It isn’t uncommon for patients to be a little nervous going to the dentist. After all, a stranger is poking around your mouth with sharp tools.
Even though dental visits can be an awkward and uncomfortable, they are necessary for you to maintain good oral health.
When one’s anxiety about going to the dentist reaches a certain point, there can be severe consequences. If you become so anxious about the idea of going to the dentist that you avoid going altogether, you are said to have dental fear. Because you aren’t regularly getting your teeth cleaned by a professional, you are more likely to develop dental problems such as cavities or gum disease.
If you find yourself facing dental fear, there are ways to overcome it. Pay close attention to the following tips so that you can stop putting off regular appointments, and keep your teeth healthy.
Determine Root Causes
If you’re suffering extreme anxiety before an appointment, a mental health professional can help determine the root causes of dental fear. This can also be achieved through self-reflection.
Contemplate what exactly about the dentist scares you. Is it the pain? Are you experiencing feelings of lost control, the dentist itself, or needles and other tools? Knowing why you’re scared of the dentist is the first step towards getting more comfortable.
Communicate Your Fears
Be open and honest with your dentist. Don’t be afraid to inform the office of your phobia and ask questions about the procedures. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and it’s worth noting that many patients come in with the same fears you have.
Informing the staff will make the process easier for everyone involved. By being aware of your situation, the dentistry will know exactly how to offer you the best service, and you’ll experience a more comfortable visit.
A quality dentist will make all the difference. They can help you work through your fears so you can enjoy the appointments you need.
This will differ person to person, but you might find it comforting to bring a friend or family member with you. Just knowing they are in the waiting room can make your visit a lot easier. Plus, you’ll have someone to hold you accountable for getting your teeth cleaned.
When you are getting your teeth cleaned, you should think about anything but the situation at hand. Bring headphones and listen to calming songs or your favourite podcast. Use items such as stress balls, eye masks, or blankets to relieve stress.
It is easier said than done, but try your best to relax when you are in the chair. Picture yourself in serene locations and use relaxing breathing techniques.
If your dental fear is severe, ask your dentist office about sedation. There are a variety of options depending on your location, condition, and treatment type.
With these tips and the right support, you can overcome your dental fear and receive the oral care you deserve.