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The Dental Fear Factor

Maybe I had one too many bad dental experiences as a kid.

Even if it’s just cleaning and checkup (as an adult, mind you)  I lay back in that dental chair and tense right up.  Before I know it my hands are in fists and the poor dental hygienist soothingly asking me to relax.

Yes, when I was a kid I had cavities.  I even knocked out a few teeth and had to have crowns…  Whatever the reasons for my fear factor…. I totally dread that drill!

But that’s not the only reason I don’t like the dentist.

$$$$$ Because even if you have dental insurance, a trip to the dentist can mean big bucks out the door.

It begs the question, “What can I do, in the comfort of my own home, to minimize the FEAR factor of a dental visit?”

I asked my kid’s dentist Dr. Jensen to share a few of his best tips:  He hit the regulars…

  • Brush twice a day at a minimum.
  • Brush for two minutes each time you brush.
  • Floss (You’ve heard the old saying, you don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.)

He also said:

  • When I asked what type of toothbrush was best, he said “Use the toothbrush that you are most comfortable with.”  That makes it easier to be motivated to brush.  I personally love an electric toothbrush and as it turns out, so do my kids.  It feels so good to brush with, it makes it easier to brush for a full two minutes.  My dentist did suggest a soft bristled brush was best.
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year, preferably twice.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Even though it’s hard to schedule an appointment when times are tough financially, it’s much cheaper to fill a small cavity than to wait until you need a root canal.
  • Good nutrition is very helpful in maintaining a healthy mouth.
  • He said to be sure to ask your dentist if he offer’s a cash or a referral discount.

There are a few more money saving tips I would add to his list.

  • Have a clock with a second hand in the bathroom so you and the kids can know how long they are brushing.
  • IF you have an accident that breaks your natural teeth, check with your medical insurance first.  Ours covered my husband’s two shattered teeth from a ski injury last winter.  It saved us a bundle to use medical insurance.
  • Watch for coupons for your dental cleanings.  There are some amazing dental Groupons if you are watching for them.
  • If you have a cafeteria plan, it can be a great pretax way to save money for dental expenses.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be totally relaxed when it comes to the dentist.  But I hope that by taking good care of our teeth, my visits to the dentist will be anticlimactic.

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This is a sponsored post for Church & Dwight Co., Inc, the maker of ARM & HAMMER branded products, who is compensating me to try different products. Get a $4.00 coupon for ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush then head over to The Switch & Save Challenge where you can enter to win $25,000.

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2 Responses to “The Dental Fear Factor”

  • carole:

    I hate, hate, hate the dentist! I think mine goes back to childhood experiences. I go every 6 months though because I want to set an example for my kids. My kids love their dentist! They don’t complain when check-up time comes around and it amazes me every time! My daughter had to have a tooth pulled and he was so awesome that she didn’t even know he gave her a shot.

  • Nicole:

    I owe you a thank you from your post a while back about having kids lie down to brush teeth. It has totally changed our evening routine from screaming kids to happy kids AND I am doing a much better job at brushing their teeth. One of the best parenting tips EVER!!!

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