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Why it's important to be an advocate for your dental health
Updated: 5/21/2013 10:59:59 AM
 

Why it

When it comes to dental health, it's important that people don't just sit back and hope that everything will be fine. Rather, individuals have to take an active role in the health of their teeth, which means brushing and flossing every day and making regular appointments at the dentist. However, it doesn't just stop there - people also need to be their own dental health advocates and speak up when something doesn't seem right to them. 

For example, the Arizona Daily Star recently published an article about how there have been some concerns in the past few months over the possibility of patients becoming infected with HIV or hepatitis C at dental offices. These scares highlight the need for people to be advocates for themselves when they sit in a dentist's chair

Speak up for yourself 
The news source explained that every dentist in the U.S. knows that if he or she does not follow the rules and guidelines for infection control, he or she should expect to experience problems. If anyone becomes sick as the result of their care, dentists may get suspended or even lose their license. Also, they may find themselves getting sued by a patient and having to pay a large sum as part of a malpractice suit. 

As a patient, it is the job of every individual to speak up if he or she sees a dentist engaging in behavior that concerns him or her. For example, the news source said that if a dentist's office is dirty, people should go somewhere else. If a dentist does not wash his or her hands, or touches a surface that isn't sterile once he or she has cleaned his or her hands, people need to say something to let their dentist know that this is unacceptable and even potentially dangerous. 

With all that being said, the news source added that most dentists are extremely clean, courteous and safe with all of their patients. However, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't be on the lookout for warning signs. 

Things to look out for 
Along with making sure that a dentist's office is clean and professional, Yahoo! recommends that people look for a dentist who seems like he or she cares. This means that if people say they are uncomfortable or scared about getting dental work done, the dentist will be understanding and give them all of the options they have for how to keep calm. 

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