The dentist is one of the biggest phobias out there. Very few of us like going to the dentist, and to be fair, it’s hardly an enjoyable experience, and certainly isn’t something that we look forward to. But, for some people, it is far worse than this. It’s not a mild dislike, it’s fairly severe anxiety. You might have been avoiding the dentist for years because even the idea of sitting in the chair makes you sweat and causes panic. You may have experienced panic attacks at the thought of booking an appointment, you might have nightmares about the sound of that drill, and chances are, in your head, a visit to the dentist is nothing short of torture.
But visiting the dentist is important. Toothache can be very serious. Damaged teeth can lead to harmful infections, and decay can quickly spread out of control. Your dentist can even spot early signs of other illnesses, which have nothing to do with your teeth. So, here are some tips to help you put that phobia behind you.
Have a Good Reason to Go
The very best reason to see your dentist is to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. But if your teeth look great, you have no sensitivity or pain; this isn’t always a great motivator. So, find another one.
If you have children, they are a great reason to get past your fears. Our kids pick up on our anxiety. If you never go to the dentist, they might not think that they need to. They might not spend time taking care of their teeth, and if they pick up on your phobia, they might well develop their own.
The future can be another great motivator. Many people with a fear of the dentist skip appointments, often without calling to cancel. Dentists may them remove these patients from their books. Then, one day, you find yourself in pain, or with a broken tooth and no dentist who could help.
Find the Right Dentist
Not all dentists are equal. In fact, many phobias are born of a bad experience – either a procedure that didn’t go well or a dentist who made us feel uncomfortable. But times are changing. Most dentists today are friendly, professional, and keen to put our minds at ease. The professionals at Solutions Dental Clinic, for example, are vastly experienced in a wide range of dental techniques. They know what they are doing, but they are also eager to take care of their patients. This can be seen through the cosmetic dentirsty test they’ve added onto their site for anyone who is unsure about which option to go with.
At your first appointment with your new dentist, explain your fears. Talk about any specific worries that you have (the drill is a common concern) and any past experiences with have caused you concern. Ask any questions that you may have and be open about how you are feeling. The right dentist will go out of their way to explain what they are doing and to ease your fears.
Often, it’s the sounds and smells of a dentist that set our nerves on edge. You may find that listening to music or an audiobook through headphones can help. Your dentist might just ask you to move any wires behind your head and use hand signals or taps to get your attention.
Take the Kids
You might not want to take the kids if you are having treatment, but just for a check-up, most dentists will be fine with the whole family having appointments at the same time. Just make sure you check with the receptionist when you book so that they can allow extra time for your appointment.
Attending together like this will calm you down and help your children to form healthy relationships with dental work.
Make sure you don’t only go to the dentist when there’s a problem. Once you’ve started going, stick with it, attending regular appointments even when everything feels right. As soon as you stop, you risk anxiety building again.
Have Realistic Expectations
Getting over your phobia is great, but don’t expect that you will ever be happy about the idea of dental work. Be happy just to be able to go without a panic attack.
Regular visits to your dentist are an important part of your overall health. They’ll keep your teeth clean and healthy, preventing infections, decay, and pain before they set in. They’ll help you to perfect your smile, boosting your confidence, and making you feel good about yourself. Your dentist can recommend oral hygiene products and routines to keep your breath fresh and your teeth shiny, long after your visit. And, in some cases, your dentist can spot signs of other health issues, so that you can book a doctor’s appointment early, and reduce the risks.
Some fears we simply find ways to avoid. The dentist shouldn’t be one of them. Try these tips, find a friendly dentist that understands your worries and shows patience, and stop cancelling those scheduled checks.