Month: July 2014

Dental Anxiety – Weston Dental Blog

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a fearful response to dentists and dental office visits.  About 75% of Americans experience some form of dental anxiety, most often mild apprehension.  However, for a smaller fraction, dental anxiety is much more serious.  Serious dental anxiety occurs in up to 10% of the population, and can lead to behavior such as difficulty making appointments, panic attacks, or extreme anxiety leading up to and during a dental appointment.

Why is dental anxiety problematic?

A person with severe dental anxiety may avoid dentists entirely.  Their teeth will decay without regular dental cleaning, which can result in pain, embarrassment, ugly teeth, bad breath, and most critically can lead to poorer general health.

What are common symptoms of Severe Dental Anxiety?

General panic symptoms are typically seen with Severe Dental Anxiety, including difficulty breathing, sweaty palms, racing heart, lightheadedness and feeling queasy.

How can Dental Anxiety be Managed?

One of the easiest and most effective ways is to learn relaxation techniques, such as breathing or meditation, which can help relax them during an appointment.  A similar option that we make available to our Weston Area dental patients is dental hypnosis, which is very effective in relaxing a willing patient.

Just knowing that there is a problem can allow our dental staff to address phobias, such as by telling our patients what we are doing in each step, or avoiding a particular procedure if at all possible.  We can make arrangements for you to signal us to pause during treatment while you calm down and relax.  We also offer other relaxation aids such as TVs and music and a beautiful salt-water living reef aquarium in our state-of-the-art Weston dental location: Read More



Dental Care at Summer Camp | Weston Dental Blog

How can I ensure that my child’s teeth stay healthy while they are away at camp over the summer?

The best way to keep your child’s teeth healthy over the summer is to make sure they follow the same good dental habits they do at home.  Remember to pack them a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, and remind them that just because they not at home doesn’t mean they do not have to take care of their teeth.

In addition, many camps allow you to pack your child a meal or snacks. Nuts, fruits, cheese and crackers, and seed mixes are not only healthy, but also much better for your child’s teeth than a sugary packaged snack would be.  If your child is not yet using products containing Xylitol, now would be a good time to start.

Why Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in various fruits, berries, and vegetables. Studies have found that Xylitol promotes oral health, and is also thought to promote the repair of damaged enamel.   Xylitol is available in both gum and candies.   So when your child is eating at camp and a toothbrush is not readily available, chewing Xylitol gum is the next best alternative to brushing after the meal.

Mouth Protection

Finally, many summer camps (especially sports camps) involve a lot of strenuous physical activity.  All of this provides plenty of opportunities for a mouth injury.  If you know that your child’s camp will involve sports or other demanding activities, consider getting a mouth guard. Mouth guards prevent a variety of injuries, including jaw damage, loose or knocked out teeth, cuts in the mouth, and can even protect braces.

We advise our Weston area dental patients that with a little thoughtful preparation, they can prepare their children to have both a fun time at summer camp, as well as insure that their teeth stay healthy! : Read More