technique. Therefore, just be honest with your dentist about your hygiene practices.

5. Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are an early warning sign of periodontal disease. If your gums are bleeding it is important to make a dental appointment. The earlier treatment begins for your gums, the less severe your periodontal disease will be. In addition, the treatment is easier and less painful if it is addressed sooner than later.

6. Toothaches

 A toothache is never normal. It is something you definitely need to have addressed with your dentist. Even if it comes and goes, it could be a warning sign of something more severe. Never forget that there is also such a thing as a dental emergency. In other words, you do not have to wait for next appointment. If you have tooth pain or an accident with a chipped or knocked out tooth, you can get an appointment ASAP.

7. Smile Savings Plan

Do you avoid dental treatment because of cost? The Smile Savings Plan at Danville Family Dentistry can help! If you do not have dental insurance, this patient courtesy program helps balance the expense of dental care. However, it is not insurance. For a flat annual fee of $296, patients are eligible for:

  • 2 professional cleanings
  • 2 professional oral evaluations
  • Routine X-rays

In addition, patients in this plan receive 15% off any other needed dental care. Contact us to see if you qualify! At Danville Family Dentistry we will help you be sure your smile is at its best and make it as easy and comfortable as possible.

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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or