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Why Do I Get a Toothache If I Brush and Floss?

February 15, 2018

dental floss and brushI brush twice every day and floss every night. I’m not a huge fan of the dentist so don’t really go, but I never thought it necessary because of my good habits. However, lately, I’ve been getting a toothache. Why would that happen if I do everything I’m supposed to?




My Dentist Has a Magic Wand for Painless Injections!

September 27, 2017

I couldn’t believe what my last dental appointment was like. My dentist bought this new thing called a Wand injection system. I told him he should call it a magic wand. For the first time in my life I was given a painless injection. Why doesn’t every dentist have this?

Vivian E.

Dear Vivian

Cater to Cowards Dentist

The Wand really is amazing. I love your idea of calling it the magic wand. In fact, it might be fun to decorate it that way for Halloween (or every day) at pediatric dental clinics. Painless injections are a true blessing. This device has changed many patients from fearful to cheerful at their dentist’s office.

While Dr. Swearingen has the Wand Injection System, not every dentist does. So, what’s a patient with dental anxiety to do? There are other ways of dealing with terror at the dentist’s office. However, it requires going to the right type of dentist. Dentists who specialize in dealing with fearful patients.

You can find them doing a two-fold internet search.

1. Look up dentists using some special key phrases such as, “cater to cowards dentist”, “sedation dentist”, or “gentle dentist”.

2. Check their reviews. Saying you’re a gentle dentist and actually being one are two different things. Look up what patients have said about them on sites such as Yelp! or Google Reviews. If they’ve had good experiences, you can feel a little more confident that you will too.

Avoiding the dentist because of fear often leads to disastrous, emergency dental situations that cost a fortune to repair and lead to significantly more pain than if you’d just kept up with your dental care to begin with. It’s much better to protect your teeth than replace them. While patients know this when they’re feeling calm and rational, fear makes people irrational; causing them to make poor decisions.

Hopefully, these tools will change their outlook and make it easier for them to get adequate dental care.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Do Dentists Even Care If Patients Are Scared?

July 26, 2017

I’ve always been nervous at the dentist. I don’t know why. Yet, I’ve never met a dentist who seemed to care. It’s discouraging because I want to take care of my teeth, but this last visit was the worst. I was a little jittery before the needle. I asked him to wait, but he said I was being a child and just did it anyway. I had to stay still because he was jabbing me, but I would have punched him if I could. Is there a dentist who can be a little patient? Yes, I’m a grown man. That doesn’t mean I’m thrilled to have a giant needle being stuck into my gums.

Luke A.

Dear Luke,

That is not typical behavior from a dentist, at least not any dentist I know. It’s not uncommon for adults to be just as uncomfortable at a dentist’s office as the younger set of patients. As a dentist, he should know that.

First, I want to assure you that not only can you find a compassionate dentist, but you can have dental appointments in a relaxing way.

There are dentists who specifically cater to nervous patients. Most of them offer some form of dental sedation as well. If it’s the shot which makes you the most nervous, Dr. Swearingen uses a different type of needle called “The Wand”. It gives pain-free injections.

Do a search for those type of dentists. You can search “gentle dentists”, “cater to cowards dentists”, or “sedation dentists”. After your search, I think it’s important you also look at their reviews on sites like Google or Yelp. You want to make sure that people who’ve been to their office have had good experiences.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Can I Take Xanax Before Going to the Dentist?

May 26, 2017

I have avoided the dentist for years. I know it was stupid. And I know I am paying for it. I have a horrible toothache. Absolutely awful. So, now I HAVE to go to the dentist. I can’t deal with this. I do have a prescription for Xanax. It helps me with anxiety. Am I okay to take this so I can get through this appointment? I have no idea what I’m going to face when I get there, but I’m guessing at least one tooth will need work.

Paris W.


Don’t feel bad about your anxiety. There are many patients who are terrified of the dentist. I recently was talking to a 13-year-old girl about her dental anxiety. She talked about how when you’re laying in the chair, with the lights on you, and all those instruments coming at you, it feels like you’re having surgery awake. Then she panics.

You can take the Xanax if you have a prescription. Your doctor gave it to you for just these types of situations. However, you’ll want to let the dentist know what you’ve taken because he will want to avoid medication that will be counter-indicative with your prescription.

I want you to know there is another option that will allow you to get regular dental appointments without the anxiety you’re going through now. These appointments will keep you from having the type of dental pain and emergencies you’re having now. You’ll get regular care and issues can be taken care of before they become serious.

There are dentists who specialize in working with fearful patients. Often, if your anxiety is very strong, they’ll give you oral conscious sedation. In all likelihood, you won’t even remember the appointment. You’ll be completely relaxed. For many patients, this has changed their lives.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Tell Me Your Needles Secret…Please?

January 25, 2017

I am deathly afraid of needles. Like Sleeping Beauty’s parents afraid. I have to get a crown. I’m scared. I was talking to my sister-in-law. She said she used to be afraid until she went to your clinic. She mentioned you have some kind of secret way of giving shots that makes it painless. Will you please share your secret so I can tell my dentist?

Oriana L. – Nebraska


I’m glad your sister-in-law had such a great experience. It’s important to us that we do the best for our patients. The secret is simple, but not easy. Find a dentist who cares about patients with dental anxiety.

They all have different methods for helping fearful patients, but beyond the methodology is the heart. The dentist understands your fear and cares. They’ll work with you. Some use nitrous and “the wand”, like Dr. Swearingen. Others use oral conscious sedation. However, the key component is a caring dentist.

Here’s how I’d recommend you find that dentist. First, do an internet search for a “sedation dentist” or a “cater to cowards dentist“. But, that’s not enough. The next thing I’d do is look up their reviews. See what people who’ve been in his or her chair have to say about their experience.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Cater to Cowards without Sedation?

September 1, 2016

I’m a total coward when it comes to dentistry. I know there are dentists who advertise as catering to cowards, but when I call their office, it seems all they do is sedate you. I’m not too keen about that either. Is there any way a dentist can cater to fearful patients without sedation?

Laura O. – Washington


I can understand your feelings. Sedation is a common way for dentists to deal with anxiety in their patients. However, it’s not the only way.

Some dentists have a gentle manner and technique about them. Their patients feel completely at ease. These dentists are perfectly comfortable with anxious patients and have a way of putting them at ease.

Each dentist that works with fearful patients have their own way of going about it. For instance, Dr. Swearingen uses an instrument called “The Wand”. It allows him to give completely painless injections.

You can read more about it on his Cater to Cowards page.

I’d call around to some dentists. If their only method for dealing with fearful patients is to sedate them, move on to someone else.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.

Why doesn’t my anesthetic work?

January 23, 2016

I can’t figure out why my local anesthetic doesn’t work. Whenever my dentist tries to numb me, it just doesn’t work. Is there something wrong with me?

Jodi A. – Atlanta


It’s not that there is anything wrong with you per se, it is more likely that you have dental fear. As a result of fear, your metabolism kicks into high gear and eats up the anesthetic.

What you’ll have to do is deal with the fear in order to give the anesthetic the chance to work. I’m not saying see a therapist. There are things your dentist can do to help you. I would look for a dentist who caters to patients with dental fear.

He or she can give you nitrous oxide. It takes the edge off of the procedure for you, which helps relax you. When you’re relaxed, you local will work more efficiently.

You may also want to look for a dentist who uses “the wand”. It gives pain free shots, especially if your fear kicks into high because of the needle.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.

We can be done for a complete dental coward

November 28, 2015

I hate dentists. No offense, but you guys seem to get into dentistry because it was between that and torturing puppies for a living. This option was legal.  So….you’ve got that going for you. Unfortunately, I think I need to go to one. My gums are sore. So…what can someone who is terrified of sadists do to make the appointment easier?

Brooke S. – Brooklyn


I don’t even want to know what your childhood dentist was like.  It’s sounds like you’ve had nothing but bad experiences.  Let me assure you, not all dentists contemplated killing puppies for a living. I promise.  Most actually got into the field because they like helping people.

My saying that will not take away your dental anxiety though.  My suggestion would be to see a dentist who caters to fearful patients. They are aware that some of those patients have been through a traumatic experience and have ways to make your appointment completely pain free.

Please don’t put this off. It’s possible you have gum disease. If left untreated, you can lose your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen

I hit my dentist whenever he tries to give me a needle

May 29, 2015

I have this horrible reflex action where I hit at my dentist whenever he tries to give me a needle for numbing. Normally, he’s used to it, but his last time I took him by surprise and actually hurt him. Have you heard of this before? Is there anything I can do to stop this?

Ellie W. – Montana


You’re not the only patient who stuggles with dental fear.  You must have a very kind dentist, to know he’s going to get a good whack when he treats you and still keep going. There is a solution.

Has your dentist ever suggested any kind of sedation, such as nitrous oxide?  This can relax you enough to make your appointment easier to deal with.

There are dentists who specifically advertise as catering to cowards. They enjoy working with fearful patients, because they want to help change their outlook about dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma city dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.

Is it OK to drink wine before going to the dentist?

March 31, 2015

I’m a total coward when it comes to the dentist. It’s been a while since I’ve been and now I’ve got a pretty severe toothache. I know I need to go and get it taken care of, but dentists make me seriously nervous. Is it okay if I drink a glass of wine before I go in? Wine relaxes me.

Stacey A. – Little Rock, AR


You’re not the only one who is uncomfortable with dentists, so don’t feel bad.  While it would be perfectly fine to have a glass of wine before you go to the dentist to shore up your courage, it could interfere with some of the things the dentist needs to do so make sure you let him know.

There is another option. There are other options. There are dentists who enjoy working with fearful patients. Some including Dr. Swearingen advertise that they “cater to cowards“.  They have methods or ways of making your dental appointment less fearful. If you’re worried about pain, most dentists work with nitrous oxide. That will help relax you and enable  the dentist to do any work he needs to do.  That will probably be more effective than wine.

This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.


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