Top Tips For Those Scared Of Visiting The Dentist

Guest post by Danny Callan
Dental Revelations Blog-15

Could this little fella ease your fear of the dentist?

Sweaty palms, shaky fingers, heartbeat going like mad? You’re probably scared, but you don’t have to worry. Dental phobia is a serious thing. A lot of people will wave it off because in the end, you will still have to go to the dentist to make sure your teeth are happy. But it’s still a common issue and can be disturbing for many people. As a result, people with this phobia will avoid going to check-ups, until they are basically forced by hand. At 360 Dental, we’re quite used to helping patients who have a fear of the dentist. So, instead of just telling you to deal with it, we have created a list that can help you with your fears.

Talk to your dentist

Talking about your fears might actually be scarier than your actual fear but trust us when we say it will be good for you. Speaking to your dentist about your worries will help them understand how to make the environment comfortable for you, and it will help you feel like you can trust them. Your dentist will probably be more than happy to talk through each step of the treatment as they go through it, which is proven to be extremely helpful with anxious patients.

Find the right dentist

Don’t stop until you find someone you actually like because, as much as we hate to say it, you have to go to the dentist and you don’t want to be dreading it every time just because you are stuck with the dentist you don’t like. Organise some appointments and figure out whether the dentists are accommodating to your needs, whether the building is spacious and whether it just makes you relax a bit more. If the surroundings make you feel even more nervous or the dentist isn’t being accommodating then you can simply walk away – don’t settle for second best just because taking care of your teeth is important, take time to get to know them and that can go a long way in getting through your appointments.

Bring something to listen to

If having your dentist talk through what they are about to do will just make you more nervous then maybe opt for music instead. Listening to your own music or a podcast will help take your mind away from the probing that is going on in your mouth. If there ever was a time to listen to guilty pleasures without being judged, now is. Some people prefer listening to familiar music – something that reminds you of a happy memory, but basically just listen to anything you can truly concentrate on.

Bring someone with you

A friend, a family member, maybe a dog? Not sure if you’re allowed to bring pets into a dentist appointment, but can’t hurt to ask, right? Bringing somebody will help give you an extra layer of support so that you feel more comfortable and relaxed. This means that they will be able to talk to you during the appointment, focus your mind on something else and, before you know it, your appointment will be over! Also, it makes the whole experience a bit more enjoyable – going to the dentist isn’t exactly the most exciting thing but bringing a friend might be a laugh.

Reward yourself

If there was any reason to go shopping or go for a meal, this would be it. Having to face your fears is difficult, but when it comes to the dentist, it’s pretty necessary – unless you don’t care about taking care of your teeth anyway. In fact, you can even make it become a day out – it will be nice to look forward to something else after spending the day not looking forward to the appointment. In fact, if you’re bringing somebody with you, then the whole experience can become even more enjoyable. By the end of the day, your dentist appointment will be nothing but a small task and you probably would have forgotten about it the second you walk out the door.

Change your diet

When it comes to anxiety, some foods can make it worse. Before your dentist appointment, avoid any drinks high in caffeine or foods high in sugar. These will make you shaky and more anxious, so taking them out of your diet will be a huge help. Obviously, we’re not talking about forever, just on the day of your visit – as soon as you walk out of the building, you can down a latte. Plus, technically it’s also healthy to reduce these ingredients anyway. So, if you’re up for trying a new diet at the same time, it’s a win-win situation.

Visit regularly

Obviously, if you’re scared of the dentist, the last thing you want to do is to do it again. But, if we’re being honest, that’s the best way to get over fears or at least to the point where you are comfortable with them. This way, you’ll get to know your dentist, get to trust them and that’s important. Plus, hopefully, after a few times, you will become aware of what happens during your appointments, so nothing should surprise you when it’s just a simple check-up.

Plan ahead of your appointment

A lack of organisation can make your anxiety worse than it has ever been. Planning ahead of your appointment and having spare time will help you feel calmer about the visit – it gives you time to practice some breathing movements, listen to some music and just chill out. If you’re rushing, then you’re more likely to panic and over think about the situation which will raise your anxiety levels through the roof.

Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. While it is a lot harder to just “face your fears”, there are things you can do to help with the problem. Trying out some of these steps is just the beginning, but the most important thing is to find a dentist that you feel comfortable with and the more often you go, the more you will get used to it.

Baby steps. If your dentist is good, they will take what you need in consideration by giving you control, making you relaxed and scheduling during calmer times.


Author Bio

Danny Callan

Danny works for 360 Dental, one of Manchester’s most popular dentists. They help 1,000’s of residents in Manchester create their perfect smile.


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GUM ActiVital Toothpaste Review

Dental Revelations Blog-13

GUM ActiVital Toothpaste Review by Dental Revelations Blog

I recently received a free sample of new GUM ActiVital toothpaste and wanted to let you know from a professional point of view how good the toothpaste is. And if it is what the manufacturer’s selling speech on their website states:

-Effectively helps prevent cavities by remineralizing the dental enamel thanks to our patented combination of fluoride and isomalt
-Prevents the plaque build-up that can harm the new permanent teeth
-No alcohol, parabens, or sulfates (SLS)
-Gentle formula contains natural chamomile flower extract
-Yummy strawberry flavor

It seems that this toothpaste is not available in the USA yet (or no longer?), but I’m sure it can be ordered online if you are interested to try it out.

The Design

I love the green colour in the packaging design. It is simply the freshest colour there is. The pomegranate apple is a plus at least for me because I recently learned that pomegranate apple has plenty of health benefits.

The tube is pretty much similar to the toothpastes of Oral-b and it is easy to open. Like often, there is a lid protecting the toothpaste under the cap. Not sure about what the material of the lid is – it looks metallic but is too thin to be considered as recyclable metal. Is it some sort of plastic with a foil layer? In my house that has 8 different recycling bins, this small lid has no other place than domestic waste where everything that cannot be recycled is put. I call it The Bin of Shame.

What material is the lid?

Some might think that what on earth am I on about when I worry over very small piece of non-recyclable material. But I think it is about the attitude towards the Planet Earth. We should try to use materials that can be recycled and even better thing would be if the materials we use were sustainable. No matter how small they are.

The Testing

The toothpaste is green in colour and is more like gel than a paste. Brings in mind my teenage years in the ’80s when hair gel of this colour was very popular. Do people still use it? Nowadays there are all sorts of hair clays, powders, waxes and so on to choose from. But back in the good old days we relied on the green toothpaste-like hair gel that made your hair stiff as a stick.

Sorry, couldn’t resist walking down the memory lane. Back to the subject.

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ActiVital toothpaste

I always want to know if the toothpaste contains microbeads and the closer look at the toothpaste does not show any beads in it. It’s almost silky smooth to the eye.

A hair gel?

Also the ingredients list (see at the end of this post) does not state any microbeads (polyethylene or polypropylene).

So, lets put the toothpaste on my beloved Philips Sonicare’s bristles. The toothpaste is very firm in texture and stays put when applied to the brush. That is a plus in my opinion.

The best toothbrush ever! And pretty good toothpaste as well.

The toothpaste tastes pleasant and is not too strong in flavour. It is minty, but has this kind of earthy taste, like hint of herbs. So far no burning or any other unpleasant sensations can be felt.

It forms a slight foam despite the fact that it does not have sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS aka soap) in it. This is another plus as SLS can cause adverse reactions. Instead there are three other ingredients that have bubble-forming properties (Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lauryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine).

I must say that this toothpaste is very pleasant to use compared to ones that have no bubble-forming agents and kind of vanish in mouth when brushing. I have found that many of my patients are wondering if non-foaming toothpastes actually do their job. Of course non-foaming toothpastes are as effective to one’s dental health as the foaming ones but somehow people have associated foaming to the effectiveness of the toothpaste.

After brushing for about 2 minutes, it still feels pleasant in mouth. No numbing or burning feeling can be felt.

After spitting out the toothpaste a fresh feeling stays for a long time in mouth. Also my teeth feel VERY clean and smooth. This in fact is worrying for me as a dental professional and only one question pops up in my mind:

what is the RDA of this toothpaste?

Well, I found the answer from the internet and to my surprise the RDA level is only 50! Amazing! With very low abrasivity this toothpaste does it’s job very well. Another plus deserved.

Would I recommend

It definitely cleans well and that alone is reason enough to recommend it.

But as a dental professional I must look deeper.

I am always interested in the ingredients that can cause adverse reaction. I once experienced an adverse reaction from a toothpaste and since then I have been more alert when my patients experience e.g. dry mouth or have lichenoid lesions in mouth. These and many other symptoms can be caused by certain ingredients in toothpaste.

In Gum ActiVital toothpaste there is cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a foaming agent that can cause adverse reaction. It has been named as an Allergen of The Year 2014 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. This fact alone is pretty condemning.

Also flavourings in toothpaste can cause adverse reaction and with ActiVital toothpaste the flavouring is only stated with a word aroma. Pretty vague description and as a consumer I would definitely want to know more about it. The packaging states fresh mint but why not clarify it on the ingredient list? There is funny error on their website regarding the flavouring. It’s the

Yummy strawberry flavor

From Sunstar website.

I noticed this just after I had written my experience of the taste (earthy taste, like hint of herbs). Made me smile. They must have mixed up the advertisement contents of their children’s toothpaste and ActiVital toothpaste. Should they be informed about this error or just leave it like it is?

The manufacturer has considered one of the ActiVital toothpaste’s ingredient so important that they have put it in the packaging in quite large font. That is Q10.

Dental Revelations Blog-14

Cropped image from the Activital packaging.

Now this is interesting and I must say I think it is just a way to make the toothpaste more appealing by the known anti-ageing properties of Q10. I researched and researched to find out if there is benefit of using Q10 in the toothpaste and I’m afraid there isn’t any proven benefit. There has been a study in 1995 “Coenzyme Q10 and periodontal treatment: is there any beneficial effect?” ( by Watts, T. L. P. British Dental Journal. Department of Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry, UMDS, Guy’s Hospital London). Only the study’s abstract is available online and it states that G10 is not in fact beneficial when treating periodontal disease. No later studies are available online which in this modern world means there is none.

When doing my research I found out that the manufacturer Sunstar has a questionable advice on their website regarding the use of the toothpaste

Brush with our multi-functional GUM® ActiVital® Toothpaste after each meal to help keep your mouth healthy in the long term

Honestly, in a world where dental erosion is almost epidemic, you should know better not to advice people to brush the teeth after each meal. The latest studies suggest that you should forget about the whole business of brushing after meal. The studies have found that the pH level in mouth is still low even after 2 hours of eating. So you may brush before the meals but not after – just remember that we only advice to brush twice a day normally.

So, would I recommend?

Yes, I would. If you are not afraid of the long ingredient list and one definite allergen on the list (not everyone will get adverse reactions), just try the toothpaste and see how you feel about it. The most important thing for me is that the toothpaste does not contain SLS (soap), the RDA level is not over 100 and it contains enough fluoride. GUM ActiVital has fluoride content of 1450ppm which is the recommended level for the adults. So it does prevent cavities by remineralizing the teeth as they promise. Also Activital has ingredients that are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

I have been using this toothpaste for 3 weeks now and my teeth have never felt so polished after brushing. So I think I will carry on using it until better one shows up.

The Ingredients

  1. Glycerin – an organic compound most commonly from animal fat and vegetable oil
  2. Hydrated Silica – abrasive
  3. Isomalt – sugar substitute. Studies suggest isomalt might help in prevention of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)
  4. Silica – a mild abrasive to clean teeth
  5. Propyl Steardimonium Chloride – Not much information is available about this ingredient. I found out that it is conditioning agent and either synthetic or animal origin. If you know more about this ingredient, please contact me.
  6. Hydroxyethylcellulose – thickening and bubble-forming agent.
  7. Cocamidopropyl Betaine – antiseptic, foam booster, thickener. Possibility for adverse reaction. Voted as Allergen of The Year 2004 by American Contact Dermatitis Society.
  8. Aroma – a chemical compound which adds odours to dental products. The specific aroma is not specified by the manufacturer.
  9. Lauryl Glucoside – surfactant and bubble-forming agent made from coconut or palm oil and glucose from corn.
  10. PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil. The abbreviation PEG = polyethylene glycol.
  11. Sodium Saccharin – an artificial sweetener.
  12. Sodium Fluoride – the good in the toothpaste.
  13. Sodium Chloride – mild abrasive.
  14. Sodium Benzoate – an antimicrobial agent (preservative).
  15. Bisabolol – anti-inflammatory (found in chamomile flowers).
  16. Punica Granatum Fruit Extract – pomegranate fruit extract, essential oil. Reduces plaque development, works as an anti-cariogenic (anti cavities) agent.
  17. Ubiquinone – also known as coenzyme G10. An antioxidant.
  18. Potassium Sorbate – an antimicrobial preservative. Possibly used instead of parabens. Generally regarded as safe to use.
  19. Zingiber Officinale Root Extract – Ginger root extract. An anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredient
  20. CI 42090 – colouring agent. Approved food colorant in EU and approved to be added to food in US.
  21. CI 47005 – colouring agent.

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