Having a beautiful set of teeth after drug addiction

Strong Gag Reflex? Techniques To Help You Through Teeth Whitening

by Danielle Fletcher

As a long-term smoker, you hate the yellow state of your teeth. You are working on improving your body ready for the summer months ahead, and you would like a smile to match your hard-earned weight loss. The problem is that going to the dentist to get your teeth whitened fills you with dread as you experience a heavy gag reflex whenever something touches the roof of your mouth. The good news is there are ways to get the whitening mouth tray fitted without it being an unpleasant experience, but you will need your dentist's help. 

Sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is often linked to major dental work on patients with a strong fear of dental procedures. However, there are various levels of sedation dentistry, and several of the lower levels of sedation work well for patients who gag.

A relaxation elixir, for example, is the lowest level of sedation used during dental procedures. The liquid is drunk by the patient an hour before the procedure, and it puts them into a relaxed state of mind where they are aware of everything happening around them, but feel no nerves. The relaxant combined with distraction techniques such as music or television distracts the brain while the whitening tray is fitted.

Lift your legs

Lifting your legs off the dental chair is one way to control the gag reflex. As the dentist reclines the chair so they can look into your mouth, lift both your legs up off the leg rest area. Hold them up several centimetres from the chair's surface. The reason this works is that you are tightening your stomach muscle. While these muscles are tight, it's difficult for your stomach to process a gagging reflex.

Remember to breathe

While fighting the gagging reflex, you forget to breathe. But, a steady, calm breathing pattern is another way to stop the gag occurring in the first place. Be sure to focus on breathing through your nose by taking in deep inhales and exhales. Opening the mouth to breathe through this rather than through the nose affects how much you gag.

Finally, make a pre-whitening appointment with your dentist to discuss your gag issues and to find out what other options they offer to stop this from taking place. The faster you find a way to get past the gag, the faster your tooth whitening tray can be fitted. You can have white teeth you want for the summer once you get professional dental help.