Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a bad thing

“I’m scared because I have no idea what’s going on or what to expect.”

“That absolutely terrifying sound of the drill sends shivers down my spine.”

“I have terrible teeth, I’m just so embarrassed.”

“I can’t go to the dentist. If I do, I’ll have a full-fledge panic attack.”
It’s actually much more common than you may think to feel this way. Dental anxiety is very common and totally natural. I mean, why wouldn’t it be natural to be afraid of someone coming at your face with sharp tools? It isn’t exactly something we want.  But the good news is that there are things you can do to make the experience bearable, and even pleasant!
It all starts with finding the right dentist.
Things your dentist can do to make your visit less scary:
If you have dental anxiety, make sure to find a dentist who understands where you’re coming from. There are many different things dentists can do to make appointments less frightening. Here at Alpine Smiles, we offer movies, music, pillows and blankets to make you more comfortable during your visit! It’s important to seek out a dentist that lets you have control in the chair, explains things thoroughly and doesn’t make you feel embarrassed for being afraid. It’s even okay to interview a few dentists if you think it is necessary so you can see if you feel comfortable talking to him or her about your apprehension. 
Things you can do to make your visit less scary:
Avoid caffeine for at least six hours before your appointment, that way you are less anxious
Eat high-protein foods one hour before your visit and it can calm your anxiety
Focus on breathing regularly and slowly. Concentrate on pausing for a couple seconds between breaths. People with anxiety tend to hold their breath, which decreases their oxygen levels and further increases the feeling of panic.
Agree upon a specific gesture with your dentist, such as a hand signal so you can alert him or her to pause. This is great if you have ever been afraid of losing control while in the dental chair.
Use a blanket during your visit. Pressure on the body from a weighted blanket can relieve anxiety at the dentist. For many years, people have gotten relief from the heavy lead vest used while taking x-rays.  
Ask for nitrous oxide. Millions of apprehensive patients every year receive extensive dental work under the effects of nitrous oxide. These patients admit, that without the option of nitrous oxide, they would not actively seek dental care. Nitrous oxide is also a safe and proven technique that is inexpensive and readily available. 
If you’ve been avoiding the dentist because of anxiety, give us a call and we can work together to make your visit something you don’t have to fear! 
Your friend, 
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W. University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ

How to protect your child’s teeth during sports

Picture this: a middle school baseball player is up for bat. The first pitch is thrown. Strike. The second pitch is thrown. A solid hit. Except, not to the outfield, but rather the face. Blood appears immediately and the coach runs out to assess the injury. The pitcher runs up to apologize, while the catcher searches the ground for the teeth that have been knocked out. You watch helplessly from the stands wondering what happened… Or, if you’re like me, you’re already on the field holding your child.graphics-interchange-format-gif-8d2f265dc23f-1

When your child plays sports, you might often worry about broken bones or sprained ankles. Well, their teeth are equally as important to worry about! Tripping over a hurdle or a basketball off the backboard to the face could chip or even knock out a tooth.

But, parents! Do not fret. I have a solution.

Mouthguards & helmets: for more than just football.  

Yes, yes, I know. Safety–a child’s least favorite word. Trust me, I have twin daughters… I know how hard it is to get them to wear anything that doesn’t look “cool.” My solution? Try showing them these photos from sports related injuries and see what they have to say…

Trigger warning: blood ahead.

sports-injury-to-teeth injurybleed dentalaccidents

The facts:

  • According to SafeChild.net, 60% of sports-related injuries occur during practice, rather than during games.
  • This year 5 million teeth will be knocked out of children while they play sports
  • It is estimated that helmets save one life each day and prevent one head injury every four minutes (Colgate).
Protect your kids and their precious teeth!
Your friend,
Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W University Ave #113
Flagstaff, AZ

Meet Dr. Joedi Pasut, your dentist and friend

Hello friends!

My name is Dr. Joedi Pasut, but you can call me Joedi. I am a proud resident of Flagstaff, Arizona, and an even prouder wife and mother of two girls (TWINS!?). In 2006, after 7 years in Phoenix, my high school sweetheart husband and I realized that we needed to get out of the heat! Always being fond of the pines, we decided Flagstaff was the right place to raise our family. Best. Decision. Ever.

The view of the San Francisco Peaks right outside our dentist office, in Flagstaff, Arizona

Our family loves everything this wonderful community has to offer… whether it’s hiking Mt. Humphrey’s, camping in the neighboring city of Sedona, biking throughout the urban trails, or and playing with my daughters in the snow… We are always making fabulous memories.

So you may have noticed that my official title is Dr. Joedi Pasut… Well, that’s because I practice the best type of medicine– dentistry. I used to get a lot of, “Why on earth do you want to be a dentist?!” The answer is simple– I have always wanted to help people feel better about smiling. To pursue my dream, I went through A LOT of school… I earned an undergraduate degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and went on to dental school at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. After receiving my doctorate in dental surgery degree, I continued my training and received a certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the University of Michigan College of Dentistry.

If you have ever been to Flagstaff, you know that there is a certain vibe of inclusion and friendships. That’s the type of feeling that I try to bring into my business, Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry. I cherish the long-lasting relationships I have built with my patients. I enjoy getting to know my patients and all of their dental needs from a first checkup of two years old teeth, to fillings and regular cleaning visits for everyone. Our patients are friends and family.

We like to have fun in the office! This is from Halloween 2016. Aren’t we a fun bunch of ladies!?

I want to change how people feel about going to the dentist. My patients often express that they forget they are in a dental office. WHAT?! #Goals

Thanks for reading my first blog post! I plan to write one every month and cover topics about my experiences as a dentist and share some helpful tips on how you can enjoy your dental experiences as well.

Your friend,