Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

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Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

Fear of visiting the dentist or dental procedures is a common phobia which can lead to poor oral health. As with many things in life – there are apps to help you with this particular problem. We’ve found some of the best to help you deal with dental phobia.

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Dental PhobiaDental Phobia (iOS) [download]

Designed to give people with dental phobia all the information that they need, Dental Phobia is a comprehensive trove of information which aims to help people overcome their fears through information, not gimmicks. Contents range from detailing dental phobia and providing coping strategies, to in-depth and approachable explanations of the process of sedation, oral procedures and intravenous (IV).

The app also provides the ability to contact qualified dental professionals to get answers to any questions that may arise. Most importantly, the app has very good reviews from its users, proving that knowledge can be a very powerful tool in overcoming their dental phobia.

 

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Dental ExpertDental Expert (iOS) [download]

Another comprehensive collection of information which aims to provide approachable information, Dental Expert is designed for patients and also children.

The variety and depth of the information, illustrations and diagrams serve a similar purpose as Dental Phobia by allowing people to use information to overcome their fears and anxieties.

The app features extensive information on all aspects of dental care, such as how to choose a dentist, guides to nutrition, and details of various dental procedures. It’s an excellent app for information which can help overcome dental phobia.

 

Apps to Help With Dental Phobia - Mouth and TeethMouth & Teeth (iOS) [download]

Whilst it is more functional in appearance than the previous two apps, Mouth & Teeth is just as packed with useful information which helps to inform patients and help them use information to overcome any anxiety from dental procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

For further reading, check out our own guide for how to overcome dental phobia and anxiety:

How to Overcome Dental Fear – Part One

How to Overcome Dental Fear – Part Two

How to Build Better Habits for Oral Health

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How to Build Better Habits for Oral Health

Sometimes you have to go back to basics, so we’ve put together a guide on how to build better habits for oral health. Whether you need to floss more regularly, make regular appointments with your dentist, or keep a schedule for daily brushing, we’ve got some handy tips and tricks to keep you on course to making a better routine a daily habit.

Set your goal(s), and set them up

Consider what it is about your oral care routine that you wish to improve, or what your dentist may have recommended you do. Do you need to improve the way you brush your teeth? Do you floss at least once a day? Are you drinking enough water? Do you get the correct amount of vitamins and minerals via food or supplements? Whatever your goals, the first action is to acknowledge them and then make the first steps to achieving them. Buy a new toothbrush, dental floss, or any other supplies you will need to make this crucial initial step.

Train your brain

The aim of establishing any good habit is to train your brain into making the new routine normal. There’s no magic number for making a new habit, despite many reports of it taking 21 to 66 days respectively. In order to do this, it may be worth setting reminders on your phone, or use an app to keep track of your habits. Other tricks include setting up everything you need before you need it – keeping floss and supplements where you will actually use them will give you less of a reason to break your new routine.

Keep going and reflect

Setting up reminders to occur daily, then weekly, then monthly can be a great way to keep yourself in check. Eventually,you shouldn’t need the reminders as your new habit becomes daily routine. If you are using reminders, set one up for yourself on a distant date to congratulate yourself on your progress!

Oral Cancer Communication Guide Developed

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Oral Cancer Communication Guide Developed

King’s College London’s Dental Institute has researched and piloted an oral cancer communication guide to help dentists talk to their patients about what can be a difficult subject.

Prior to the pilot of the oral cancer communication guide, researchers found that many dentists were low in confidence when it came to broaching the subject of oral cancer to their patients. Despite oral cancer checks being routinely carried out during regular dental appointments, many dentists avoided the topic altogether. King’s College developed the pilot program aimed to reverse this reluctance. 41 dentists were invited to the King’s College lecture theatre to take part in a training session which included: “a brief update on oral cancer, an introduction to the oral cancer communication guide, and learning activities and chances to practise using the guide through roleplay and feedback.”

The session has been deemed a success, with an increase from the dentists taking part reporting an increase in confidence. The number of dentists informing patients they were being checked for signs of oral cancer increased from 16% to 44% after the training.

“The guide includes key messages in an easy-to-follow format. It is not intended to be used as a script, but rather to be used as a guide for interactive discussions about symptoms, the importance of early detection, and when and where to seek help should symptoms occur,” explains Professor Tim Newton, co-author of the study.  “Highlighting the need for training in this area, this study has shown that the training sessions had a positive impact on the dentists’ self-reported behaviour and indicates a positive response to the guide as well.”

Study shows that specialist training guide for dentists can aid communications about oral cancer with patients [via King’s College London]

Chemicals in Plastic and Fungicide May Cause Irreversible Damage to Kid’s Teeth

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chemicals plastic fungicide irreversible damage kids teeth

A study conducted by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) presented to the European Congress of Endocrinology has concluded that chemicals found in plastic and fungicide may be causing irreversible damage to children’s teeth. The chemicals are classified as “endocrine disruptors” (ED), and are responsible for interfering with hormones which encourage the growth of new tooth enamel.

Amongst the chemicals which were identified, two are worryingly common: Bisphenol A (BPA) can be found in plastic items such as food storage containers, lunch boxes and drinks bottles. Vinclozolin is a fungicide which is often used in vineyards, orchards, and even golf courses. Exposure to both these chemicals can inhibit the body’s ability to produce enamel. The oral condition Molar Incisor Hypermineralisation (MIH), where teeth are more susceptible to cavities may be linked to exposure to these ED chemicals. 18% of children aged 6-9 suffer from MIH.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Katia Jedeon said: “Tooth enamel starts at the third trimester of pregnancy and ends at the age of 5, so minimising exposure to endocrine disruptors at this stage in life as a precautionary measure would be one way of reducing the risk of enamel weakening,”

Exposure to chemicals in plastic and fungicides may irreversibly weaken children’s teeth [via Science Daily]

Oral Piercings and Oral Health

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Oral Piercings and Oral Health

A recent study by the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) has highlighted the relationship between oral piercings and oral health. The study found that tongue piercings were the most popular type of oral piercing, with 43% of people surveyed having one. 33% had a lip piercing, with cheek (3%) and gum (7%) piercings being a less common choice. 13% those with an oral piercing had more than one.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the OHF said: “Oral piercings are a major cause of chipped or cracked teeth due to trauma when they come into contact with the teeth; many people even have a habit of biting or playing with their piercing which can be extremely dangerous and can often lead to extensive dental work. On a day to day basis oral piercings can interfere with such basic functions such as speech, chewing and swallowing.”

He also highlighted the risk of infection due to poor aftercare: “The mouth also contains a huge amount of bacteria and is an ideal place for infection to arise, this is especially the case with new piercings as it is an open wound and needs constant care and attention to prevent infection. An infection can quickly lead to other more serious conditions such as blood poisoning (septicaemia). The act of getting a piercing is itself very dangerous as if done incorrectly can cause issues such as permanent numbness of the tongue, blood loss, excessive swelling which affects breathing and swallowing and in severe cases and increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis B.”

The OHF is encouraging people considering oral piercings to research the risks and aftercare involved, as well as only getting piercings from reputable sources. Using antisepctic mouthwash, avoiding excessive fiddling with piercings and avoiding contact with the teeth are advised to avoid dental erosion. Removal of any piercings during physical activity such as sport is also advised.

As with oral health in general, regular visits to the dentist and swift treatment of any arising problems are the best ways to maintain good oral health.

Don’t let piercings put a hole in your oral health [via Oral Health Foundation]

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