Good oral hygiene is important to our over all health. According to an article that I read from the Mayo Clinic , bacteria in the mouth can contribute to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and other illnesses. We can take simple steps that will help prevent bacteria by brushing, flossing, changing our tooth brushes, and regular visits to our dentist.
This brings me to another subject. What about those that suffer from dental stress and anxiety? Yes, I admit it. I fit into that category of baby boomers who suffered from fear due to some very unpleasant experiences in my early years at the dentist office. I have written blogs about how to over come fear but when I entered a dentist office I could feel my blood pressure rising. After the trauma associated with heart surgery last year, I chose to avoid any more fear or pain. As life has it, sometimes this is not possible.
On one of my visits to my medical doctor, I noticed a dental office in O’fallon, Missouri that was next door to my medical doctor. There was a sign in front that said, “Dr. Logan is accepting new patients.” With shaking hands, I decided to just step into that office and look around a bit. I was greeted by a friendly person who I really liked at first glance. The office was clean and very pretty. Now most of you that have read my blogs know that I try to be positive and choose to believe in good things. I took a card and told the nice lady that I would be calling. I already knew then that my last dentist, prior to my heart attack, stated that I needed a deep cleaning on my teeth.
It took months for me to make that call since I was allowing fear to come before doing what I needed to do for my health. I looked up the office on face book. I watched the neat things that they posted rolling through my face book stream. Finally, I did it! I called to make that dreaded appointment. Now with my dental fear, I once again started to panic. I was very relieved when I received a call from the office on my telephone recorder asking if I would be able to reschedule for a different time. My head was so grateful that I didn’t bother to call back. Fear won again!
Then the day came that I saw another nice post on my face book screen from the dental office. I got a little courage and called. This was almost a year later. Can you believe it? Not only that, the person that answered the phone remembered me. I started telling her about my heart attack and fear. She was kind, understanding and encouraging. Also she made my appointment for the next week with no months of waiting to think about it.
The day arrived. It was time. I suited up in my big girl baby boomer pants and just did it. My hands were sweating, my legs were wobbling but I got there and walked right in. Again, I was met by a group of people with nice smiles who welcomed me to the office. Of course I had to fill out that dreaded paper work with a questionnaire. The last question made me giggle. It said something like this. How would you want your teeth to be in twenty-five years. I drew a smiley face and answered, ” In my mouth.” After all ,may I remind my readers that I am a sixty-three year old senior baby boomer. Another question was, What can we do to help you with dental stress and anxiety? I answered, “Listen, be compassionate, caring and understanding.”
The staff and dentist gave me everything that I asked for when I answered their questionnaire. I am proud to say, I had a deep scale cleaning with no pain. With the knowledge of these find people, they helped me to overcome my dental stress and anxiety. Here are some of the things that they did for me.
- They gave me an appointment right away and did not make me wait in the office.
- They were friendly, understanding, considerate, caring, gentle and LISTENED.
- The office was clean with a pleasant view out the window with relaxing music in the background.
- The equipment was modern and up to date.
- They took the time to explain what I needed to know and showed me a nice picture of my teeth.
- There was no high sales pitches nor did they put me down in any way or lecture me on good oral hygiene.
- They showed RESPECT by focusing on ME. They took the time to explain the procedures plus answered my questions without rushing.
- They had a cost sheet worked up before beginning so that I had no hidden surprises of a bill that I could not pay. They gave me choices again without high pressure sales pitches.
- The staff, showed interest in me as a person, a REAL HUMAN BEING.
- Most of all,their kind and caring attitude, created an atmosphere of relaxation, stress reduction and a feeling of well being.
If you suffer from dental stress and anxiety, I encourage you to find the right professional dental people that understand as these people did. I now have nice clean teeth, a different attitude about dentists, and an over all good feeling about dental care. Say good bye to dental stress and anxiety by finding great people that understand and help you to overcome dental fear. Trust your health to those professionals that take the time to treat you with the respect that you deserve. It is important! You are important! It is as important as exercise and good eating habits. Remember, as boomers we want to enjoy life and can with the help of others that understand.