How to Get Your Stubborn Husband to go to the Dentist
Whether the man in your life has an innate fear of the dentist or he just doesn’t deem it important enough to go, you may understandably be frustrated with his lack of attention to his oral health. After all, you know the importance of regular cleanings every six months as well as flossing and brushing twice daily. But he may not realize it. Check out these tips to encourage your husband to make an appointment.
Recite the Stats
Many men think well in terms of numbers, of hard and true facts. Learn the statistics and let him know what you find.
- 31% of adults aged 20 to 44 have untreated cavities, according to the CDC.
- Only 64% of adults aged 18 to 64 visited a dentist in the past year.
- Large amounts of bacteria in the mouth caused by poor dental hygiene can allow germs to invade the bloodstream. This can lead to infections and diseases, says Medical Daily.
- The American Dental Association says that those who are at a high risk of developing periodontal disease should visit their dentist more frequently.
- One in four adults admit they don’t brush twice a day, including one-third of men.
- Only 9% of men have oral health that is deemed excellent.
- 51,000 of people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year, says the American Cancer Society. About 10,000 of them will die.
- Oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women.
Address the Root Problem
The #1 reason people avoid going to the dentist? Fear. In fact, three out of four adults report at least some anxiety when facing a dental visit, from feeling slightly afraid to feeling terrified, according to the Dental Fears Research Clinic. Approach the issue gingerly and ask your husband if he feels anxious about going to the dentist. You may be rebuked at first, but be persistent. It’s actually quite common for men to feel fear due to the lack of control they experience in situations like dental visits. In a society that puts a lot of pressure on men to be in control and never show emotion, it’s no wonder your guy is having a hard time admitting this.
Common sources of dental anxiety include the fear of pain or injections, the sound of drills and other instruments, lying flat in the chair, and simply that lack of control that comes with being at the mercy of someone else.
Problem is, men who proclaim they hate the dentist simply avoid going to appointments. While this calms the fear initially, it leads to the need for more in-depth cleanings, more cavity fillings and other procedures when they do go. This results in more pain and loss of control, so they stop going for awhile again and the cycle repeats itself. Bottom line, if men kept up with their six-month cleanings, the visits would be far more pleasant than if they were to wait until bigger issues crop up.
Another top reason for avoiding the dentist is cost. With many families going without dental insurance due to the high cost of this insurance on top of standard health insurance, many men forgo their own dental visits in favor of saving money. They may stress the importance of dental care with their wives or children, but when it comes to themselves, they feel their money is best spent elsewhere.
Luckily, the office of Gary Demetriou, DMD, can remedy both of these situations. We accept many different insurance plans, and for those who don’t have insurance, we offer affordable payment plans that work with your budget. In terms of allaying fears, our staff is well aware that many people — including men — may feel anxious when visiting us. That’s why we do all we can to put you at ease.