Afraid of the Dentist? 5 Ways to Reduce Dental Anxiety

dental anxiety treatment Florissant

Talk to your dentist

There’s something about having knowledge on anything unknown that makes us feel less afraid or at least more self-assured handling the unknown. If you consider dentistry an unknown topic, maybe you can educate yourself by asking your dentist lots of questions. Find a dentist willing to listen to your fearful thoughts and concerns so they can better assure you there isn’t much to worry about. Usually, when we talk about our fears someone with more information can help by reducing our dread. They may even eliminate it completely by showing our thoughts to be entirely irrational.

Meditate

Studies show how incorporating a 10-minute meditation routine can improve our overall feeling of wellness considerably. Think of meditation as a way for you to focus on the present moment and be comfortable with a subtle feeling of relaxation. This will provide a sense of tranquility we don’t always experience in our day-to-day lives. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I dedicated time to concentrate on the present moment and simply watch life pass, instead of trying to control everything.” With meditation, we can tune in to our natural way of being and more easily distinguish the difference between a real-life threat or an anxious thought.

Bring a friend or family member to your appointments

Sometimes modifying your environment in a way that’s more familiar will reduce anxiety. A great way of doing this is to bring someone familiar to your dental appointments who can offer emotional support. This could be a close friend or family member who understands how you feel. You should bring someone who is prepared to talk you out of negative thinking patterns. Your companion ideally will realize they are there for you and that this isn’t so much about the two of you hanging out socializing. Make sure they are up to the challenge!

Practice good oral hygiene

By having first-rate oral hygiene you can feel more confident about your next visit to the dentist. With excellent dental care, you can go into the dentist with a lower chance of having a root canal or being diagnosed with gingivitis, the onset of periodontal disease. See why these conditions may worsen your anxiety? If you were diagnosed with gingivitis, your mind would have logical reasons for feeling apprehensive which is not what we want. However, if you’ve been doing the regular brushing and flossing as recommended then there isn’t as much to fret about.

Seek out a therapist

Are you feeling anxious all the time or just while at the dentist’s? Seeking out a therapist may help with dental anxiety. Your therapist may counsel adjusting your daily routine to help fight both dental anxiety and any anxiety from day-to-day life. Or, your dentist may suggest specific techniques to focus on while at the dentist. The 3-2-1 technique involves naming 3 things you can hear, followed by 3 you can see, and lastly, things you can feel. Then you reduce the numbers to 2, then 1. This is a beneficial exercise you can do while in a dentist’s office or anywhere you may feel anxious.

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 8533

Think You Know How To Brush? Think Again.

Florissant tooth brushing tips

You’ve been doing it since you were five. You switch to autopilot morning and night and go through it. But are you doing it right?

Actually, many men and women are making tooth brushing mistakes. You may need to tweak your routine to better support your oral health and protect your smile from decay and gum disease.

Here are important tooth brushing tips:

1. Take your time.
It’s understandable. You want to get it over with and go to bed. Proper teeth cleaning takes time and careful attention. Time yourself the next time you brush—you might be surprised at how rapidly you finish. The process should take at least two to three minutes. It can also be useful to take a different route around your mouth every few days. By altering your pattern, you approach areas from a different, and possibly, better angle.

2. Don’t forget to floss.
No matter how agile you can be with your brush, it’s problematic to eliminate the plaque from all those narrow gaps between your teeth. That is where bacteria can easily increase and start the decay process.

3. Use the right toothbrush.
It is ironic that some people damage their enamel or gums because they brush too hard with a hard brush. Dr. Buchheit counsels patients to only use a soft brush. If you’ve had gum grafts, you may want to use an extra soft brush.

4. Don’t keep your toothbrush near the toilet.
This is terrible to think about, but each time the toilet is flushed, bacteria is sent far into the air—even if you close the lid. Keep your toothbrush in a clean place and allow it to air dry.

5. Use fluoride toothpaste.
This may seem like a no-brainer but you may be surprised that some oral care products don’t contain fluoride. And you may think it’s only for kids. Not true. Your enamel is constantly under assault from acidic foods and drinks and fluoride helps it remineralize.

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 7193

Did You Know That You Can Change the Shape of Your Gums?

gum contouring Maryland Heights

Most dental patients know that cosmetic, restorative and orthodontic dentistry procedures correct a multitude of smile flaws. There are treatments to reshape teeth, straighten teeth, repair damaged teeth, whiten teeth, and replace missing teeth. But what about your gums? Do you understand how much gum shape adds or detracts from the appearance of your smile?

You Can Contour Your Gums

The shape and size of your gum line can make your teeth appear too large or too small or otherwise out of proportion. Gum contouring can repair gums that appear too low or too high in relation to the teeth and shape them for the perfect smile.

People who are unhappy with their gums might want to think about gum contouring. Many dentists and periodontists offer gum contouring surgery.

Gingival Sculpting

This procedure is also called gingival sculpting, gingival contouring, or gum graft surgery, but don’t let the term surgery frighten you. It is performed with a precision laser and is minimally invasive. The procedure usually involves little pain and requires no recovery time.

Gum Contouring Can Treat Gum Recession

Gum reshaping is not always done for purely cosmetic reasons, it is also used to treat gum recession, a common condition that can lead to tooth decay and tooth loss.

In gum graft surgery, soft tissue is usually taken either from the roof of the mouth, the area surrounding the site of the grafting, or a tissue bank. Gum grafts applied to exposed tooth roots protect teeth from continuing gum recession and decay and reduce tooth sensitivity. Of course, gum grafts often increase the attractiveness of the smile in the process.

If you are seeking more specifics about gum contouring or other dental procedures, call Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS today at 314-837-7744 to schedule a consultation.

We provide quality dentistry to patients in Florissant and the greater St. Louis area.

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 6774

Gum Disease Linked To Alzheimer’s: Keep Those Gums Healthy!

gum disease treatment Florissant

As if you needed another reason to keep your gums in first-rate condition.

Scientists have found a link between a bacteria that cause periodontitis (advanced gum disease) and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Porphyomonas gingivalis is a bacteria that often causes chronic periodontitis. The bacteria was discovered in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

The research study, “Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors,” can be found at Science Advances.

The researchers concluded:

“Chronic periodontitis and infection with Porphyomonas gingivalis have been identified as significant risk factors for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Periodontal disease, frequently called gum disease, is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, periodontal disease is preventable.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include tobacco use, dissatisfactory oral hygiene, genetics, teeth grinding, inflammatory conditions, and poor nutrition.

This study should dispel the misconception that oral health is somehow separate from physical health.

It is important to see your dentist regularly to keep your gums healthy (as well as your teeth). To schedule a periodontal disease exam, call Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS today at 205-933-0323 or visit http://www.kochparkdental.net/about-us/.

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 8096

9 Tips For Preventing Gum Disease

prevent gum disease Florissant

Unfortunately, gum disease is very common. But completely preventable.

Here are some simple ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

If you keep your teeth and gums healthy, you will only need to visit the dentist for cleanings and checkups. Not major treatment.

1. Brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline. Remove the bits of food Don’t brush too hard, but be thorough. Scrubbing your gums aggressively can be painful and is a BIG don’t.

2. Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder, which makes it far less complicated to insert the floss between teeth. But get over your aversion to flossing, unless you want decay or gingivitis (gum disease).

3. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse can prevent plaque accumulation and keep your enamel strong. Remember that fluoride mouth rinses are not the same as mouthwashes. Mouthwashes have alcohol and are designed to freshen breath. (But they can worsen dry mouth which can cause other problems.)

4. Eat a healthy diet. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque. A nutritious diet provides the nutrients necessary (vitamins A and C, in particular) to keep teeth and gums healthy.

5. Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which may bring about periodontitis (advanced gum disease) or oral cancer. While you’re at it, avoid E-cigs and vapors.

6. Be aware that certain medications can also threaten a healthy smile. These include oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and heart medicines. If your medications are affecting your dental health, talk to Dr. Buchheit.

7. Exercise preventive care and schedule regular exams — the best way to detect early signs of gum disease and make a plan to reverse it.

8. Talk to your dentist about oral health issues such as old, broken fillings, or crowded teeth.

9. If you grind your teeth, talk with Dr. Buchheit about ways to protect your teeth.

Listed above are nine simple ways to ensure your teeth don’t decay, or worse, fall out completely. It’s vital to brush your teeth in the morning and at night. Bonus points for brushing and/or rinsing after lunch. Daily dental hygiene also keeps your breath fresh. Your friends, family, and co-workers will appreciate that.

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 8129

How Oral Inflammation Affects Your Health

inflamed gums Florissant

Swollen and painful gums are symptoms of periodontal disease, an inflammatory gum disease. Swelling occurs from an auto-immune response of the body reacting to an infection. Infections are noticeable through pain, redness, and warmth. If the infection is left untreated, it can affect the bone near the teeth. The body’s immune system wants to rid the bone of the harmful material the bacteria is creating. Over time, bone loss will develop.

Inflammation in the gums also is associated with atherosclerosis, the occurrence of fatty deposits inside of the body’s arteries. Inflammation coincides with an increase of the blood protein CRP (C-reactive protein), produced by the liver. The more inflammation there is, the more the liver produces CRP. The more CRP present, the more likely cardiovascular disease is present, along with related dilemmas. CRP production is also related to arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and intestinal problems.

Scientists are currently looking into the relationship between periodontal inflammation and CRP level and the effects outside of the oral cavity. Links have already been discovered between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

If inflammation is left untreated, gums can develop pockets that provide the perfect breeding ground for infection. The longer the infection persists, the more likely bone loss will arise, eventually causing tooth loss.

It is crucial to practice preventive dental care daily at home and have regular visits to the dentist. Dental appointments should include an exam, cleaning, and full mouth x-rays, along with the vital knowledge and instruction on how to properly care for teeth and gums at home. It is also very important to see your dentist ASAP if a tooth suddenly becomes sensitive or you see any other changes.

Thanks for visiting our blog. For more specifics about inflammation or periodontal disease, give us a call at 205-933-0323.

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 7095

5 Critical Things To Know About Periodontal Disease

gum disease exam Florissant

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, periodontal disease is preventable. This condition is so widespread in the US that it has been called a ‘health crisis’ by the ADA. Fortunately, periodontal disease can be treated.

  1. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
  2. Practicing proper dental hygiene and having 6-month dental exams are the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
  3. Periodontal disease can occur without the presence of tooth decay.
  4. Almost half of all 30+ adults in the US have periodontal disease.
  5. In some cases, periodontal disease creates no noticeable symptoms.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include tobacco use, substandard oral hygiene (especially failing to floss), genetics, teeth grinding, inflammatory conditions, and poor nutrition.

Even if you don’t feel any pain in your mouth, it is important to see your dentist regularly. To schedule a periodontal disease exam, call Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS today at 314-837-7744 or visit http://www.kochparkdental.net/about-us/.

“Periodontal Disease Affects Nearly Half of the U.S. Population,” American Dental Association, June 15, 2015, http://www.ada.org/en/science-research/science-in-the-news/periodontal-disease-affects-nearly-half-us-population, accessed June 6, 2017

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 7464

Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

Florissant should I use waterpik?

Today, we’re reviewing the water flosser, also known as interdental cleaner, interdental irrigator, or water jet. The first water-shooting device for cleaning between teeth was developed in the early 1960s by Colorado dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulics engineer. The instrument is now known by the brand name Waterpik, though many people use the term generically. Since its conception, many other companies have entered the market with similar products. (Note: Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS does not necessarily endorse any specific brand.)

A water irrigation tool oscillates a stream of water through a small, targeted tube to shoot out fragments of food and plaque from around and between teeth. To use it, you insert the tube into your mouth, turn it on, and then lean over the sink with your mouth slightly open to let the water dribble out as you guide the stream of shooting water around the gumline, stopping momentarily at each gap between neighboring teeth.

There have been over 65 studies that have validated the safety and efficacy of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis treatment.

Should I Use a Water Flosser?
If you don’t floss at all, absolutely. If you have gingivitis, maybe. It may also help you keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have dental appliances.

First, speak with Dr. Buchheit to receive an oral care treatment plan that factors in your tooth and gum health, physical dexterity, and lifestyle. The following elements may impact whether or not Dr. Buchheit counsels you to use an interdental irrigation device.

Braces or other orthodontic appliances
A physical limitation that reduces the ability to brush and/or floss
Periodontal disease
Gums that bleed when flossing
Bleeding around dental implants when flossing
Aversion to flossing
Sensitive teeth

The friendly team at Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS would love to help you learn the best methods for keeping your gums pink and healthy and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. To schedule an appointment, call 314-837-7744

Sources:
Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS, “Interdental Cleansing,” The American Dental Hygienist Association, https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7123_Waterpik_Irrigation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
Carol A. Jahn, RDH, MS, “The Water Flosser: Your Tool For Optimal Oral Health,” https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/pro/education/pdf/Waterpik_WaterFlosser_ContinuingEducation.pdf, accessed March 10, 2017
“Water Flossing,” MouthHealthy (ADA), http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/water-flossers, accessed March 10, 2017

 

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 7376

Stick Out Your Tongue!

St. Louis oral cancer exams Dentists diagnose and treat conditions of the teeth and gums. These conditions can affect the tongue. Let’s describe the tongue.

Have you ever considered all the vital things your tongue can do? It helps us talk, perceive the texture and flavor of food, chew, and swallow.

This strong and nimble gymnast is in nonstop motion during our waking hours. It is a wonder that we don’t accidentally bite it more often as we smile, chew, drink, breathe, swallow, cough, and laugh.

Your tongue can also reveal physical conditions. This may include digestive conditions, infections, and diseases of the blood.

When Martin Buchheit performs oral exams, the tongue is always inspected for signs of oral cancer and other serious diseases.

Here are some tongue abnormalities and possible causes:

Swollen tongue: reaction to food/drink/medication, strep infection, leukemia, hypothyroidism

White tongue: dehydration, yeast infection, irritation to tobacco, enteritis, gastritis, colitis, anemia, or other nutritional deficiency

Canker sores: may be linked to stress or reaction to food, toothpaste, or mouthwash.

If you have persistent canker sores, you may want to try eliminating products that contain sodium lauryl (or laurel) sulfate (SLS). SLS is a cheap foaming agent that is found in many personal care products. It can be difficult to find SLS-free dental products. The following brands have previously offered SLS-free versions but labels carefully every time you buy a new tube. We have noticed that SLS has re-appeared in some brands. (Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS has no affiliation with any of these companies.)

  • Biotene
  • Sensodyne Pronamel
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Rembrandt Low Abrasion

If you can’t find an SLS-free toothpaste at your local grocery store, I would suggest trying health food stores, specialty drug stores, or trusted online sites.

Many people ask about tongue-scraping. We recommend thorough dental hygiene including cleaning the tongue. To schedule a consultation to talk about any dental health issues including tongue scraping, please contact us at  314-837-7744

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

 314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 2249

Why You Shouldn’t Dread Going To The Dentist

Chesterfield gentle dentist

If you are afraid of the dentist and have not had a check-up in years, today’s post is for you. Good news! Dentistry in the Florissant area and around Missouri is nothing like it was when you were a kid. (Even if you’re still a kid, we invite you to keep reading.)

There Is No Reason to Avoid Dental Visits
First off, if you need dental treatment, oral sedation dentistry allows you to sleep during the procedure. There are several levels of sedation – you can remain conscious or take a trip to la-la land. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Martin Buchheit for more important details about sleep dentistry.

If you have a bad memory of hurting for days after a procedure, relax. Improved painkillers, lasers, and advanced techniques have reduced the pain experienced by Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS patients. If you need extensive treatment, we will create a pain management plan to ensure that you remain comfortable.

You Won’t Be Here All Day
Dr. Buchheit can perform procedures much quicker with today’s extremely precise dental instruments. Healing times for oral surgery are also much shorter.

You don’t have to live with gaps in your smile, sore gums, stained teeth, or a toothache. We can take care of all your dental problems. We will help restore your oral health to improve your quality of life and prevent dental problems from affecting other parts of your body.

Today’s Florissant dentistry is not your father’s dentistry. We invite you to discover why you shouldn’t avoid the dentist any longer.

We look forward to meeting you. Call Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS today at 314-837-7744

 

Contact Koch Park Dental – Martin L. Buchheit, DDS:

314-837-7744

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

2149 Charbonier Rd
Florissant, Missouri
63033

 

ArticleID 6800