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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2016-12-16

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Survey finds ? of Brits have attempted DIY dental care rather than seeing a dentist

EVER since the film Marathon Man (if you're not familiar with it, search for it on YouTube), people have had a proper fear of the dentist. After all, what's relaxing or soothing about having someone poke around in your mouth with a large, vibrating drill? It's no wonder many of us keep putting off appointments. But, obviously, our teeth are something we need to eat with, smile with, and generally look acceptable to other people with, so it pays to look after them.

However, it seems that some people just can't get past their general dislike of going to see the man (or woman) with the little mirror on a stick (don't even get us started on 'probes'; dental equipment was not named to make any of us feel calm about the process). Sapphire Braces (, who create customised high tech adult braces, decided to get to the bottom of how many people hate the dentist, and why. They surveyed 2,000 people and made some rather interesting discoveries.

Perhaps shockingly, 25% of us have attempted a home remedy rather than paying the dentist a visit with a problem. We can't even imagine what methods were attempted; tying one end of a piece of string around a decaying tooth, the other to a doorknob, then slamming it shut? Whatever makes you feel better we suppose... at least there's no one running a miniature vacuum cleaner around your mouth while trying to engage you in small talk about your latest holiday.

The region most likely to dodge the dentist's slippery, leather chair is the North West of England (19.2% of the country); it seems Mancunians and Liverpudlians would literally rather pull their own teeth than let anyone else do it. A close 2nd is London (15.4%); for a City that seems to place such importance on looking good, you'd think people who lived there would rather let professionals deal with any tooth decay issues, or fix a filling, rather than try to sort it out themselves. The Northern Irish have the least worries about someone else manipulating their molars; they only make up 3.1% of the total.

Even if people do make a proper dental appointment, a few of us still chicken out at the last minute; 29% of us have skipped one or cancelled because we hate going so much! The main reason, however, that people swerve the dentist, is the expense: 41% of us think it's just too pricey, particularly if you end up needing a procedure such as root canal surgery, or wisdom teeth removal. In second place is people's hatred of that buzzing, whirring sound the drill makes when it's rattling around your teeth 24%); hardly likely to relax you when you're already dreading the examination. 13% of us have a profound fear of needles; and when that needle is heading for your soft gums, it's no wonder.

12% of us don't appreciate being lectured ('So, when was the last time you came here? Your teeth are looking pretty yellow, you know... and there's the beginnings of some decay in your upper right Occlusal...'). Finally, some people hate feeling trapped (6%), which you pretty much are when you're lying back with your feet above your head, and then the smell of the surgery (4%) - that sickly sweet scent of mouthwash, mixed with something else we can't identify, and don't want to. But we're still, when it comes right down to it, pretty vain; a 3rd of us would rather spend more on the cosmetic appearance of our teeth (whitening, straightening, veneers etc.) than our health!

What do you dislike most about visiting the dentist:-

Fear of Needles = 13%
Sound of the drill = 24%
Feeling Trapped = 6%
Smell of the surgery = 4%
The expense = 41%
Feeling lectured = 12%

The survey also found that 24% of us would avoid braces specifically because they think they look bad. But thankfully, these days, braces have moved on a lot from the days of having to suffer those metal train tracks stuck to your teeth for months on end. "Dental technology has changed dramatically over recent years and these days, people barely even know if someone's wearing braces. Strong, but clear, material is used to straighten the teeth." confirms Dr. Swati from Sapphire Braces.

To find out more ways to look after your teeth, and stop dodging the dental chair, read our 5 tips, below:-

1. Get to know your dentist. A familiar face and a calming voice will work wonders when you sit down in the dental chair. Find a dentist you like and trust, and stick to them.

2. Don't be embarrassed to tell them! Let your dentist know about your fears, they will take this into account and make sure you are as comfortable with any procedures they are performing. You can even discuss a signal you can make if you are feeling worried at any point during the appointment.

3. Keep it regular! You have been told before but it's true! If you keep up with your regular check up appointments, you will minimise the chance of having to have more extensive procedures such as fillings.

4. Minimise the expense. Of course the cost of dental treatment is what scares some people the most. Even through the NHS, dental procedures can be costly. If you are on a low income, you may qualify for the Low Income Scheme which will reduce the cost of any treatment you need. Alternatively, dental plans are available for most budgets, whether you see NHS or private dentists.

5. New, innovative solutions. If the look of a mouth full of metal is putting you off getting your smile fixed then look into the many, new options now available in the world of braces. Revolutionary designs and technology mean some braces are virtually invisible and can achieve results within just 6 months.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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