Dental Voices: Mental Health

MDA dentists sink their teeth into an issue that matters – we’re talking about mental health. From stress and anxiety to depression and insomnia, the state of your mental health can affect your oral and overall health. It also can impact how you feel about receiving dental care.

The Invisible Bags We All Carry

The day-to-day challenges we face can get in the way of reaching our optimal wellness. MDA dentist Dr. Mayberry shares what it means as a dental care provider to understand and give space to the difficult experiences we all go through.

These days, so many of us, patients and dentists alike, carry more than we let on. But if we can’t see it, how do we know what you’re going through? By asking. By showing up for each other.

Silver Linings

Mental health is on everyone’s mind. Talking about it is a good thing! As MDA dentist Dr. Singh emphasizes, mental health challenges are not a stigma. They are a part of life.

It’s important that we all feel safe to share these issues, especially with our healthcare providers. That includes dentists too!

Building Trust

For many, anxiety and fear over not being seen and accepted for who they are and what they are going through can make showing up for an appointment challenging. Being there for each other and offering exceptional care involves affirming identity, embracing people as they are, and trusting in their experience.

As Dr. Shrikian shares, affirming a patient’s identity and carefully listening to their experiences is a way to show care and build trust during a dental visit. Trust and understanding help dental care advice, treatment choices, and recommendations have a bigger impact. It can be the difference between someone feeling at ease getting dental care or delaying treatment and compromising their oral and overall health.

Understanding the Impact

MDA dentists understand that mental health problems and behavioral changes can impact other areas of our lives, including our oral health. They see this firsthand – and more often than people might think.

Depression can get in the way of caring for ourselves; daily hygiene habits like brushing and flossing can be the first to go. Anxiety can make scheduling and showing up for a dentist’s appointment seem like a monumental challenge.

Dentists Open Up About Opening Up

MDA dentists share that when we ask, “how are you feeling?” we want to know your honest answer. Not to judge but to help.

When we know what you’re facing, we can provide you with the best care for your unique needs. That may mean taking extra steps to keep you more comfortable at your visit or working together to solve a stress-related issue like grinding your teeth.

At your next visit, open up. Let us know how you feel, and let us be there for you.

Find an MDA Dentist Near You

Don’t have a dentist? Use our Find-a-Dentist tool to find an MDA dentist in your area. Talk to your dentist and their dental care team about your mental health at your appointment. They’re here to ensure you get the care you need!