Believe it or not, many adults have deep dental anxiety. Being afraid of the dentist is nothing new, and dentists and dental hygienists understand more than you may think.
However, postponing your appointments endlessly only means things could get worse for your oral health. If you have anxiety, fear, or phobias about going to the dentist, these 5 tips can help you work through it to get the care you need for your teeth and gums.
1. Choose a Dentist That Caters to Those with Anxiety or Phobias
Having a fear of going to dentists is very real, and many dentists are sympathetic to this. Often, adults fear the dentist because of a bad experience. One bad dental experience doesn’t mean all of them will be the same. By choosing an understanding dental team, they will do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable during your appointment.
2. Communicate Your Fears
It may seem like you’re leaving yourself vulnerable, however, you should let the dental team know what you fear most about the dentist. The right dentist will care about your health overall, not just what’s in your mouth. They will explain processes and work to ensure your fears don’t spiral out of control.
3. Let Technology Help
These days, many dental offices feature screens above the chair where they can play your favorite shows, movies, or music. This can help you relax, therefore reducing your anxiety. Also, they’ll usually have blankets too which can help you feel cozy if it’s chilly in the office.
4. Don’t Arrive Too Early
If you have dental anxiety, sitting in the waiting room for a long period of time can have a negative effect. You may hear the sounds of treatments happening for other patients. Even if it’s just a teeth cleaning that you’re hearing, you may panic and be more nervous than ever. While you should make sure you’re not late, don’t come so early for your appointment that you have time to let your fears fester.
5. Bring Someone with You
For those with severe dental anxiety, it’s a wise idea to bring someone along with you. You’re likely playing out the worst possible scenario in your head and with a family member or friend next to you, you’ll be less likely to be scared. They’ll be waiting for you in the waiting room and knowing that can bring you comfort. They can also be authorized to come back into the treatment room if you really need a familiar face.
Dental anxiety may have kept you from the dentist, but don’t wait any longer. You will want a dentist to take care of your teeth and gums to prevent major problems from arising. By visiting the dentist sooner rather than later, you’ll avoid having cavities or needing root canals. When you keep up with your regular appointments and go to a dentist that works to keep you comfortable through your fears, it will be much easier to take care of your oral health and prevent problems from spiraling out of control.