People don’t usually realize this, but oral care or the oral system has a really big connection to the stomach system as well. If we don’t have a good oral care/hygiene, that can affect the systemic problem. For example, there are studies that show if you have a bad mouth, bad gingivitis or bad gum disease, it can link to cardiovascular disease or even diabetes. People don’t realize that. They think it’s a very isolated situation and that our tooth system works independently with each other. You need to come in regularly for checkups and cleanings and make sure you have good healthy teeth because that can lead to a good healthy body in general. Just having a smile too can affect your physical system and have a psychological effect as well. So if you have a great smile on your face, that can lead to being more happy and less cases of sadness or depression.
I grew up really fearing the dentist. I think I had a really bad dentist growing up. I remember this time walking in I just started crying because all he wanted to do was pull my tooth out so I was sitting in the chair crying. I had a fear of dentistry growing up and I think it’s ironic that I work in this field, but I find it kind of rewarding as well because I don’t want to be that dentist that I had. I want to be a very compassionate and an accepted dentist where kids can come in and don’t have to be fearful of me.For example, I had this patient come in and she is 5 years old. I’ve seen her a couple of times now for cleaning and check up. The first time she came in her mom said she was very fearful. When I saw her she didn’t want to see me at all. She didn’t open her mouth or anything. But then afterwards, once she was familiar with her setting, she started opening up. The second and third time she came she started becoming more cooperative and very receptive to us. Now she comes in and her mom tells us that she looks forward to it and writes it in her little diary: “Dentist appointment”. She’s very happy to see us. I find that to be one of the most rewarding parts of my job.
Some patients are really afraid of the noise. I tell them to bring headphones and listen to music. We have TVs in our chairs so a lot of times they just focus on the TV. Some even fall asleep while I’m working. I had a couple that just started snoring and it would freak us out, but it just means that they’re very comfortable. We just laugh it off and tell them to wake up.