4 Ways to Help Your Dentist Appointment Go Smoothly When You’re Scared of the Dentist

dentist office

If you dread going to the dentist, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have a fear of dentists. Dentophobia, a fear of dentists, can leave adults avoiding their dental appointments at all costs. Not seeing the dentist regularly can heavily and negatively impact oral health. Oral health problems are painful and could become dangerous if they aren’t properly treated. Instead of letting your fear keep you from going to the dentist, try to overcome it, or at least lessen it, with these four suggestions.

1) Your Dentist

Perhaps you dislike going to the dentist because your personal dentist doesn’t make you feel comfortable. Seeing a caring dentist can help ease your anxiety. Most dentists will be patient and gentle as they work on you to try and help you relax. Try seeing a new dentist if you feel like your dentist stresses you. Be open with your dentist about previous experiences and how dental procedures can give you anxiety or stress. See if your dentist has any suggestions on how they can help you feel more comfortable during your appointment.

2) At Home Health

One reason people don’t like going to the dentist is because of dental procedures. Some of the dental procedures can be uncomfortable or painful. The best way to avoid those less desirable procedures, like fillings or dreaded root canals, is to 1) take care of your teeth every day at home 2) go to the dentist for regular cleanings. Carefully brushing and flossing your teeth every day helps prevent tooth decay. It removes harmful plaque and keeps your teeth and gums healthier. At a regular dental cleaning your dentist/hygienist does a deeper cleaning and plaque removal off your teeth. Even though having the hygienist scrape the plaque off along your gum line is not exactly anyone’s favorite feeling, it beats getting a cavity filled any day.

3) Distract Yourself

Instead of fixating on scary sounds, sights, or smells during your dentist appointment, distract yourself. Listen to music or an audiobook to concentrate your mind on something else. Plus, if you are listening to something you enjoy, it could help your appointment seem to go by quicker. Try putting in earphones, turning up your music or audiobook, closing your eyes, and focusing solely on what you are listening to.  

4) Communicate

You can also try a completely opposite approach than distracting yourself. Ask your dentist to tell you what he is about to do before he does anything. This way you can mentally prepare yourself for whatever your dentist is doing. Part of why people fear the dentist is because they feel a lack of control. Conversing about what is currently or about to happen during a procedure can help you feel like you are gaining some of that control back.

Although the dentist’s office may not ever become something you look forward too, you have the ability to make it something that is less scary to you. Don’t avoid the dentist because of fear, but do take precautions and try things to help you feel relaxed during your visit. Your oral health is important, and overcoming your fear of the dentist is an important step in keeping your mouth healthy.

The Power of Cosmetic Dentistry

smiling

I’ve always been keenly aware of my teeth. To me, my smile is what makes me feel beautiful, and smiles are what I notice in other people. I love my teeth and I take extra good care of them because I wasn’t always confident in my smile.

Hippo Teeth

When I was in third grade, I got my first set of braces. My teeth had been terrible. I look back at younger pictures of myself and all I can think of is, “hippo.” My two front teeth were so far apart from each other that I looked like a wild hippopotamus. There was a tooth that had never grown inbut there was space for one. It wasn’t just that this tooth never grew in, it simply didn’t exist. 

Cosmetic dentistry became a huge part of my life for the next eight years. After not wearing my retainer (sorry, mom) when I got my braces off the first time, I had to get a new set. Once there was a big enough space, they took a fake little tooth, glued a brace to it, and stuck it in the gap. It was like I was whole! Besides the braces, I loved my smile!

Middle School Nightmare

When I got my braces off, I had to get a plastic retainer with a little tooth glued into it. I could wear the retainer all the time… except when I ate. It was embarrassing to open my little, yellow retainer case in the school cafeteria, remove one of my teeth in front of all my friends, and eat. Middle school was already a terrible time, and once I subtracted one of my teeth from that equation, it became my living nightmare. 

I became extremely self-conscious of my smile. Even with my retainer in I felt ugly. You could see the glossy plastic and I dreaded taking it out to eat. I didn’t love my teeth, smile, or myself very much. On the bright side, I never lost my retainer and I wore it every day. 

Post-it

Once I was in high school, I had to look for a more permanent option. Because I was missing a tooth, the bone in my jaw where the root of my tooth should have been was deteriorating. So, I got a metal post drilled into my jaw to stop that process. Once that healed, I had a beautiful, fake, porcelain tooth added to the post. 

Cosmetic Dentistry

There are many reasons to consult a professional in cosmetic dentistry. Cosmetic dentists work to design crowns and veneers that are perfectly matched to the size and shape of your other teeth and the color of your enamel. The tooth covers they create using porcelain match so perfectly to your other teeth that people don’t even notice they’re fake. 

It took a while to get used to my fake tooth. I try not to bite apples with that side of my mouth now, but it makes me feel beautiful. My smile helps me feel confident, and that wouldn’t have been possible without cosmetic dentistry. Now, I look back at photos of me with hippo teeth, braces, and glossy retainer mouth and smile knowing it was all worth it. If you find that you’re questioning whether or not to visit a dentist, here are helpful reasons to go.

 

5 Important Steps To Take After An Accident

injury

If you’ve never been in a car accident, consider yourself lucky. Even the best of drivers are at risk of being in an accident, so even if it’s only a fender bender, getting in an accident can be a stressful experience.

Doing the wrong thing after an accident can get you in trouble, so it’s best to arm yourself with all the information you need just in case you find yourself in an accident.

Keep Calm and Don’t Admit Fault

The moments after an accident can go fast, be confusing, and stressful. Even though it’s difficult, do your best to stay calm. If the other driver was being careless and was at fault it might be tempting to yell at them, but this can only add more stress to an already stressful situation.

It’s also important that even if you were at fault in the accident, you should never admit to fault until you’ve talked with a car accident attorney. Admitting fault may feel like the right thing to do but in some states it can be held against you. 

Try Moving to Safety

If your car is really in rough shape after your crash, you may not be able to move your car. It’s also important to note that some states require that you leave your vehicle “as is” until you contact law enforcement. It’s best to find out individual state laws, so you can follow them as best as you can. An attorney, your insurance agent, or even someone at your local DMV should be able to help you.

If you can move over to the side of the road (and you’re not breaking any laws), it can keep traffic flowing and reduce the risk of subsequent accidents.

Call 911

If you’re not sure whether the accident is severe enough for a police officer to come and write a report or assess damage, it’s best to call 911. The dispatcher can help you and tell you what you need to do.

If someone is injured or there is visible damage to the vehicles or property, you definitely need to call 911.

Assess Your Injuries

Many people who are involved in an accident are in shock after the crash occurs. Sometimes injuries don’t appear until hours or even days after the crash. While you have the right to refuse medical attention, it’s always a good idea to get checked out to make sure you don’t have any internal injuries or traumatic brain injury.

Collect Information

Your recollection of the accident will not be as accurate as it is right after it happens. If you are able, take pictures of the damage, the scene, and record your account of what happened. It’s also a good idea to get the contact information of any witnesses and exchange information with the other driver.

If you end up filing a claim after an accident or you get called into court, all of this information may be required. Time has a tendency to change the details of an event (it’s only natural), so the sooner you record your own account, the better.

5 Reasons to See a Urologist

urologist

Urologist. It’s a word that you don’t hear too often. A urologist is a type of doctor that specializes in treating the urinary system. You should visit a urologist when you face a problem with your urinary system because they provide specialized treatment tailored to the symptoms you have. However, one question faced by many is “how do I know whether to see a urologist or an in-house doctor?” There are six symptoms that show you may be in danger of a serious illness and need to see a urologist immediately.

Blood

Blood in your urine is a sure sign you need to see a urologist. If blood is present in your urine, it’s called hematuria. Hematuria is caused by certain medications, or infections among other causes. Blood in the urine is a very common symptom of kidney or bladder cancer so it’s important to rule that out or detect it early on.

Bladder Control

If you are not able to control your bladder it is time to see a urologist. Leaking urine can be from a variety of issues and can include injured bladder muscles, nerve damage, and other possibilities. Incontinence can be a sign of diabetes and tumors, so it is important for your urologist to determine the cause of the problem and address it. Sometimes urinary incontinence can be easily treated by removing certain foods or beverages from your diet or eliminating certain medications as well.

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain is not normal and it is important to seek out a urologist if you experience any. Prostatitis is a common condition that is associated with pelvic pain due to swelling of the prostate gland. In-house doctors may provide antibiotics as a solution whenever pain is encountered but it is important to see a urologist so they can get to the root of the problem and determine what exactly is going on.

Stomach Pain

Pain in your stomach or even your side can be an indicator of kidney stones and should not be ignored. If you have kidney stones you will notice extreme pain from resting or standing and can cause vomiting fever, and nausea from infection. This pain should be a sign that you need to visit your doctor.

Decreased Sexual Desire

70% of couples experience problems with sex during their relationships. Any type of problem stemming from erectile dysfunction can be related to hypertension, vascular disease, or renal failure and it’s important to have that conversation with a trained, professional urologist.

Testicular Mass

A testicular mass is a symptom of cancer. Usually, testicular cancer affects men that are between 20 and 34. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among American men.  Other than the testicular mass that manifests there are usually no other symptoms. It is important that you see a doctor immediately if you find testicular masses.  According to past studies, testicular cancer has a 90 percent survival rate when detected earlier on.

Blood, incontinence, pain, decreased sexual desire, and testicular masses are all surefire signs that you should see a local urologist.  You should act quickly as symptoms associated with urology will be more easily treated. It’s best to seek a trained urologist instead of an in-house doctor.

Five Signs You Need to See a Dentist About Your Mouth

mouth care

You feel the perspiration running down your forehead. It’s time for the moment you’ve dreaded since you were a kid… it’s time to see the dentist. Hopefully, you see your dentist at least once a year, but there are some cases where it’s especially important to see your dentist.

Mouth pain

Pain is not normal and if you experience any pain in your mouth it’s always a good idea to get it checked out. There are many possible causes of pain in your mouth such as abscess, cavities, broken teeth, grinding, or damaged fillings. Dentin, the inner layer of your tooth, can become exposed from cavities, cracked teeth, receding gums, or worn fillings. When Dentin is exposed, it makes your teeth feel more sensitive when they are exposed to cold temperatures or certain foods, which is also a cause of mouth pain.

Sores in your mouth

Mouth sores can be relatively normal, but if you have a sore that stays for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s important to see a dentist. Mouth sores can be a sign of cancer and they are easier to treat earlier on. Mouth cancer is easily identifiable for a dentist and they can diagnose the issue in a couple of extra minutes during teeth cleaning. Besides cancer, sores can also be signs of other serious problems such as thrush, gum disease, or tooth decay.

Bleeding from the Mouth

Though dentists are stereotyped to say, “You’re bleeding because you don’t floss,” flossing isn’t always the cause. Bleeding after brushing or flossing is important to bring up to a dentist as you may not understand the true cause of the pain. Your dentist will be able to tell if you are simply brushing or flossing too hard or if it is something else. For example, blood can be a sign of gum disease. Let your dentist know of any bleeding in your mouth. They may be able to save you from an expensive surgery.

Shifting teeth

Shifting teeth is very important to look out for especially as an adult. Adult teeth should last the rest of your life. If they are moving around it could be a sign of an infection or even bone loss. Moving teeth can be a mesial drift or normal shifting to the front of your mouth as you age.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is a common problem after eating certain foods and can happen to anyone. If you constantly have bad breath it’s important that you see a dentist. Your dentist can find a way to fix the issue at hand. Persistent bad breath can be a sign of failure in your kidneys, liver, or even diabetes.

There are many reasons to visit the dentist early, but remember to see your dentist at least once a year. If your heart is still racing with dread at the thought of visiting the dentist, some dental agencies such as Family Dental Health Center have options such as sedation dentistry to calm you during your appointment. Remember you only get two sets of teeth, so make sure the second one lasts.

5 Common Ways to get Athletes Foot

athelets foot

Athlete’s foot is a common infection caused by a fungus called Trichophyton. About 70 percent of people, maybe even you, have been infected by it. Athlete’s foot may be common, but here are five things you can avoid in order to deter the spread of this fungus.

Barefoot in Public Areas

The first suggestion to deter athletes’ foot is to avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Walking on a floor that has been infected with the athlete’s foot fungus can infect you with athletes’ foot.  Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungus that affects your skin and any contact with the fungus, including from the floor, can result in an infection.

An area where people commonly contract athlete’s foot that might surprise you is in nail salons. Nail salons have pedicure baths that are perfect for growing athlete foot fungus and difficult for cleaning. Unfortunately, the same pedicure baths are used for multiple clients, resulting in an outbreak of the fungus. In order to avoid problems with infected surfaces in public areas, make sure that you use sandals or flip flops and try to avoid touching surfaces that will be used by multiple people. 

Sweaty Feet

Sweaty feet are another thing to avoid having if you don’t want athlete’s foot. If your foot has been exposed to the fungus, keeping your feet wet for a long period of time can encourage the bacteria to infect your feet. It’s important to note that some people can be exposed to the fungus and not contract it because the conditions are not right. 

Touching Infected Clothing

When trying to keep athlete’s foot at bay, be sure not to touch any infected clothing. Athlete’s foot is brought on by a fungus and can occur from direct and indirect contact. If an infected person uses a towel and another person uses the same towel, it will spread to the uninfected person. Athlete’s foot can be especially hard to avoid when sharing articles of clothing as some people do not exhibit signs.

Injury on Foot

Injuries on your foot can encourage athlete’s foot to grow by allowing the fungus to enter the broken skin. Your skin is a natural barrier that protects your body. If it is broken it is a lot easier for fungus, bacteria, or yeasts to enter your skin and cause conditions such as athletes’ foot. 

Humid, Wet and Dark

The athlete’s foot fungus will only infect your foot in certain conditions.  It needs a moist and warm area to thrive in. We suggest avoiding humid, wet, and dark areas to lessen the spread of athlete’s foot. Communal showers are one prime example of where athlete’s foot thrives as it is constantly wet, humid, and dark. People serving in the army will refer to athlete’s foot as jungle rot due to the tropical climate conditions.

Avoid exposing your feet in public areas. You should also avoid having sweaty feet for long periods of time. Be cautious of indirectly touching surfaces that are infected. We haven’t talked about treatment for athlete’s foot but if you’re looking for treatment direction, we would suggest checking out Eastern Idaho’s Foot Clinic site as they have a detailed guide on how you can treat athlete’s foot along with other common ailments.

5 Tips for Working Out in College

college workouts

As a freshman in college, you probably heard horror stories of the dreaded “freshman 15.” People often criticize new college students and their ability to gain weight due to stress, unhealthy food choices, and a lack of time spent exercising. For some, the pressure of gaining weight is another added stress to the already difficult credit load. Fortunately, you’ll find that exercising in college isn’t as difficult as people make it seem. 

 

Utilize Resources

 

Many universities offer a free gym with free fitness classes to students. These gyms are usually large with a variety of different machines to use. You might as well make the most out of your tuition and use the free resources at the gym to take a study break and work out. You can also try fitness classes like yoga, cycling, Zumba or kickboxing. Fitness classes can help you make friends, discover a new hobby, and feel energized. 

If you don’t feel like hitting the university gym, your dorm or apartment complex may have a workout room. Complexes like Northpoint in Rexburg have state of the art exercise equipment for residents to use. Working out at your dorm or complex gym can lessen the effort of going to the gym and make it easier to motivate yourself.

Find Motivation

For most students, the hardest part of working out is finding motivation. If you know you have a hard time pumping yourself up to go sweat, find a buddy to go with. Exercising with a friend keeps you accountable for showing up to your work out, plus it gives you time to socialize! You can also try a workout app to give you exercise ideas and tips. Wearing (appropriate) gym clothes to class might also be a motivator to hit the gym once your lecture is over.

Join a Sports Team

I’m not saying you should try to walk on to your college’s soccer team, but most schools do offer an intramural sports program that can help you exercise and feel involved. Many students were a part of sports teams in high school, and college allows you to keep progressing in those hobbies. Some colleges will even offer programs your high school might not have had, like ultimate frisbee or kickball. Joining an intramural team can add a fun and team element to your workout.

Take a Break

Let’s face it, you’ve been in class all day, you have a mountain of homework to do, not to mention studying for that final coming up, and you haven’t slept more than five hours all week. It can be tough to find time to work out, but it might just be the break you need. 

Taking a physical break helps you study. If you can’t focus on the words in your textbook, go for a quick run around your building or do some stretches in your room. Exercising helps you maintain focus, so a quick break may be all your body needs. Working out also helps get your blood pumping and counteracts the feelings of sluggishness that always seem to occur during a long study session.

Make It Enjoyable

Working out in college is important and shouldn’t be something you dread. Don’t force yourself to go to the gym for an hour and lift weights if you hate it. Find a type of exercise you enjoy and do that. At the bare minimum, you should be working out for 15-30 minutes, three times a week; if you skip one of those days, it’s not a big deal. Remember, working out is for you. Focus on your studies and your health, not the freshman 15. 

6 Tips for Working Out at Home

stretching

Working out can be enjoyable, dreaded, expensive, or cheap. It all depends on the person. Some people love to go to the gym and get their sweat on. Meanwhile, people like me, find working out in public a form of torture. I’m not much of a fitness guru, so I don’t love the idea of people watching me struggle through my pilates movements or break a sweat with my superlightweight dumbbells. These are 6 tips for people who work out at home like me.

Dedicate Time

The hardest part about working out from home is it can become tempting to not work out. At home, there are many distractions like the dishes that need to be washed, the laundry that needs to be folded, that season of The Good Place that still must be watched. The best way to avoid this plethora of distractions is to set a time dedicated to working out. Mark it out on your calendar. If you want to work out every night at 7 pm, mark it out on your calendar every single day. Maybe you just want to work out every Saturday at 9 am, mark it out. Mark it and hold yourself accountable to it. Establishing a habit of following your workout time can be tricky at first, but it pays off.

Online Workouts

I like to use online exercise videos to guide my workout. I don’t know a lot of workouts by memory, so having the video helps me know moves to do, how to do them, and how long to do them for. Using videos can also help you stay focused on your workout for the right amount of time. If you are looking to do a 30-minute workout, pull up a 30-minute video and studiously follow along. 

Find Your Favorite Exercise

Working out from home can limit what exercise you can do based on the space and equipment you have available. You might not have a cycling machine or set of weights, but you can still find ways to work out. You could try pilates, Zumba, weight lifting, or yoga. One of the simplest workouts from home is to just run. Running around the neighborhood is free and a great workout. Try all different types of exercise until you find one, or several, that you enjoy doing.

Take Care of Your Body

Be careful when you workout to pay attention to your body. Stay hydrated, use good form while you exercise, and do warm-up stretches to try to prevent injuries. If you start running and notice that your heel aches every time you wake up in the morning, you might have plantar fasciitis. 

Tetonfootandankle.com says this can be treated with foot support inserts and anti-inflammatories, but that sometimes it may require surgery to treat. If you find yourself with an injury from working out, treat it. The goal of working out is to help your body feel healthier. Keep this in mind while you work out and remember it if you become frustrated with any injuries you have to spend time treating.

Have Goals

I mentioned before that the main goal of working out is to help you feel healthier. To achieve this goal, you’ll want to set smaller goals like 1) workout for 30 minutes every day this week, 2) run 2 miles, etc. These smaller goals will help you feel a sense of accomplishment as you begin to complete them.

Working out from home can be tricky, but it also can be an inexpensive, private, and enjoyable option to staying fit. Have patience with yourself, but hold yourself accountable to your workout schedule goals. Hopefully, you’ll be feeling healthier and happier with your at-home workouts.

What You Should Know About Hospice Care

care for the elderly

If you have a loved one who needs more attention than you can give, it may be time for hospice. Hospice is all about the care and comfort patients receive as they face a life-limiting disease or illness. Physicians, directors, nurses, social workers, aides, spiritual coordinators, and volunteers all work together to ensure that the best care is provided for patients. 

Patients

Though hospice is typically thought to only help the elderly, it provides care for anyone facing a life-altering condition with a life expectancy of fewer than six months. Hospice care is provided for any qualifying patients with cancer, heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, Alzheimer’s, or Dementia. However, to qualify for hospice, two physicians must certify the patient’s life expectancy.

Expected Care

With large hospice care teams, patients can expect to be treated like royalty. Hospice arranges for 24-hour nursing care, seven days a week, where the patient is equipped with a hospital bed, a bedside commode, and medications, all from the comfort of their home. 

The attending physician, either yours or one provided by the system, helps direct the plan of care with the medical director. A registered nurse helps manage the pain of the patient while looking for symptoms. The hospice aide directly cares for the patient and reports any needs to the nurse. A social worker and spiritual coordinator assist with emotions, finances, and funeral arrangements. The care also includes grief and counseling services to family members and the patient.

A team of people helps patients feel loved, cared for, and comfortablewhich is what people can expect from hospice care. 

Finances

Hospice helps patients by providing constant care and attention, but it comes at a cost. Fortunately, Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances cover hospice care and the expenses associated with it. However, it is important to check with your insurance provider and confirm the patient’s eligibility before continuingyou don’t want to rack up extra costs on your dime. 

Choosing a Hospice Service

While hospice is an incredible tool for providing top care for patients, unfortunately, some hospice services have mistreated their responsibility. So, it is important to identify a quality service before signing up. Some factors to consider when shopping for a hospice service are accreditation, state or federal surveys, certifications, and size. Also, be sure to check out the reviews and getting a referral from someone you trust. Luckily, hospice care is eased with the knowledge that the patient will be at home and will already have a foundational level of comfort. 

Care and Comfort

Coping with the care of a loved one can be difficult, especially when they are struggling with pain and illness. Providing care at the level you know they deserve can be seemingly impossible; which is why hospice care is designed to help patients feel comfortable with a plan tailored to them. 

 

Shining a Spotlight on Laser Dentistry

dental procedure

When I was a kid I hated going to the dentist, so in at least one aspect I was a normal kid. Even as adults many of us dread and put off the trip to the dentist. It’s just not a fun experience. 

If you had told me as a kid that I could have the dentist use a laser instead of a drill, that might have made it worse. That is simply because I couldn’t have possibly understood the beneficial use of lasers in dentistry. 

Fast forward to my teenage years when an operation required a laser to be used. I did not feel a thing, and I am a big advocate of laser dentistry.

What is it?

Laser dentistry uses lasers in lieu of classic dental equipment, such as drills and scalpels. The lasers are highly focused beams used to perform most dental procedures. They can be used on softer tissue, like your gums and cheeks, and hard tissue, which would be your teeth.

Laser dentistry is a cleaner, more efficient way to perform these operations. Its effectiveness is second to none, and the benefits listed a little later will show just how enticing it is. 

What can be done with laser dentistry?

Many standard procedures can be performed with the use of lasers. The lasers are precise and when used correctly, bring incredibly efficient results. Here are a few examples of the many applications of laser dentistry. 

Frenectomy

Alligatordentist.com defines this as “a procedure releasing muscle attachment to the tongue or lip. This procedure helps babies who cannot breastfeed and children who are tongue-tied, and in many cases can help to reduce speech impediments.”

Bacteria Removal

Lasers can be used to kill bacteria leading to a cleaner mouth and reduced risk of infection. 

Removal of Sores or Tumors

Lasers can be used to cut out and remove canker sores or tumors in the mouth. 

Gums

Lasers can be used to treat gum disease, ease inflammation, and even trim down gums if they encroach too high on your teeth.

What are the benefits?

The biggest benefit to most people is minimal pain. Some people aren’t even given anesthesia because the lasers aren’t painful. We all love the sound of that.

Laser dentistry is incredibly efficient, with the laser doing the work. It is so precise, and in the hands of an experienced dentist, it is a wonderful tool.

The laser helps blood clots to form so there is less bleeding, and there is less damage done to the tissue being worked on and the surrounding tissue. You also heal a lot faster. 

It is cost-effective for your dentist, and when they save money they can pass that savings on to you. 

Conclusion

Laser dentistry is an amazing use of technology to advance the medical field. What used to be a hard and scary trip to the dentist, may still be a hard and scary trip to the dentist…but it will be less painful and less traumatic. This will lead to better views on dentists for children (yay!) and more efficient procedures are a benefit to us all. Ask your dentist about laser dentistry if you have an operation coming up, you will love the results.