What Do Oral Health Counselors Do And Why Is It Important

Not everyone has access to dental services. Some communities remain in unlivable conditions where dental and oral health are not the priority. Some people do not bother to get their tooth decay treated. Others are not mindful of their gums: while it may look like our gums are always fine, we also need to check whether they are diseased. Poor oral hygiene can cause this and will eat at our teeth bones if left unchecked.

Throughout the world, oral and dental care is becoming more and more inaccessible. The Global Burden of Disease Study in 2017 says that approximately 3.5 billion have some oral disease among the world’s population.

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Low- and middle-income countries that cannot provide services to prevent and treat oral health conditions suffer the most from this. It can affect people throughout their lifetimes. It can cause pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and sometimes even death. 

That’s why oral health counselors are crucial in these cases. They promote oral and dental health outside the work of a regular dentist. To learn what oral health counselors do and why it is important, read the whole article.

What Are Oral Health Counselors

An oral health counselor is qualified to occupy two important roles: a dental therapist and a dental hygienist. They are primarily tasked to provide diagnosis and treatment advice for both children and adults. 

Oral health counselors are also tasked to provide preventative programs in hard-to-reach communities. For instance, they can conduct educational events teaching residents about the proper way of taking care of teeth and gums.

To become an oral health counselor, they must fulfill three years of study into a Bachelor’s Degree approved by the National Board. Compared to a dentist, oral health counselors have a shorter training period of about 1 to 2 years. 

A good oral health counselor can assess your oral health. They must have keen observation skills and appropriate training to determine the cause of dental issues. They should be able to provide the correct treatment for their constituents. And lastly, they must be able to ensure the overall health of their patient’s mouth.

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What Do Oral Heal Counselors Do

Your dental health is as important as your overall health. It is crucial to ensure that you are getting the right oral care and treatment for your teeth. This is why the work of an oral health counselor is as crucial as other dental healthcare professionals.

There are existing similarities between the work of an oral therapist and a dentist. For one, they both provide dental care and knowledge to patients. However, a dentist focuses on the clinical aspect of oral health.

An oral therapist focuses on motivating people to take better care of their dental and oral health. Oral health counselors can also perform general dental tasks for patients. They might assess and treat teeth and gum diseases. They are also tasked with the promotion of oral health and disease prevention.

According to the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Center, these are the duties and responsibilities of an oral health counselor:

  • Ordering or taking x-rays
  • Filling and extraction of teeth
  • Replacing crowns
  • Administering local anesthetic
  • Repairing dental prosthetics
  • Making mouthguards

While their other tasks are similar to a dentist, an oral counselor acts as an allied health professional. Oral health counselors can provide medical advice about oral care. They work with the rest of your oral health team to provide you with the best dental treatments.

Why An Oral Health Counselor’s Work Is Important

The work of an oral health counselor involves providing basic dental care. They can serve in their own dental office or provide homebound care. Yet, the most important area of their practice is where they are truly needed–the underserved communities.

According to a study, nearly 61 million people in the US live in areas with a shortage of dental professionals. An oral health counselor is important for providing dental care for individuals who cannot afford a regular dental visit. They are also responsible for individuals who do not have dental insurance. 

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You can mostly find oral health counselors in tribal, rural, and public health clinics. They can also practice in underserved schools, correctional facilities, and mobile health units.

Another important role of oral health counselors is providing basic knowledge. They are responsible for patient education. Your oral health counselor should take time to discuss and demonstrate basic oral and dental care practices. 

For example, they may discuss how you should brush and floss your teeth. They may also inform you about interdental brushes. They will explain any dietary risk factors related to your oral and dental health. Finally, they will demonstrate the use of specialized cleaning tools and aids used in dental procedures.

Oral health counselors ensure that the patients have the best chance of maintaining their teeth, gums, and mouth. They form an integral part of managing your dental regime. These counselors work hand-in-hand with other dental professionals to achieve your overall oral and dental health. Without them, communities with a lack of dental professionals cannot access the quality services they deserve.

How Counseling Can Help Patients With Dental Anxiety Or Phobia

Dental anxiety is so common that it can affect individuals of any age. Most of the time, this comes from a bad dental experience where a person cannot overcome their fear. If a child with dental anxiety or phobia is well-cared for during dental visits, they usually outgrow them. Yet, adults who are anxious about dental care tend to manifest their phobia throughout their lifetimes.

Although most dental diseases are preventable, avoiding your dentist may have a big impact on your oral health. When you frequently avoid your dentist, it can worsen your dental condition, especially when you need emergency care or a more complex procedure. 

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What you can first do is identify the signs and symptoms of your dental anxiety. Next, you must determine why you acquired this kind of fear. Was it a bad experience from a dental appointment, or are there underlying reasons and causes of your dental anxiety? Ultimately, consult a counselor. Read the full article to know how counseling can help patients like you overcome dental anxiety or phobia.

What Is Dental Anxiety Or Phobia

Dental anxiety refers to the fear, anxiety, or stress individuals experience in a dental setting. Being afraid of an appointment with a dentist may result in avoiding or delaying dental treatment. The sight of needles, the sound of drills, or just the clinic environment can trigger a person with dental anxiety.

Severe dental anxiety may result in irrational fear towards a dentist. Individuals with severe dental anxiety might altogether avoid visiting a dental clinic. This is a sign of dental phobia.

In addition to this, other mental health disorders increase the risk of experiencing dental anxiety. Some of these conditions include:

Moreover, individuals who have a previous history of head and neck trauma also have a higher risk of having dental anxiety.

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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Dental Anxiety Or Phobia

There are multiple signs and symptoms of dental anxiety, which can vary from person to person. Individuals with this condition may exhibit a unique way of reacting to stress associated with dental visits. Yet, there are also common and standard observable indications of dental anxiety. These signs and symptoms may include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Panic attacks
  • Palpitations or racing heartbeat
  • Possible fainting caused by low blood pressure
  • Visible signs of distress such as crying, being angry, nervousness
  • Using withdrawal tactics to mask anxiety such as aggression and humor

Aside from this, people who have dental anxiety also experience trouble sleeping before their appointment. They also have constant worry and racing thoughts whenever the idea of dental visitations comes up. These individuals can also easily be overwhelmed by just being in a dental office.

Causes Of Dental Anxiety Or Phobia

With this, it is important to discuss the common causes of dental anxiety and phobia. As mentioned earlier, this can be due to a traumatic dental or other healthcare experience. For instance, they may have experienced failure treatment or dental procedure. Or they may have observed these events from another clinical patient, perhaps, from another family member.

Dental anxiety may be caused by other traumatic experiences related to one’s mouth. These individuals may also have been victims of abuse. Additionally, they may associate dental visits with their fear of losing control. These individuals view their mount as a personal or private area. As such, they may have trust issues with anyone who checks out their mouth.

Other anxiety-related conditions can cause fear of dental procedures, which include:

How Counseling Can Help You Cope

The primary goal of counseling in dealing with your dental anxiety is to minimize your symptoms. Eventually, you will learn tips and strategies for mitigating these on your own. With this, your counselor may conduct cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as your initial counseling program. 

In CBT, you will sit down and talk to your counselor about your dental anxiety about your thoughts and feelings. Your counselor will help you understand the cause of your anxiety or phobia. They will exhaust all roots and other triggers that might cause your dental anxiety.

CBT allows you to engage in healthier thought patterns. So you can become aware of the negative and mostly unrealistic ideas that can influence your emotions. Your counselor can help you change your perspective about dental visitations and other dental-related thoughts. They will teach you how you can redirect your thoughts whenever they come up. Then, they will help you practice this technique so you can cope up healthily. 

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Aside from CBT, counseling can also help you learn other strategies to assist in your dental anxiety episodes. They can teach you deep breathing and meditation techniques. They can also teach you how to utilize distractions so you can focus better on positive thoughts. They may suggest guided imagery or hypnosis. 

As an adult, your dental anxiety may have a lesser chance of getting rid of it permanently. It is important to consult any mental health professional for dealing with these cases. Counseling can improve the quality of your dental and oral health. You can have a more positive outlook on your dental visits and your life, in general.

Frequently Asked Questions About Substance Abuse Counselor Near Me

Just like the famous saying, anything too much is bad for your body. Are you suffering from substance abuse? If you have become reliant on substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, you may be suffering from substance abuse.

Recognizing the problem is already one big step towards healing. You are strong and brave for having the courage to seek help before it is too late.

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If you are concerned about your oral health, it is also essential to be mindful if you are suffering from a mental health condition. Aside from your holistic well-being, studies show a link between mental health and oral health.

It is essential to look at all the factors affecting your beautiful smile, including comorbidities. Addressing your other health conditions will help your periodontist in caring for your teeth. It makes oral health care easier and more efficient.

When you have substance abuse, harsh chemicals may damage your tooth enamel. You may also not get enough nutrition, such as vitamin B3, which is vital for healthy teeth.

If you cannot take care of yourself, then self-care activities such as brushing your teeth will be neglected. Periods of aggression may also lead to harsh toothbrushing or clenching of teeth.

Substance abuse is a form of addiction needing medical intervention. When we talk about addiction, it can be more than just drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. It can also be an addiction to gaming, gambling, shopping, or anything disrupting your participation in daily activities.

Substance abuse can harm your quality of life, so seeking a counselor near you is crucial.

Substance abuse or addiction is a medical condition with science and research behind it. It is not as simple as telling yourself to stop the use of substances. If it were easy, then no one should have been suffering from substance abuse disorders.

Of course, it is a conscious decision and will take a lot of personal effort and motivation. But you will also need the help of a substance abuse counselor to help you get through this challenging process.

How long will it take to be a substance abuse counselor?

Substance abuse counselors administer treatment and advice for patients with drug addiction, alcoholism, or other behavioral issues. But with their private practice, they must be licensed.

Though counselors’ licensing requirements vary by state, all states still require a master’s degree from an accredited university. There should be a passing score on a state-recognized exam and at least 2,000 hours of supervised clinical work.

How can I find a good therapist or counselor?

Finding a good therapist that you can trust is not that easy. But it would help if you try and ask your friends and family for any available recommendations.

Do not feel awkward about it, and if you have to tell them your situation, you should. If they do understand your situation, they would immediately ask for help and seek referral lists.

How do I become a substance abuse behavioral counselor?

There are four steps that you need to consider to become a substance abuse counselor. First, you have to get a credited degree in counseling from a licensed university.

After that, you have to serve as a counselor and acquire clinical practice hours under supervision. You need to pass a child abuse or felony background check and a national or state licensing test post-degree.

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 Can I be a counselor with a criminal record?

According to some latest reports, felons, including sex offenders, can work as substance abuse counselors in California. That is due to their lax rules that do not require criminal background checks for aspiring counselors for alcohol and drugs.

But overall, depending on the nature of the offense committed, some states prohibit an individual from becoming a licensed counselor.

Can I become a counselor without a degree?

There are lots of job options in the field of counseling, even for those without a degree. Counselors utilize several aides and assistants, making a wide place for everyone who aspires to help others.

Some states also allow people with a high school diploma to work as counselors with alcohol and drug abuse. And with the combination of field experience or certification, one can become a licensed counselor as well.

What do behavioral disorder and substance abuse counselors do?

A mental health counselor’s job is to advise and help individuals who experience alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems.

They also provide treatment and support and sometimes administer medications to help clients recover from their mental health issues.

Conclusion

Your journey to become sober again will not be an easy undertaking. Taking care of yourself may not be easy sometimes, but it is also fulfilling.

It is why it is crucial to find a substance abuse counselor who will work with your dentist. They will work together to bring back the confidence you need for a meaningful life.

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Finding the right substance abuse counselor near me is not as simple as it sounds. It would take more than internet research for their name, location, and qualifications.

Look for a counselor you are at ease with, so you can trust them in helping you. You may ask for recommendations from a loved one or anyone you trust, so you know you are going to a good counselor.

 A substance abuse counselor is a highly trained professional. Because a life relies on their hands, they will need a lot of study, training, and experience to be qualified to help.

Licensing requirements vary depending on which state the counselor practices. The bottom line is, substance abuse counselors need a license before they practice.

Usually, substance abuse counselors will need a master’s degree from an accredited university. Before becoming licensed, they will need to pass an exam and undergo clinical training. They will also need a background check of criminal records.

Some obtain certification and field experience to be a licensed counselor. It means anyone can help, even those without a degree.

When you finally become clean, who knows, you could help people like you who are dealing with substance abuse problems. As long as you went through the same studies and training, you could find yourself becoming a licensed counselor.

Or perhaps, help your local clinic as an assistant. No matter how dark your experiences were, you can always find and share hope as a mental health advocate.

Whether you need help or seeking to help others, you have a purpose of fulfilling. We can all be an essential instrument in promoting mental health and wellness.

Like how a dentist can advocate for mental health, you can also be a part of the change. Once we get to help ourselves in wellness, then we can better share our lives with others.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fixing Teeth And Depression

Becoming a dentist is the best decision that I have ever made in my entire life. At exactly 8 a.m., I would go down the house to clean my clinic near the gate and make sure that all areas were clean and that my apparatuses were within reach. I practiced at a little town right outside the city so I did not have too many patients to require a secretary, but the income I generated from them was enough for me to live comfortably. By 9 a.m., my scheduled clients would come one by one, and then my day would begin.

After getting my dentistry license, I received offers from various cosmetics companies to work for them. We talked about a six-figure salary back then, even though I was still a newbie in the game. However, since I was a small-town boy, I turned them all down politely and built a clinic in front of the house that I inherited from my late grandparents.

What I loved the most about being a dentist in a little town was that I knew almost every patient by their first names. Some of them were my childhood friends and acquaintances; others were the elders who kept the community alive. Of course, most – if not all – my friends’ kids were my patients, too, so I made sure that my clinic would cater to their needs.

On a particular session, though, I saw a new woman in the waiting area. I thought, “She must be a walk-in patient. I have never seen her before.”

When I approached the woman, she said that she wanted to close the gap between her two front teeth because it kept her from getting many roles in the show business. As it turned out, she had been trying to break into the Hollywood scene for a while, but the woman only met crazy directors and producers who could not see her beautiful smile. She disclosed, “This had been making me depressed; that’s why I just want to get my teeth fixed once and for all.”

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I honestly pitied the woman, considering the gap between her two front teeth actually added to her character. However, I respected her decision and scheduled her for a dental X-ray and other procedures before giving her braces. And in the few consultations that we had, the woman opened up to me more about her depression.

What are the four major causes of depression? 

  • Traumatic events
  • Abuse
  • Stress
  • Genetics

What is the primary cause of depression? 

Mixing biological and environmental factors cause depression.

What is causing the rise in depression? 

The rise in depression is due to various factors (e.g., abuse, trauma, etc.) that affect people negatively.

What is the highest cause of depression? 

Long-term challenges in life are the highest cause of depression.

What are the four types of depression? 

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Clinical depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Seasonal affective disorder

How do I get my mental health back on track? 

  • Take care of your body. A few things you can do, include sleeping, eating, and exercising well.
  • Follow a specific routine. Although it feels fun to laze around, it does not help your mental health.
  • Start journaling about your thoughts and emotions – especially the ones that you cannot talk about. This way, the paper can be an outlet for you.
  • Avoid criticizing yourself. Some people do that before others can, but you should not do it at all.
  • Try to reduce your stress level. Stress is one of the triggers for various disorders.
  • Realize the warning signs of your mental disorder so that you can do something about it before you spiral downward.
  • Cry if that will make you feel better. Let other people and cry with them when you are ready.
  • Seek mental help. Aside from getting diagnosed, you may also try therapy or counseling.
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What country has the lowest rate of depression? 

Japan has the lowest depression rate. According to the Washington Post, most people who get depressed in that country have HIV/AIDS.

What job has the highest depression rate? 

Transportation – private or public – has the highest depression rate.

What are the five signs of good mental health? 

  • You remain optimistic even when the odds are against your favor.
  • You do not shy away from new issues immediately.
  • You do not self-pity and blame others for your misfortune.
  • You create achievable goals.
  • Your self-esteem is often high.

What are the first signs of madness? 

  • You feel uneasy whenever you are with other people, even if you have known them for a long time.
  • You cannot concentrate on anything.
  • You no longer take care of yourself.
  • You prefer to isolate yourself from everyone.
  • You either feel nothing or too much about certain things.

How can stress affect mental health? 

Stress affects mental health by amplifying the symptoms of a disorder. The longer you feel stressed, the worse your symptoms may become.

What causes mental breakdowns among students? 

Mental disorders (diagnosed or not), inadequate coping mechanisms, and stress are some of the causes of students’ mental breakdowns.

What is poor mental health? 

Poor mental health is a state in which your brain is not working well due to stress or psychological disorder.

What are the seven types of mental disorders? 

  • Psychotic disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Other undiagnosed disorders
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Is school the cause of depression?

Although it is challenging to say that school is the cause of depression among students, it is undoubtedly a significant factor contributing to mental disorders.

Final Thoughts

I wish I could tell you that I became a hero and introduced my new patient to talent agents who would not want her to change her teeth. However, this is the real world – that’s beyond my powers. Instead, all I could do was place the brackets behind her teeth to ensure that the casting directors would not see them during auditions.

Six months after our first consultation, the woman’s teeth improved significantly, and she informed me that she got a minor role at a TV show. Her depression decreased gradually, and the woman stopped feeling bad about needing to fix her teeth.

 

The Link Between Oral And Mental Health

The Link Between Oral And Mental Health

In the same way that your oral health gives a glimpse into your body’s inner workings, there is mounting scientific evidence that points to a strong connection between your oral health and mental well-being. 

Many psychiatric illnesses, particularly eating and mood disorders, are usually associated with dental disease and damage. A study estimates that people who have severe mental health conditions are 2.7 times more likely to lose their teeth than the population. 

Oral Health And Mood Disorders

Patients with affective disorders tend to avoid caring for their physical health, and their teeth are no exception. As a result, those with depression and anxiety develop cavities due to self-neglect and unhealthy eating habits like heavy consumption of sugary drinks and fatty foods.  

Patients suffering from severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and dementia are likely to have advanced gum disease or tooth decay due to bacterial infection.

In a study, 59% of psychiatric outpatients in Australia had at least moderate pockets or a condition where the gum has retreated from the tooth. 

On the other hand, patients with bipolar disorders in their manic phase may sometimes brush too aggressively to the extent that it erodes the enamel or the outermost layer of your teeth. Overly vigorous brushing or flossing can not only wear down the enamel but can also injure your gums.

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In some cases, people with mental illness grind or clench their teeth excessively in response to stress or anxiety in a condition known as bruxism.

Although most cases are mild, severe bruxism can damage the enamel and affect your teeth’ deeper structures, resulting in sensitivity, facial pain, and tension-type headaches.

Some psychotropic medications or drugs designed to improve your behavior and stabilize your mood can also result in dry mouth or xerostomia. 

If you have this condition, your mouth cannot produce sufficient saliva to break down and wash away food. Since saliva acts as a natural defense against harmful bacteria, people with dry mouth are more vulnerable to gum and tooth problems. 

Oral Health And Eating Disorders

The warning signs of most eating disorders are observable with changes to one’s mouth. Your dentist may be the first clinician to diagnose an eating disorder ahead of a psychiatrist, especially if they have prior knowledge of your medical history.

For instance, individuals struggling with bulimia are at high risk of dental damage due to constant binge and purge cycles. Research shows that as much as 38% of patients with eating disorders suffer from tooth erosion.

Vomiting causes corrosive stomach acid to flow to the mouth, which is harmful to the enamel. Over time, the tooth can weaken, become brittle, and more translucent. This condition can make it difficult to eat hot and cold food and drinks. 

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When individuals insert fingers or objects to induce vomiting, they can also scratch and damage the mouth’s inside, especially the soft palate.

Similar cuts on the knuckles usually accompany redness or other injuries to the soft palate. Over time, the destructive behaviors of bulimic individuals can also cause salivary glands to enlarge. 

Likewise, people with anorexia that go to extreme lengths to avoid gaining weight are harming their teeth by failing to get the nutrition they need. 

Without insufficient amounts of vitamin B3, anorexia patients can develop bad breath and canker sores. Gums and other soft tissue become more prone to bleeding, and dehydration can quickly give way to dry mouth.

Some eating disorders can also increase the likelihood of degenerative joint diseases in the jaw area. When the joint weakens due to wear-and-tear, it may cause pain and headaches whenever you chew. 

Knock-On Effects

When your oral health takes a turn for the worse, it often results in severe pain and discomfort that could interfere every time you eat or speak.  

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Once oral damage and disease become noticeable, it can lower people’s self-esteem already suffering from mental disorders.

As a coping strategy, individuals can withdraw or isolate themselves, launching a vicious cycle where their mental health deteriorates even further and preventing them from receiving the help they need. 

Moreover, advanced dental disease is linked to potentially life-threatening complications like stroke, heart disease, and other respiratory illnesses.

Bad oral hygiene can also lead to bacteria’s formation in your bloodstream or bacteremia that can trigger an inflammatory reaction in your arteries. 

 Final Thoughts

If you’re receiving treatment for a mental health problem, your oral health must get just as much medical attention as other aspects of your physical health. 

An in-depth assessment should involve the coordination of your mental health and dental care provider and consider how these factors all come into play.

Close multidisciplinary collaboration is necessary for delivering the treatment you need to restore your smile and improve your state of mind.

 

Benefits Of Having A Family Dentist

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Each family member has different needs, and dental health can be the last priority. They may think that brushing three times a day already suffices for maintaining good oral hygiene.

However, brushing cannot eliminate all issues you may or may not see by the naked eye. Consider having a family dentist, as they can be beneficial for you and your family. Here are several reasons why you need a family dentist.

Keeps Track Of Your Dental History

Keeping a dental history is essential for a dentist to determine what steps to take to maintain your oral health. Your dentist won’t feel stressed about providing you treatment plans suitable for you because they already know your dental condition.

When you frequently see your family dentist, they will record your dental history, any allergies, special needs, or sensitivities. If you have found your family dentist, they will instantly know when you had your last check-up, your previous dental procedure, etc. 

Family dentists can also identify if your family has dental genetic problems and prevent them before they worsen. 

Convenience

Families can save both travel and time if each member sees the same dentist on the same day at the same location. Family patients don’t need to go to different clinics for their dental needs.

If you have a family dentist, it saves time, energy, and money from one clinic to another as family dentists provide all services. However, make sure that your prospective family dentist can treat both children’s and adult’s dental problems.

Develop A Trusting Relationship

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Communication is key to building a personal and trusting relationship. Once you have chosen your family dentist, you will develop a personal relationship that can last for a lifetime.

Through time, you and our family members will feel comfortable around your family dentist each dental appointment because you know that they know how to handle your concerns.

Having a family dentist is beneficial for children because they get to familiarize themselves with the dental clinic’s environment. Hence, it puts them at ease and makes dental visits more comfortable. Consider a family dentist that has toys, games, and books that your children will love.

Knowledge Of Your Condition

Consulting the same dentist helps determine your overall dental condition. They will also thoroughly check if there are underlying problems with your family’s oral health. This way, they know what to prescribe you to improve your oral health further.

The dentist can also look out if there are any improvements on your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues.  In case they detect serious health problems, they can refer you to a specialist for further examinations.

Awareness Of Serious Health Problems

Family dentistry is crucial for your family’s overall health.

As mentioned earlier, a family dentist helps detect if you have severe possible health conditions. So before getting your teeth cleaned, you must inform your family dentist about your current surgeries or conditions, such as prosthetic joint replacement or high blood pressure.

Dentists recommend taking a prophylactic antibiotic before proceeding with dental cleaning or procedures to prevent bacterial infection on the surgery site.

If you have high blood pressure, you are at risk of having dry mouth and tooth decay. So, be sure to let your dentist know about this condition. A patient needs to have a blood pressure reading before treatment. Anyone with high blood pressure is also not allowed to undergo any dental work. 

Sets An Example To Your Children

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Visiting your family dentist regularly teaches your children the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. It will become part of their routine to regularly visit the dentist to have regular check-ups and practice good oral hygiene habits, which will prevent future dental problems.

Also, having a family dentist means that the whole family can have their teeth cleaned together, unlike having different dentists where children may not see you having your teeth cleaned. 

Learn More About Oral Health

According to Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, “The simple gesture of flossing and brushing are instilled in us in order to maintain our “pearly whites;” yet, oral health is much more than clean teeth.

The first step towards maintaining good oral hygiene is by learning. Family dentists will teach you about daily oral care, proper brushing techniques, diet, and many more.

They will also keep your family updated with the latest technological procedures and practices in providing the best dental care.

Importance Of Family Dentists

Brushing your teeth alone isn’t enough. You and your family must visit your family dentist regularly for cleaning and check-up. Visiting a family dentist improves your family’s overall dental health and helps develop the confidence in each family member.

 

Why The Lockdown Has Been Good For Kids Who Should Be On A Sugar Fast

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I have been trying to make my two kids lay off sugar for a while now. Every time we go to the dental clinic, the dentist always tells me that both have cavities. I am not overly worried about my three-year-old son’s milk teeth rotting since they are meant to fall off. However, my eight-year-old son’s permanent teeth start to grow, and I do not want him to wear dentures anytime soon.

Although the dentist has never accused me of being the reason why the children have learned about sweets in the first place, I cannot help but feel guilty about it. After all, it is true—I let my kids eat ice cream and chocolates before they can even walk and talk. I have later realized that that’s not the smartest thing to do, but it is already too late—they have grown to love it. Whenever we visit any place or go on a trip, those little ones only behave when we give them donuts, candies, etc. Making them control their desire for sugary foods has been a challenge, and I do not know what to do.

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I came close to the point where I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and give up. I thought that there was nothing I could try to make my boys stop overeating sugar. Just then, the entire state got placed under strict quarantine due to the coronavirus outbreak, and I allowed myself to hope a little.

This lockdown has been good for children like mine who should be on a sugar fast because:

They Cannot Go Grocery Shopping With Mom And Dad Anymore

I used to make excuses whenever I needed to go grocery shopping, and my kids wanted to tag along. It was not because I did not want to hang out with them; it’s just that I knew where they would run off: the chocolate aisle. Once they find it and start throwing a fit when you say no to buying the goodies, you may want to give in instead of dealing with a meltdown.

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Now, this is a problem that you may be liberated from during the quarantine. After all, you won’t be lying to the children when you say that they can no longer get groceries with you. Even you are not advised to go in and out of the house whenever you please. But the rule is more favorable to you than to them, considering they cannot see piles of chocolates anymore.

They Don’t See Other Kids Eating Sweets

When you are a child, your id typically kicks in most of the time and makes you want whatever you see others eating. Say, if someone eats ice cream in the playground, everyone wants one too. It does not matter if they have the same brand at home—the kids merely want to be able to fit in.

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Parents Can Introduce Healthier Snacks Without A Problem

Another advantage of doing a sugar fast during quarantine is that you can reorganize your pantry and get rid of unhealthy snacks, such as junk foods, chocolates, pastries, etc. Your kids will only complain about it in the first few days because not everyone is accustomed to massive changes. However, they may become interested in healthy snacks if you give them delicious options.

Final Thoughts

I will never wish for a pandemic to take place just so my children can stop eating sugary products. Despite that, I am not ignorant of the fact that the lockdown has genuinely helped my kids cut down their sugar intake.

If your problem is similar to what I went through, learn from the tips above and stay safe.

The Sacraments Of The Catholic Church

 

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The 2019 Divine Retreat was successful as it was memorable. The retreat center was filled with participants composed of nuns, evangelizers, adults, couples, young people who wished to experience outer and inner healing. Food and accommodations were available and more than enough, thanks to the generous sponsors that helped make the event possible. There were even accommodations ready for people with disabilities. The healing sessions began with a meaningful message, God’s word spoken by the Vincentian fathers that ran the retreat. And with the guidance of the sacraments and the holy eucharist, the participants of the retreat experienced spiritual vigor and a renewed sense of vitality. The retreat also consisted of lessons about the holy sacraments.

What Are Sacraments?

‘Sacrament’ means ” a sign of the sacred.” They are outward signs that God has brought upon his children. They are also celebrations of the people’s continuous relationship with God.

Baptism is the first of seven sacraments. Here, you get together with God and the church. The priest baptizes an individual by immersing him into the water, depicting the cleansing of the person’s sins through the water and through God’s word. The candidate is typically a baby but it is never too late for anyone who wants to start a relationship with God.

Confirmation is the second part of the initiation process. The person accepts the gift of the Holy Spirit before he proceeds with his journey. While confirmed, he is blessed on his forehead with oil by a priest or bishop. This step is usually done when one reaches his later stages of childhood.

The Eucharist means a day of thanksgiving – when the body and blood of Christ are given and accepted by the person through bread and wine, just as Jesus broke bread and drank wine with his disciples during the last supper. This means that a human being is nourished by Christ’s body and blood.

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The other four sacraments that follow are penance, anointing the sick, holy orders, and marriage. Accepting all seven sacraments is a wonderful moment, as one finally experiences the salvation of Christ. However, keeping one’s faith does not only happen through sacraments but also through one’s devotion and everyday prayers.

 

 

Woes Of People In Braces During Quarantine

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Getting dental braces is something that I keep on putting off for the last two decades now. My parents encouraged me to do it at the age of 12, but I told them that I was proud of the gaps between my teeth. That was a lie, of course—you would never me smiling with my teeth showing in the olden days. However, I saw how much pain my friends experienced when they got braces, so I stood by the lie.

My perception merely changed last year when I realized that there’s a little discrimination between folks with and without perfect teeth. Although it was very subtle in most industries, it was more visible in sectors where face value mattered more than anything. Since I wanted a career in sales, I knew I had to woman up and have my pearly whites fixed.

After a month of consulting with a dentist, I came out of the clinic with dental braces. Did it hurt as much as I had imagined when the teeth started moving? Yes! During the first few days, it felt like all of them would fall out of my mouth. However, it eventually became more tolerable as months passed by.

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Two months ago, my dentist gave me excellent news: I only needed to go through three more adjustments before transitioning into retainers. It meant that the wide gaps were almost gone, and I was excited about that.

Unfortunately, a month after that, our entire state was placed under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dental clinic where my dentist was practicing had to close temporarily, and it meant three things:

Teeth Movement Cannot Be Monitored

Dental braces are typically okay to stay unchecked for a month or two. That is especially true if you need to go out of town for weeks or your dentist is on a holiday trip. The braces are not removable either, so there should be nothing to worry about.

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However, in some cases like mine, monthly checkups are essential. My ceramic braces, to be precise, require monitoring since they are more fragile and move teeth slower than regular ones. Given that the dentist is out, I may need to wear braces longer than expected.

Loose Brackets Cannot Be Fixed

There are plenty of reasons why brackets detach from the teeth. The most common one is that they have been bumped out of place while munching on crunchy foods. Other reasons include:

  • Brushing teeth too much
  • Biting into dense foods (e.g., a whole apple or burger)

The wire can usually prevent a bracket from falling off. If there is rubber around it, the bracket may remain secure, too. Despite that, it can still be irritating to touch the area with your tongue and feel that there is already a gap between your tooth and the bracket. Worse, you cannot go to the dental clinic to fix it.

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Excess Wires Cannot Be Cut

For brace wearers with wide gaps between the teeth, one recurring issue is the excess wire length. The dentist tends to ensure that it does not go past the molar bands during every appointment. However, the more your teeth move towards the center to close those gaps, the more the wire ends become exposed. If you have never experienced it, imagine one end of a staple wire poking the inside of your cheek, to the extent that it bruises.

I guess I am lucky because I only have several gaps left on my lower set of teeth. There is still excess wire, but it is only less than a millimeter long at this point. Unfortunately, other folks who have only started wearing braces for the same reason recently may experience faster teeth movement and have a longer piece of wire poking out.

Final Thoughts

Let’s not forget that it is not the dentists’ fault that they cannot go to work these days. The job requires them to be in close contact with patients’ mouths, and it is the ultimate source of the coronavirus. All we can do is pray for COVID-19 to leave this planet real soon.

Easy Methods Of Improving Dental Health Care

 

Benefits of Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

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Oral health improvement and progress was the primary topic at the 2018 Dental Summit. Prominent speakers and specialists discussed dental health and advances in the field of dentistry. There was an exchange of knowledge between the speakers and the rest of the participants about the various technologies that would help improve and increase people’s awareness of the importance of oral health care.

Though it may seem simple for some of us, others just don’t know how to clean their teeth properly. In relation to the Dental Summit, here are five easy methods of maintaining or improving dental health.

Purchase A Good Quality Toothbrush. It doesn’t mean that you need to buy those electric toothbrushes that light up. You just need something that’s not so tough that it can hurt your gums and teeth without actually realizing it. Choose a toothbrush that has soft to medium bristles that can efficiently clean without scratching the enamel of your teeth.

Reinforce With A Good Mouthwash. This is especially important for those who have bacterial buildup, tooth pain due to cavities, or bad breath. Listerine and Colgate are good brands that can efficiently help reduce bad breath and remove germs from the gums and teeth.

Practice The Habit Of Flossing. Flossing regularly is one of the common recommendations of dentists. Although this may not be an enjoyable and convenient habit to do, it is the only means of removing food and other substances that are stuck in between the teeth. If these aren’t removed for a long time, they form into plaques that will be difficult to remove without visiting the dentist. It is preferable to floss one a day before bedtime.

Woman Brushing Teeth

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Tap Water Is Better. Drinking lots of water has proven to offer various benefits, but specifically consuming the community water that’s been fluoridated apparently yields more positive results, including a reduction of tooth decay to at least 25%. Fluoridation makes a significant impact on the health of your teeth. Nevertheless, drinking any kind of water, as long as it is clean, will benefit all of us in more ways than one.