Make sure that booking a dentist appointment is one of your New Year’s resolutions
January marks the start of a brand new year and it’s a time when many people try to make some sort of lifestyle changes that will have an effect on our health and wellbeing. If you’re looking to improve your health in 2017, you can go a lot further than just signing up for a gym membership. Looking after your teeth, in the form of healthy eating and regular dental appointments, will help you to feel good on the inside and look great on the outside.
Unfortunately, according to the BritishDental Health Foundation, it’s thought that around one in seven people in the UK have a fear of the dentist. People who are anxious about a visit to the dentist will be less inclined to make a check-up appointment, which can ultimately cause more harm to their oral health as potential problems will not be spotted early.
Combine your healthy eating habits with a check-up
If you are making a conscious effort to improve your diet, it’s important to replicate this in relation to your teeth. In some cases, foods which are considered healthy may actually be causing harm to your teeth and can potentially lead to decay. With regular visits to your dentist, you will be given advice on hidden sugars in certain types of food or drink, and how best to look after your teeth. Swapping sugary treats like chocolate and cake for alternatives such as fruit is definitely a step forward in the right direction, yet some ‘healthier’ substitutes must also be consumed in moderation due to high levels of acidity and natural sugars – make sure you ask your dentist for best advice.
What’s stopping you booking a check-up in 2017?
Starting off your year with a visit to the dentist will help you get back into good habits. Anxiety UK claims that, ‘dental phobias generally develop from childhood, where a traumatic experience may have left us with feelings of anxiety about going to the dentist.’ According to the British Dental Health Foundation, ‘the most common fears for visiting a dentist are having a tooth drilled (30%) and having a local anaesthetic injection (28%)’. With many people putting off seeing the dentist because of a past experience, it means they are putting their oral health at risk the longer they leave it, which can ultimately cause more problems later down the line.
How to overcome your fear of the dentist
In order to move on from your dental phobia, there are a number of steps you can take that will help get you into the dentist chair. A first step is to arrange with your dentist to visit the practice just to meet staff and look around the premises. This can help calm your nerves and allow you to feel comfortable enough to book an appointment for a check-up, but if this seems too much, you could look into cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you manage your anxiety, both your doctor and dentist will be able to advise you further on this. You can also ask your dentist about sedation options and whether this is right for you.
If you feel like you’re ready to see your dentist, the next step is to make an appointment. Pluck up the courage and give your local dentist a call and you will be on your way to a healthier mouth. If you explain to your dentist that you are nervous, they will be delighted to help you to get the assistance you need.
If your goal for 2017 is to improve your health and wellbeing, make sure you don’t forget about your teeth!
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