Afraid to go to the dentist? You’re not alone. According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing, between 13-24% of people around the world are scared to
climb into that dental chair.
Dental fear and anxiety is a problem Dr. Crystal Bill, a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist, set out to solve after making an important observation on the job.
“One day in the office I had a little wiggle worm in the dental chair, and I noticed how much calmer and still he was with the x-ray apron over him, and it dawned on me there is a need for weighted blankets in the dental office.” She says.
Dr. Bill, who practices in Flagstaff, Arizona at Around the Mountain Pediatric Dentistry acknowledges that there are other weighted blankets on the market.
“They are either made out of cotton material, or have a duvet, and can be very difficult to store, fold, and clean.” She explains. Dr. Bill wanted a blanket that could appeal to patients of all ages, be stored easily, and importantly– be easy to sterilize between patients.
That’s where Threaded Together comes in. For more than two years, Threaded Together has been helping make Dr. Bill’s vision a reality. Our sewists helped to create the first prototypes and are now producing blankets that are delivered to Dr. B Essential Customers.
In fact, Dr. B Essential Weighted Blankets are a key project for STEP (Sewing and Textile Employment Pathway) sewists as they work through our paid vocational training program. The process of cutting, marking, stitching, and binding the six-pound and twelve-pound blankets presents important challenges that help trainees grow as production sewing professionals.
“Facilitating vocational training has been a highlight of my year,” Eileen Baca, who runs the Threaded Together Workroom, explained at the end of 2021. “I really enjoyed being able to give assistance to people in our community who are facing adversity and personal challenges. I love empowering apprentices to love what they do, and do what they love, all while giving them the ability to enter the workforce into a skilled non-entry level position.”
As our STEP program grows, we are excited to continue working on this project and help increase the number of patients positively impacted by Dr. B Essential Weighted Blankets.
“Our goal is to see our weighted blanket in every dental office across the United States!” Dr. Bill says. For her part, she uses the blankets every day to treat pint-sized patients. “Dentistry can be a very high-stress environment, for both patient and provider. And especially in Pediatric Dentistry where patients can often be very wiggly and not want to be still for a long period of time. The weighted blanket helps to calm the patient, reduces movement, which makes the provider more calm and able to complete treatment more efficiently.”
So really, the blankets do two good things at once. In production, they are an asset to trainees who are learning valuable, employable, and potentially life-changing skills. In practice, they’re making visits to the dentist a lot less frightening… and THAT’S something to smile about.