Toothy wisdom: 6 tips for overcoming and coping with dental anxiety
Too Embarrassed to Go to the Dentist? | How to Overcome Dental Anxiety
Do you sometimes feel too embarrassed to go to the dentist, even though you really need to? Don't worry, here are a few tips to help you cope with dental fear.
Many people are afraid of going to the dentist. One recent study asked 18,000 people about this issue worldwide and sixty-one percent of them admitted that they have some dental anxiety, and four percent have never even been to a dentist as a result.
The reasons they cited for this fear included pain, the smell of chemicals, the sound of the drill, or an intense dislike of keeping their mouths open for a long time.
Dental anxiety can keep people from getting proper dental care and many people find that they are embarrassed to go to the dentist because of it.
Proper dental care is crucial. Skipping the dentist for years can result in a wide variety of health issues including possible cardiovascular disease.
Dental anxiety can be crippling, but it can be overcome. Read on to learn strategies to combat your fear of going to the dentist so you can get the dental care you need.
Tips to Ease Dental Fears
You don't have to be embarrassed to go to the dentist anymore. Put these tips into action and you will find that your dentophobia will be greatly reduced.
1. Be Upfront
One of the best ways to reign in your dental fears is to attack them head-on. In order to do this, you must recognize that you have these fears instead of ignoring them. Be honest with yourself and admit that you are afraid. This is the first step in moving forward.
You will also benefit by telling your dentist about your anxiety and your concerns. Simply getting this off your chest will help a great deal. Your dentist likely has many patients who feel this way and has his or her own set of strategies for making you more comfortable while you are in the dental chair.
If you are really fearful, your dentist may even recommend sedation dentistry. Having this option available to you will help you to alleviate your fears even further. At Twilight Dental Group, serving patients requiring asleep dentistry is primarily what we do.
2. Focus on Your Breath
It's a fact: deep and focused breathing can reduce anxiety. If you are feeling fearful on your way to the dentist or while you are in the office, deliberate breathing can make a huge difference for you.
There are a number of different breathing exercises you can try to help you. If you spend your time at the dentist's office focusing on your breath, your appointment will be over before you know it.
3. Listen to Music
Listening to music and watching television can also be great distractions for you when you are at the dentist's office. If you feel that it will help you, your dentist will likely be more than happy to let you listen to your own music while you are having a cleaning or are getting other dental work done. You'll just need to keep it at a low volume so your dentist can speak to you as needed.
4. Check Reviews
Knowing that your dentist is one of the best in the business will also help to alleviate your fears. To accomplish this, read all the reviews that you can about him or her. There are many online platforms for reviews today so you should have no difficulty finding them.
Read them carefully and see what other patients have said about your dentist. You may even want to search the words "fear" or "dentophobia" to see if anyone has written about the ways this particular dentist handles dental anxiety.
You may find that people say that this dentist made them feel comfortable when others have not; if you see a review like this, you know that you have found a great dentist.
During your dental visit, communicate with your dentist about your fears. You will have discussed this with him or her beforehand so it will already be out there on the table. However, you should also feel that you can express your worries and anxiety during the actual appointment as well.
Some people develop hand signs to use to communicate with the dentist while actual work is being done. Although you may be unable to verbally tell your dentist that you need a break while his or her hands are in your mouth, you can use predetermined signals to express when you need a moment's break.
7. Choose a Good Appointment Time
At the peak of the day, a dentist's office can be hectic, busy, and noisy. These things will all add to your feelings of anxiety. Choose a quieter time of the day for your appointment and you will feel more relaxed when you walk in the door.
This strategy can also help when you are en route to the dentist's office. If you are in a hurry and have to fight against traffic, you will be more wound up upon arrival. If you go early in the morning, you can take your time getting there and will feel better when you walk in the door.
Don't Be Embarrassed to Go to the Dentist
Each of the above tips will be helpful in alleviating your dental fears on its own, but if you apply all of these tips as a united strategy, you'll be amazed at how much your trips to the dentist improve.
Don’t be embarrassed to go to the dentist or let your fears keep you from making an appointment. Dental visits are something that everyone needs to do for optimum health, and if you can make it easier on yourself by reducing your anxiety, you can enjoy the many benefits of dental cleanings and check-ups. Good luck!
If you're looking for dentists that have vast experience with people who are dentophobic in Alberta, you came to the right place. Dr. Fee and Dr. Park are excited to work with you and are skilled in alleviating dental fears. Give us a call today.