Dentally Phobic Patients: How To Overcome Embarrassment And Powerlessness

dentally phobic patients how to overcome embarrassment and powerlessness

Having extreme fear of the dentist is referred to as a dental phobia. You are required to have regular dental checkups at least once a year. However, if you are among the estimated 9% or 15% of Americans with dental phobia, you may be stretching out the yearly requirement or avoiding it. So what can you to deal with this situation?

How to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

Oral health plays a vital role in our overall health. Hence, fear of the dentist shouldn’t prevent you from having dental checkups and cleanings. At Innovo Dental and Implant Studio, we understand that not everybody can visit the dentist. Know that you aren’t alone; we have used various techniques to help many before you—the following are several self-help tips on overcoming dental fear.

Finding the Right Dentist

Having the right dentist can have a difference. The dentist sets the tone for your entire dental visit. If the dental staff isn’t friendly and inviting but more clinical, it can worsen your fears. Ask friends and family members for recommendations when looking for the right dentist. People aren’t likely to recommend doctors they are not comfortable with. The right dentist is also friendly and caring and answers all your simple questions. Also, do they provide personalized treatment in a relaxing and comfortable environment?

Understand Your Dental Fears

The best way of fixing the problem is by admitting there is a problem. Instead of making excuses about why you don’t like the dentist, try to pinpoint why you fear the dental office. Are there any specific experiences that may have contributed? Dental horror stories from friends or family? Write these causes of dental phobia and take them to a dentist for phobic patients near you. They will be able to offer solutions and explanations for your dental phobia.

Communicate with Your Dentist

Communication is the foundation of a good dentist-patient relationship. Speak out your concerns to your dentist about the procedure. For example, if you fear the unknown, you can ask the dentist to explain the process using simple terms.

Taking a Friendly Face to the Appointment

Having a friend or relative at the dental clinic can help you calm down. A loved one can distract you from your fears and act as your ears and eyes to advocate for your care.

The Top Ten Reasons Why People Fear Going to the Dentist

There are a lot of reasons why one can develop dental phobia. Some of them include:

  • Pain. We are very quick to assume that dental procedures are inherently painful. However, dentists have adapted modern-day treatment methods that are gentle and comfortable.
  • Embarrassment. Although your teeth appear to be in good health. One may be worried about getting in trouble for not having regular dental checkups or lack of proper dental maintenance.
  • Fear of dental equipment. Dental equipment can cause anxiety, especially when they are sharp-looking and noisy. You can always ask the dentist to look at them and explain what each piece of equipment does.
  • Gag reflexes. Some people have sensitive gag reflexes, and when objects are placed in their mouths, they feel like throwing up.
  • Fear of the unknown. For some individuals, it’s not the dentist’s chair or office that triggers their anxiety. Instead, it is the fear of the unknown. They don’t know what will be discovered or what professional cleaning will feel.
  • Bad experience from the past. It is sad to say that there are dentists who don’t make an effort or time to provide possibly the best experience to their patients. Lack of patience or poor ethical skills can be scarring for a patient who is already nervous.
  • The dental office smells. The chemical odor in a dental office can be uninviting. However, dentists are now taking measures to make their offices more inviting.
  • Expenses. Oral care can be pricey, especially when one doesn’t have dental insurance coverage. As a result, people will avoid visiting the dental office, fearing they might be unable to afford the service.
  • Lack of control. The thought of having no power when lying on the dentist’s chair and their hand on your mouth is enough to instill fear.
  • The whirring sound of machines. The sound of dental equipment in the office can be intimidating. However, the modern equipment is quieter and less frightening.

Why You Should Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

At our dental clinic in Tracy, we treat all our patients as family. We are ready to give you time and attention and listen to your concerns. Overcoming dental phobia comes with many benefits, such as enjoying improved dental and overall health, having a brighter smile, gaining more confidence, and being able to experience the best in dental care comfortably

Keep an Eye Out for Indicators of Gum Disease and Tooth Sensitivity

Gum disease and tooth sensitivity are common dental problems that seem to creep up on you slowly but surely. However, what if we told you that you can catch gum disease and tooth sensitivity early before you incur irreversible damages? At Innovo Dental and Implant Studio, we can give you a comprehensive plan to help you stay on top of your dental health and proactively prevent dental pain and infections.

What Are Some of the Indicators of Gum Disease?

Gum disease occurs in two main stages, gingivitis and periodontitis. Although the symptoms of gingivitis are subtler than those of periodontitis, you can still detect them early. Some common symptoms of gum disease are:

  1. Bleeding gums – are typically evident when you brush your teeth or bite hard foods like carrots and apples.
  2. Swollen gums that are tender to touch.
  3. Mouth sores
  4. Jaw and gum pain – making regular eating quite uncomfortable.
  5. Exposed tooth roots – will be noticeable when gums start receding, which means pulling away from your teeth.
  6. Bad breath – does not go away with various efforts of improving the mouth’s smell.
  7. Shaky teeth – when gum disease progresses to periodontitis, you may begin to notice changes in the stability of your teeth. They may feel wobbly, start shifting positions or fall off prematurely.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Dentists have identified various factors that increase the risk of gum disease, including:

  1. Poor oral hygiene – allowing plaque and tartar to build up on teeth’ surfaces.
  2. Smoking – tobacco usage increases the risk of gum disease.
  3. Genetics – some families are highly predisposed to gum infections.
  4. Hormonal imbalances – changes in hormonal structure, common among pregnant women or during menopause, cause an increase in the risk of gum disease.
  5. Harsh dental hygiene measures – if you use a hard-bristled toothbrush or become obsessed with oral hygiene, you can cause gum recession.
  6. Orthodontic complications – for instance, your gums may recede if you have crooked teeth or a crowded mouth.

What Are Some of the Indicators of Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can indicate a different dental problem like dental decay. However, you can detect oral hypersensitivity by considering the following indicators:

  1. Unpleasant reactions to hot foods and drinks
  2. Sharp pain and discomfort with cold foods and drinks
  3. Increased sensitivity to acidic foods and drinks
  4. Heightened sensitivity to sweet foods
  5. Pain when brushing and flossing your teeth

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

Hypersensitivity can occur due to different factors, including:

  1. Receded gums
  2. Chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
  3. Worn down or thinning enamels – especially as you age.
  4. Excessive teeth grinding
  5. Early development of dental cavities
  6. Dental trauma that damages nerve endings in a tooth

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Gum and Tooth Pain?

Toothaches and gum infections can be hard to tell apart, especially because they are interlinked. When you have gum disease, you may suffer tooth pain. The same is true when you have a toothache. Therefore, your focus should not be so much on differentiating the two but on identifying anomalies in your mouth. When you notice any indicators of infection, sensitivity, or pain, make haste to resolve the matter.

What Should You Do If You Experience Any of These Symptoms?

When you experience any symptoms of gum disease or tooth sensitivity, you should not stay silent. Find a dentist in Tracy, CA, to consult about your oral issues. The good news is that, in the early stages, dentists can do a lot to manage the infection and pain and prevent progression and advancement. However, if you ignore the early indicators of gum disease and tooth sensitivity, you will eventually need emergency dental services in Tracy to salvage your oral cavity. Some of the benefits of visiting a dentist when you have symptoms of gum disease and tooth sensitivity are:

  1. For an accurate diagnosis – the symptoms you experience might be similar to other oral problems. For example, your mouth sores can be due to gum disease or oral cancer.
  2. To curb the infection – disallowing progression and advancement.
  3. Avoid the need for expensive restorative treatments in the future – otherwise inevitable if you have a severe gum infection.

7 Tooth-Friendly Stocking Stuffers

Getting everything together for the holidays is a stressful task to take on. The last things left on your checklist is to wrap everyone’s presents and fill the stockings. Instead of packing them full of cavity-causing candy and knick-knacks that will hardly get used, choose a few of these tooth-friendly stocking stuffers from your dentist in Tracy.

An Upgraded Toothbrush

Everyone loves a new toothbrush, especially one that makes their morning and nightly routine a breeze. For your child, you can get them a fun electric toothbrush that dawns their favorite television characters or plays a neat tune for two-minutes to help them time how long they have been brushing their teeth for. For your teen or spouse, you can get them a high-tech electric toothbrush that effectively and efficiently removes plaque and bacteria from below their gumline.

Chewing Gums or Suckers Containing Xylitol

Instead of snacks that contain sugar that allows harmful oral bacteria to produce enamel-eroding acids and toxins, get your child sugar-free gum or suckers that contain xylitol. This substance helps protect their teeth from decay and keeps bacteria from attaching to their pearly whites.

A Tooth Fairy Container

If your child still hasn’t lost all of their temporary teeth, try making or buying them a tooth fairy box or container to store all of their lost teeth in. You can visit your local craft store and purchase a plain keepsake box and decorate it with their favorite colors, shapes, and cartoon characters.

Fun Flavored Dental Floss

More people than you would think regularly skip flossing their teeth. Getting your loved one a fun-flavored dental floss such as cinnamon, cupcake, bacon, or even pickle, may keep them from getting bored or tired of keeping up with their dental hygiene routine.

A Customized Sports Mouthguard

If your child or spouse plays sports or has hobbies that can put them at an increased risk of breaking or damaging their teeth, consider getting them a customized sports mouthguard that fits their mouth perfectly. Your dentist offers protection made from the highest quality of materials so they don’t have to worry about experiencing a dental emergency while doing what they love.

Healthy Candy Alternatives

It can be tempting to place a bag of candy or sweets in their stocking. However, sugary snacks will increase their risk of dental decay. Instead, stuff their stocking with their favorite fruit or healthy alternatives like a clementine, trail mix, or a flavor-packed popcorn seasoning to spice up their go-to snack.

Wacky Dental Hygiene Products

If your child has a hard time being motivated to brush and floss their teeth everyday, there’s nothing that can reignite their interest in their dental hygiene routine like exciting and fun products that make their bathroom more inviting. This can make brushing and flossing seem less like a chore and more like a fun daily activity.

There’s no better way to end the holidays than with a routine dental checkup and cleaning for your entire family. You’ll be grateful to start the new year knowing that all of your loved ones have clean bills of health from your family dentist.

About the Author

Dr. TJ Rattan has been a dentist for nearly a decade. He is passionate about helping his patients achieve healthy and happy smiles that boost their confidence. He offers comprehensive dental care and focuses on providing families with preventive treatment that helps them tackle oral health problems while they’re still small. For questions or to schedule your family’s semi-annual checkup and cleaning, visit Innovo Dental and Implant Studio’s website or call 209-207-9076.

Holiday Health: 6 Tips That Will Keep Your Smile Whole

There’s plenty to look forward to during the holidays: going to parties, seeing the family, and of course, indulging in the sweets and treats that are only served around this time of year. Unfortunately, that last activity could easily lead to trouble for your teeth and gums, but luckily, a dentist in Tracy has 6 tips that will help you avoid a dental emergency near you in Tracy, CA this holiday season.

1. Enjoy Sweets and Sugar in Moderation

There’s no need to avoid sugary treats like cookies and fudge altogether but snacking on them throughout the day only makes cavities and gum disease more likely. Be careful of how often you’re consuming these foods. The best time to enjoy sweets and sugar is at mealtime, when there’s more saliva in your mouth. (Saliva can wash away bits of food and neutralizes the acid that oral bacteria produce when they feed on sugar.),p>

2. Try to Avoid Anything Sticky or Chewy

Caramel, taffy and other treats that stick to the teeth encourage tooth decay, and they could yank out or damage fillings as well as other types of dental work. You should only be eating such sweets sparingly; again, it’s better to enjoy them during meals to keep the damage to a minimum.

3. Don’t Use Your Teeth to Crack Nuts or Open Packages

It’s common to try and save time by opening nuts, bottles or packages with your mouth, but this could easily lead to disaster. Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in your body, but it can still be cracked or broken if you bite down on something hard. Take the time to fetch the right tool for the job instead.

4. Be Careful with Wine

If you enjoy a glass of wine around the holidays, make sure you’re not going overboard. Red wine in particular can stain your teeth, and the alcohol it contains can dry out your mouth. You can limit the damage by using a straw and drinking water alongside the wine.

5. Choose Tooth-Friendly Snacks

When planning holiday snacks and meals, try to include foods that will help protect your pearly whites. Cheese is often a good choice, as the calcium and phosphates it contains help strengthen the teeth and kill oral bacteria. Don’t forget crunchy fruits and vegetables; they clean the teeth while you chew and increase saliva flow to wash away harmful food particles and bacteria.

6. Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, always make time to brush and floss at least two times a day. Also, if you haven’t had a dental checkup in the last six months, now’s a good time to schedule a visit so that any minor oral health issues can be dealt with quickly.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays with all the important people in your life without cavities and gum disease spoiling the fun. Greet the new year with a dazzling, fully intact smile!

About the Author

Dr. Tejdeep Rattan is proud of the care he gives his patients and is always eager to learn about new technologies and techniques that can use to make their lives better. From dental implants to preventive care, he strives to make his practice, Innovo Dental and Implant Studio, a “one-stop shop” for oral health. To schedule an appointment for the holidays, visit his website or call 209-207-9076.

5 Reasons to Maximize Dental Insurance Before January

If your dental insurance plan works on a calendar year, your current benefits will reset at the end of the year. Now that it’s autumn, time’s running out if you want to use your benefits, which can potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Here are 5 reasons to call your dentist in Tracy and set up an appointment to make sure you’re getting the maximum amount of care.

1. The Deductible

Most plans have a deductible amount that needs to be paid out of your pocket before they cover anything. (The exact fee depends on the plan and could be higher if your dentist is out-of-network.) Once your plan resets, you’ll need to pay the deductible again to get the care you need. If you know you’ll need dental work in the near future, it’s better for your bank account to have it done now.

2. The Premiums

Keeping up with your premiums means you’ve already paid for your dental insurance – so it’d be a shame not to use it! Of course, you might not need any particularly out-of-the-ordinary treatment, but at the very least you should have two dental checkups and cleanings each year to help prevent and detect cavities and gum disease; such visits are usually completely covered by insurance.

3. The Yearly Maximum

Your plan most likely has a cap on how much it will pay for dental work within a year, and like the deductible it resets once January rolls around. That means unused benefits won’t rollover. Thus, if you haven’t met the maximum yet, having necessary treatments done now will help you take full advantage of the money that’s currently available.

4. Possible Fee Increase

Your dentist might raise their rates next year depending on the cost of living as well as the materials and equipment necessary to do their jobs. That’ll raise the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket in addition to what the insurance covers. It’s better to see the dentist with their current rates instead of taking the chance they’ll go up once the new year arrives.

5. Treating Dental Problems Sooner

If you don’t have a cavity treated now, you might need a root canal or even an extraction later. Small dental issues can become major problems that require much more expensive treatments. It is therefore in your best interest, in terms of finances and your general health, to see your dentist in Tracy as soon as you realize there’s something that needs to be addressed.

If you haven’t had your recommended dental checkups yet, schedule them now and ask your dentist if there are any other treatments you could benefit from, then check to see what kind of coverage your plan offers. You’ve earned your insurance benefits, but It’s up to you to make sure you’re getting the most out of them!

About the Author

Dr. Tejdeep (“TJ”) Rattan has over a decade of dental experience and has completed over 500 hours of training all over the world. His practice, Innovo Dental & Implant Studio, is in-network with many different PPO plans and can help file your claims so that you get the full benefits you’re entitled to. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rattan, call 209-207-9076.

A Dentist Shares 5 Bad Dental Habits to Break If You Want Better Oral Health

Bad habits are hard to break. You’ve probably heard that saying before, and it’s true, but it’s not impossible. With bad habits come negative effects on your mouth and body, whether it is smoking, chewing on pens and pencils, or grinding your teeth, they all can lead to serious consequences. If you want to take back your oral health today, a dentist near you in Tracy, CA shares 5 bad dental habits you should immediately break.

Give Up the Tobacco

If you’re tired of the bad breath, stained teeth, and inability to breathe properly, maybe you should consider throwing away that pack of cigarettes. Smoking can cause lifelong problems that can affect everything from your teeth to your lungs. If you want an aesthetically pleasing smile and breath that doesn’t have people standing 20 feet away, you’ll find a solution that will help you kick the habit. From over-the-counter kits to support groups, give up the habit today.

Teeth Are Not Tools

How many times have you opened a bag with your teeth? Maybe you enjoy chewing on pens or pencils? Whatever your vice may be, it’s time to stop. First and foremost, teeth are not tools. They are meant to eat with and that’s it. Opening items and chewing on inanimate objects can cause harm to your pearly whites, including chips, breaks, cracks, and increased wear and tear. Over time, this can lead to necessary dental work to fix these problems, which means more money out of your pocket.

Opt for sugarless gum if you find yourself reaching for that pencil, and make sure to keep scissors nearby, so you can use the proper tools when opening items around your house.

Grinding and Clenching Are Not the Answer

Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as Bruxism, is a common disorder among children and adults. Whether caused by bite alignment problems or stress, it can be damaging to your teeth. Jaw pain, headaches, and excessive wear and tear on your teeth can be the result of grinding and clenching, which is why your dentist in Tracy can be a great asset. To prevent TMJ, gum recession, structural tooth loss, or broken teeth, you will need to wear a mouthguard to keep your teeth from coming into contact with each other.

Brush Smarter, Not Harder

A soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle hand are all you need to effectively brush your teeth. Some people think if you brush harder you’re removing the bacteria and food particles more thoroughly. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. What is actually happening is you are damaging your teeth and gums. To prevent increased harm, try talking to your dental team about proper tips and techniques, which should include:

  • Using fluoride toothpaste
  • Tilting your brush to a 45-degree angle to reach all surfaces
  • Using a soft-bristled brush and circular motion
  • If possible, an electric toothbrush can make the process easier

Pass on the Cookies and Chips

While foods containing sugar and starch may taste good, they are often the most harmful to your teeth and gums. Why? Because if these are left on your teeth, it can break down your tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay or gum disease over time. This is not to say that you should completely avoid some of the sweeter and savory snacks you enjoy, but it’s important that you limit your consumption and remember to brush your teeth immediately after you’re finished eating. This will decrease the likeliness for problems to develop.

Don’t let bad habits keep you from a beautiful smile. Make adjustments and if necessary, talk to your dentist about ways you can eliminate these bad habits from your daily life. In turn, you’ll begin to notice an improvement in your oral health, and your teeth and gums will thank you.

About the Author

Dr. Tejdeep (TJ) Rattan earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Wright State University, in addition to an MBA in Management. He then chose to pursue a doctoral degree at the NYU College of Dentistry. Dr. Rattan believes in the importance of preventive care, which is why he encourages his patients to maintain good oral hygiene at home, in addition to eliminating bad habits that can impact your oral health. To learn more about how Dr. Rattan can help you have healthier teeth and gums, contact us via the website or by calling 209-207-9076.

Your Dentist in Tracy Can Help More Than Just Your Mouth

You probably don’t need to be told to see your dentist twice a year; after all, you’ve been hearing since grade school how important it is to protect your teeth from cavities! But did you know that those biannual examinations can find more than just tooth decay and gum disease? Here’s how your mouth is linked to your overall health – and how your dentist in Tracy has been looking out for the rest of your body.

What Does My Mouth Have to Do With My Overall Health?

Systemic diseases, such as diabetes or HIV, affect the whole body; the majority of them have oral symptoms.

Here are some common examples of diseases with oral manifestations:

  • Diabetes may cause bad breath and bleeding gums.
  • Oral cancer, the sixth most common type of cancer, may appear as a white or red patch on the gums.
  • HIV and AIDS can cause painful lesions in your mouth; in addition, they can disrupt your immune response, which can make infections from gum disease even worse.
  • Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to declining oral health over time.
  • Bone loss can cause teeth to become loose and the jawbone to become weak.

Can My Mouth Cause Problems for the Rest of My Body?

If there’s an infection in your mouth that goes unchecked, it could potentially cause problems elsewhere in your body. During gum disease, the bacteria from the infection may enter your bloodstream. This might contribute to endocarditis, a condition where the inner lining of the heart has become infected. Similarly, some research suggests that the inflammation caused by oral bacteria might play a role in heart diseases, clogged arteries, and strokes. There have also been studies exploring a possible connection between gum disease and premature labor in pregnant women.

How Does My Dentist Help Protect My Overall Health?

Many health problems can be checked for during routine dental work; for example, a regular examination often includes an oral cancer screening, and X-rays can show signs of bone loss. Your dentist usually sees you more often than your regular doctor; because of this, they can often be the first to find evidence of systemic diseases in your mouth. That way, they can point you in the direction of additional tests and treatments that can provide a better prognosis early on.

Of course, your dentist’s first job is to clean plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums, which in the long run can prevent infections that can spread. In this way, by , your dentist can help look after the rest of your body. This is why it’s vital to keep your dental appointments; you’re protecting more than just your smile.

About the Author

Dr. Tejdeep (“TJ”) Rattan has been in the dental field for nearly a decade and makes a point of keeping up with the latest technologies and treatments that can better his patients’ lives. He has received over 500 hours of dental training from all around the world. To make an appointment for a preventive checkup and examination at his practice, Innovo Dental and Implant Studio, visit his website or call 209-207-9076.