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Be Prepared for Summer Travel: 5 Dental Health Tips for Your Vacation

Summer is here and, for many of us, it’s time for family vacation. Whether you’re boarding a plane for an exotic locale, spending a few days at your favorite amusement park, or loading up the kids for a trip to Grandma’s, it may still be a challenge to make dental health a part of your itinerary. After you’ve packed the sunscreen, bug spray and first aid kit, here are a few tips to protect your teeth and avoid dental mishaps:

 

1.  Don’t neglect your dental hygiene just because you’re on vacation.  While a break from the usual routine may be welcome, you’ll still want to maintain good oral health. Make teeth brushing and flossing prerequisite for you and your family before heading off to the beach or boarding the tour bus. Just because you’re roughing it on a camping trip doesn’t mean your dental hygiene needs to suffer.

 

2.  Keep healthy food on hand. Summer can mean cotton candy, s’mores and soda – fun as an occasional treat, but too many sugary foods can lead to cavities.  When packing for a road trip, think fruit, nuts, low-sugar or sugar-free options. You’ll save money on snacks – and your teeth.

 

3.  Buy new gear.  While you’re shopping for that new swimsuit or summer outfit, now is also the time to stock up on new toothbrushes to replace those old, worn out and frayed brushes.  The American Dental Association (https://goo.gl/7o33AY) recommends replacing your brush every three to four months. Toothbrush holders for travel and travel-sized toothpaste are also useful items when away from home.  

 

4.  Know what to do in case of a dental emergency. Carry your dentist’s contact information with you, and know where the nearest dentist is located.

 

5.  Schedule a check-up for your family. Get a clean bill of dental health for the summer and avoid tooth problems while on vacation. That way, you’ll have your check-ups out of the way and the kids will be ready for classes in the Fall.  

 

Summer vacation is made for family time and outdoor activities. With a little preparation, you can minimize unforeseen dental problems and return from your trip renewed and ready to tackle your next challenge.

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Fear of Dental Visits: Best Methods to Alleviate Anxiety
Most people are a little apprehensive about a visit to the dentist, while others are just downright frightened. People who don’t see a dentist regularly admit that fear is the overriding issue. The fear can be so severe that some individuals will put up with gum infections, pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth, rather than make a dental appointment. 5 Ways to Help Alleviate Fear • Identify your causes of anxiety and phobia. Pain is the major concern. Other concerns include loss of control, feeling of helplessness, embarrassment over condition of teeth and gums, and negative past experiences. • Communicate fears prior to appointment. Before you set an appointment, be vocal about your apprehensions, fears and anxiety. This gives the dentist a way to gauge the situation and create an action plan suited for your needs. In most cases, dentists will devise cues and signals. • Use distractions. This helps divert attention during treatment. Try listening to music, fiddling with a stress ball or counting to yourself. Prior to appointment, watch a funny video or a feel-good clip to help you relax. • Are sedatives helpful? Sedation can help reduce anxiety and keep a patient calm and relaxed during treatment. Sedatives include nitrous oxide, and oral or IV sedation. Discuss with your dentist which one might work best for you. • Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation exercises can help someone stay calm during treatment. The tactics include breathing, which involves taking a deep breath and letting it out very slowly. This will help relax the muscles and slow down heart rate.
How braces can deliver more than just a straight smile
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Win prizes at the dentist’s office this summer.
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