Summertime makes for a much more lenient schedule, so it is also a good time to arrange for that biannual dental appointment, especially for the kiddos.
Dr. David Stamphill of Stephenville Family Dentistry has been a practicing dentist since 1988. During those 25 years of experience, Stamphill has seen the methods of the science improve greatly, making the notion of a visit to the dentist less daunting.
So many people harbor fears of dentists because of unpleasant experiences they had as children. What has made dentistry more coward friendly? And how can parents instill good dental care in their children to make future painful procedures less likely to happen?
Answer: "Options such as nitrous oxide to calm people down helps. Most people are just anxious.
"My advice to parents is to make oral care a family affair. Parents need to stay with their kids when they brush their teeth. Make it a family thing – everyone goes into the bathroom together to brush their teeth. That way you know your kids are doing it, and they push you a little bit. And floss. If you do those two things and give kids good habits when they are young, typically they will follow them the rest of their lives. If you just tell them, ‘Go brush your teeth,’ they might go wet their toothbrush and stand there. But if everyone goes in there together, you are watching them and making sure they do what they need to do."
Oddly, it seems that so many dentists also have an interest in aviation. What do you think is the draw for them towards flying?
Answer: “I think one thing is in the office, everything is so detailed, and you have to be a detailed oriented person. And flying is like that. But if you haven’t flown in a little plane, or if you haven’t flown much, you won’t understand. But once you get off the ground, you think to yourself, ‘Wow, there is nobody here to tell me what to do.’ There are general rules you have to follow, but you can just buzz around. It’s a freedom thing.
“It is odd, but you know, you kind of group with people.”
Okay. Now we are going to get to the basics. Spending your day with your fingers in a person’s mouth is not something most people would want to do. But someone has to do it. So what is the toughest thing you have ever had to deal with as a dentist?
Answer: “We had a guy that worked at a dairy. He was a super nice guy. But some hydraulic tool he was working with backed up and hit him in the face. Of course, he comes in straight from working in the dairy, blood everywhere and bone and bits and pieces of teeth. My assistants were bothered by it. I had to go through three assistants before we got him fixed.”