Odontophobia is the fear of going to the dentist. Let’s be honest, we all know someone who has it, or maybe you’re the one hiding those fears. The tricky thing about being scared of dentists or orthodontists is that it can lead to serious neglect with the healthiness of our teeth. Looking after your teeth is all about consistency. It may not feel like something that’s a necessity, but your gums and teeth should be cared for as much, if not more than the rest of your body. Aches and pains in your mouth are things that can mostly be avoided. Below we have compiled some ways in which you can protect your teeth and why you should be doing it.
Over the years, there have been conflicting ideas on how we should clean our mouths. Experts say that we should be brushing our teeth for around 2 minutes, twice a day. One way you could keep track of how long you’re brushing for, is by popping one of your favourite songs on. Most songs are around 2-3 minutes, so when you know that the final chorus is coming, it’s time to spit out that toothpaste. Another thing many of us get wrong, is being far too rough with our teeth. Harder is not better when you’re brushing. Think of it more like a massage. You’re not scrubbing the bathroom sink; these are your teeth and they may be sensitive to vigorous activity.
Don’t rush – even though cleaning our mouths is the last thing we think to do before leaving for work, take your time to cover each area of your mouth. If you think of your teeth split into four different sections, bottom left and top left for example, you should spend around 30 seconds on each.
The brush itself might be your worst enemy. When you notice a change for the worse in your toothbrush, its time you found a new one. If you wait too long to switch tools, then you may be doing more harm than good every time you clean those teeth of yours. When this is the case, the workman should blame his tools.
Experts have said that if you’re brushing twice a day, one of those two cleans should be an exceptional show. Use all the tools at your mercy. The dynamic trio of brushing, flossing and mouthwash is what we’re aiming for. Flossing in between your teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or potentially gum disease. It’s useful to hit those areas that your brush can’t reach. A good mouthwash will remove harmful bacteria also between your teeth and on your tongue. It usually will give you some pretty nice smelling breath as well.
Visit a Professional
This one is a given. It is recommended that you should be visiting your dentist once every six months. However, things happen, and sometimes you have to move the date for some reason. But you should always reschedule. Dentists and orthodontists are the experts on teeth, so you’re in good hands when you attend your check-up. You can also look into finding help that can be sent right to your door. Straight My Teeth are experts at helping you improve your teeth. They give you a free assessment to decide whether you’re eligible for treatment and if you are, you can order an impression kit that gives Straight My Teeth the information to make the perfect plan for you. They utilise clear braces that don’t come with the cumbersome feel of normal metal braces. They’re also completely invisible so you can align your teeth discreetly whilst your smile gets brighter and brighter. Correcting crooked teeth does more than just improving your look; it also helps with digestion and jaw alignment.
If you do feel a real fear rise in you when faced with going to a professional, its probably best you take care of that phobia now. The best way to get past it is by taking charge of the situation. Book that first appointment, but go with a trusted friend or loved one. They can support you when you’re nervous and apprehensive, even staying with you throughout your entire trip in most cases. Try some relaxation techniques when you do visit. Look into breathing methods that calm your body and mind. Talking through this fear is another way to come to terms with it. Processing what it is that scares you with someone else will likely lead to them challenging your way of thinking. It’s not an easy task, but ridding yourself of odontophobia now will be for the best in the long run.
The Bad Stuff
Even if you take great care when cleaning your teeth, other factors may be making them unhealthy. The food you eat and the drinks you have can contribute massively towards the general healthiness of your teeth and gums. Sugary substances like sweets and fizzy drinks are the most obvious offenders. They contain acids that are tough on your teeth and, not only that, if you’re eating chewy sweets, they can stick to your teeth for a longer time than other foods. This may lead to tooth decay. Instead, when you’re craving the sweet stuff, you could look to the chocolate alternative which is easier to wash away.
Drinking alcohol dries out your mouth and therefore reduces the saliva being produced. Saliva is the main ingredient to washing away the food that sticks to your teeth and it repairs early signs of conditions like gum disease and oral infections. Some off us like to chew on ice. It may be to cool down or for rehydration. What you may not consider, is how damaging chomping down on some ice cubes can be. When you bite on a hard substance, it can damage the tooth enamel, the thing that protects us from cracked or chipped teeth.
Smoking can yellow your teeth, cause bad breath and ultimately lead to diseases inside your mouth. In fact, research has shown that smokers are 3 to 6 times more likely to develop gum or periodontal disease.
This isn’t to say you can’t ever have these substances. Like many things, its more about moderation. Finding alternatives can be for the best, but sometimes you will likely have something that isn’t great for your teeth. As long as you wait at least an hour, brushing after consuming sweets or starchy bread will massively help when it comes to looking after your teeth. Knowing what is good and what is bad for your gnashers is a fantastic place to start. Pre-emptively thinking about what you’re putting into your body means that you’ll take better care of those teeth of yours.
- Brush at least twice a day, for 2-3 minutes each – The simplest measure to abide by. Timing your brushing just right can have a hugely positive effect on the health and wellbeing of your teeth.
- Use all the instruments – Remember to get yourself some floss and mouthwash as well as that toothbrush that’s just right for you.
- Check in with a professional – Hearing an expert opinion on your personal issues is the best course of action to solving tooth related problems.
- Moderate what goes in – Take into consideration the substances that could be damaging your teeth and think about alternatives to switch them out with.