The alarm goes off and you pick up your phone only to realize it’s time to visit the dentist for a checkup. Slowly anxiety starts to creep in, bad memories from your childhood reappear, with a grey-haired man uncaring of your pain and that horrible drilling sound… suddenly your hand is gripped stiff to the phone unable to turn off the alarm.
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of adults in the United States experience some amount of fear with regards to visiting a dentist.
We have all heard the stories about the technician kneeling on your chest while the dentist uses a wrench to pull out your teeth, or the anesthetic gel not being as effective as usual and you may as well have had none… Sure, some stories have a bit of color added, I’ll admit, but the result is the same, you’re not indifferent about going to the dentist.
Thankfully these days the advance of science and medicine gives us tools and equipment that make the whole process quite bearable – no more wrenches, giant injections, 30-minute drillings or out of date magazines that look liked they’ve been passed down by your great-grandmother.
Being a mother, I have tried to make the experience for my children as painless as possible. For one, I wouldn’t want bad experiences haunting them into adulthood, and two, I don’t want to be paying expensive dental bills because those same experiences made them avoid timely dental checkups.
You can start very simple, a calm talk before the visit, or even a surprise book gift they can look through to overcome any nerves they may be feeling. Nowadays, there are many age-appropriate books written for just that occasion.
It may not be an easy task getting them to ‘enjoy’ the appointment, but nevertheless, it’s one that has to be attended. It’s 30 minutes that you will have to grin and bear it, then you can go home, tick it off the to-do list for the next 6 months and make yourself a well-deserved cocktail.
Why Visiting a Dentist is Important
It all comes down to basic hygiene, keeping your teeth in tip-top condition and your gums healthy.
When you visit the oral hygienist, they will look at the overall well-being of your teeth and your gum condition. They’ll clean and clear up any tartar that may have built up since the last time, and advise how best to go forward if any underlying issues need to be addressed before they get worse.
Having an appointment every 6 months also gets the children into a routine of looking after themselves, as much as we moms want them to ‘need’ us forever, they grow up and become independent.
The nagging advice of a mom doesn’t fall on deaf ears as much as we like to think it does, same goes for choosing and finding the right dentist for you. Have them choose well and wisely, they’ll thank you later.
Choosing a Dentist
You can simply open the phone book and pick the dentist or practice closest to your home, but this doesn’t always mean they are the best or even sought after. Here are a few tips on how to go about choosing the right dentist for you and your family:
- Referrals. A recommendation on a product, venue, or service is usually best coming from someone you know and trust. They are more than likely using a dentist they enjoy and feel comfortable with and you can have peace of mind you know someone who is at the same place you are incase anything goes wrong.
- Doctor. This may seem unconventional, asking your doctor for someone, but the health industry professionals all run in the same circles and most of them have friends in the various sections and departments.
- Relocation. If you are onto new pastures be sure to ask your current dentist if they know of a good practice or other dentists in the area you are moving to, this way you can be safe in the fact that it comes from a trusted source.
- Friendly. If all of the above aren’t helpful, make an initial appointment check-up to not only get a feel for the new place but also meet the dentist and see how the kids react to him/her. You’ll also see the staff and the service they provide and if it will be a good fit for your family dynamic.
- Contact details. Ask questions when you visit, enquire about out of office emergency protocol, their opening hours, and see if it would fit into your work, home, after-school schedule. It can be tricky trying to juggle all these things and then still squeeze in a hygienist session on top of it.
You want a practice and a dentist that will instantly put you at ease. They know the panic people can feel and become overwhelmed by, so if you have mentioned this to the receptionist and see a positive result on arrival, you have a winner.
People, especially parents, are looking for one of the best dentists in Jacksonville, Fl, one that will set a great dentistry future for the new you and your children. Dentists offering caring advice and recommendations without trying to make a quick buck are always a plus in my book.
The last thing to be sure of is that their offices are clean, their equipment is up to date, and the staff are trained with recent training certificates and qualifications.
A browse at their website will give a quick indication of how the operation is run, and a sneaky peak at the customer review section would hurt either. Take your time if it’s a new practice and make smart choices.