Dental health professionals have been struggling to determine the best way to encourage individuals to take better care of their teeth. These people may be able to turn to researchers from Sydney University for help. According to a recent study, a plan that involves using psychologists to encourage people to improve their brushing and flossing habits was a great success.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the study, which found that after psychologists spoke to participants and encouraged them to brush their teeth more often, there was a 40 percent reduction in incidences of tooth decay.
"We use psychologists to change an individual's behavior to get them to modify diet and to use the best preventive approaches. It is not one appointment, but multiple appointments to reinforce those changes," said professor Chris Peck, dean of Sydney University's Faculty of Dentistry, quoted by the news source.
According to MedicineNet.com, an estimated 15 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear. Psychologists may also be able to help people overcome these fears.
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