Growing up, my parents instilled in me from a very young age to take care of my teeth. I went to my annual dentists appointments every 6 months, and had no issue with it. Even had braces 2 times! Not fun, but, so glad they did that for me. My teeth were 'ratchet'! So, this morning, I headed to my dentist for my annual cleaning. Therefore, I have never been afraid to go to the dentist. Being afraid of the dentist is a very common thing, it's a phobia called 'dentophobia'.


I got an A+ on my oral exam today, no cavities! Then, afterwards, I felt guilty eating something. I am fortunate enough to have a job with dental benefits here in Maine. I found out that being able to go to a dentist appointment, and be able to afford it is a problem for a lot of Mainer's that live in extreme rural areas. The Bangor Daily News reported that all Maine counties, except for Sagadahoc, have been named Health Professional Shortage Areas for dental care by the federal government. Sadly, Maine has fewer dentists per 10,000 residents than the national average. And since there is limited access to dental care, dental problems are the top reason for emergency room visits among adults without health insurance or who have MaineCare coverage, according to a 2010 Muskie School of Public Service report on emergency room use in Maine.