My Blog

Posts for: September, 2011

By JW Haltom DDS, Inc. Family Dentistry
September 25, 2011
Category: Dental Procedures

Three quarters of people surveyed have admitted to having some fear about going to the dentist. About 10% to 15% are so afraid that they never go. Because they put off checkups and treatment they end up with toothaches, infections, and even lost teeth.

You should know that even those who are most afraid of the dentist can learn to reduce their fear and have dental treatment in comfort.

How does fear of the dentist get started?
Fear is learned behavior. People may learn it from stories they have heard from their parents or others, or they may learn it first hand by having a bad dental experience. Once the fear is planted, they avoid going to the dentist, so there is no way for them to learn that a visit can be a positive experience.

If you are among those who fear going to the dentist, the fearful feelings you have can be enough to reinforce themselves. Sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, and a queasy stomach are not pleasant, and if you experience such feelings they may be your main memories after an appointment, even if the visit was not frightening in itself.

Dental fear can be a subconscious automatic response. This means that you can't control it and make it go away. But there are things you can do to reduce your fear and feel comfortable during your appointment.

Move slowly and get help to conquer your fears.
You need to have new, positive experiences to counteract the bad experiences you had in the past. Realize that you are not alone, many people share this fear. Then talk about your fears with our office. We will start by doing things that cause only mild or no anxiety. You want each visit to be a good experience, so you are able to leave our office with a feeling that this was okay, and you can do it again. It may take a while to train yourself to get over your fears, but we have helped many people accomplish this — and you can, too.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about any fears you may have. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Overcoming Dental Fear & Anxiety.”


By JW Haltom DDS, Inc. Family Dentistry
September 18, 2011
Category: Oral Health

We have learned that an important part of oral health is education — but more importantly, making it fun to learn so that you retain (and apply) what you learn! For this reason, we have put together the following self-test so that you can quickly access your knowledge on the subject of mouthguards.

  1. The first sport to use (and require) protective mouthguards was:
    1. football
    2. boxing
    3. baseball
    4. ice hockey
  2. Research conducted by the American Dental Association (ADA) found that individuals are ___ times more likely to damage their teeth when not wearing a mouthguard while engaged in contact sports or rigorous physical exercise.
    1. 10
    2. 20
    3. 40
    4. 60
  3. As a rule of thumb, females do not require mouthguards because they are not as physically active as their male counterparts.
    1. True
    2. False
  4. The American Academy of General Dentistry (AAGD) reports that mouthguards prevent more than ______ injuries to the mouth and/or teeth each year.
    1. 200,000
    2. 300,000
    3. 400,000
    4. 500,000
  5. Which of the following sports or activities does the ADA recommend that participants wear protective mouthguards:
    1. acrobatics
    2. bicycling
    3. handball
    4. all of the above
  6. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that more than ______ sports-related injuries end-up in the emergency room each year with injury or damage to the teeth and mouth.
    1. 275,000
    2. 425,000
    3. 600,000
    4. 735,000
  7. Over-the-counter mouthguards are just as effective as professionally made mouthguards.
    1. True
    2. False
  8. In addition to the trauma of having a tooth (or teeth) knocked out, individuals who have suffered from this type of injury may end up spending ______ per tooth over a lifetime for teeth that are not properly preserved and replanted according to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety.
    1. $10,000 to $20,000
    2. $15,000 to $25,000
    3. $25,000 to $35,000
    4. Less than $10,000

Answers: 1) b, 2) d, 3) b, 4) a, 5) d, 6) c, 7) b, 8) a

You can learn more about the importance of mouthguards when you continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Athletic Mouthguards.” And if you have already experienced a dental injury, it may not be too late. However, we need to evaluate the damage so that we can establish a plan for restoring optimal oral health. Contact us today to learn more about protecting your mouth and teeth or to schedule an appointment.