Does the idea of going to the dentist make you queasy? You’re not alone; dental phobia is a real thing, but it’s possible to overcome it. Keep reading for ten dental anxiety tips that will help to keep your teeth and gums in terrific shape.
Fear of the Dental Chair
Are you afraid of visiting the dentist? It’s possible that as many as twenty percent of Americans worry before an appointment, and many of them avoid regular check-ups due to extreme fear. Unlike phobias that don’t need addressing, routine dental appointments are too vital to your health to skip.
There are many reasons that you might fear the dentist. Perhaps you had a painful experience in the dental chair when you were young. Maybe your dental terror stems from
- A fear that the dentist will cause you pain
- Fear of shots and the thought that they might not work
- Panic when you hear the sound of the drill
- The nervousness of having someone working in your mouth
- The embarrassment that you haven’t taken care of your teeth
Whatever the root cause of your fear, the fact remains that your dental health is critical to your overall health.
Downsides of Dental Avoidance
No matter how terrifying going to the dentist might seem, it’s never a smart idea to forget to schedule routine appointments. Inadequate levels of oral hygiene lead to a variety of nasty problems. Examples of what happens when you avoid the dentist include:
- Bad breath
- Plaque and tartar
- Tooth loss
- Gum Disease
- Infected teeth
- Discolored teeth
Scientists also theorize that there is a connection between gum disease and heart disease. It’s possible that the inflammation present in diseased gums spreads into the bloodstream and causes a narrowing of arteries. The evidence of a link between bad gums and the heart is a significant deal since more than one-quarter of all Americans will die from cardiovascular disease.
Even more, researchers also think that gum disease plays a part in developing (1) osteoporosis, (2) lung infections, (3) cancer, and (4) rheumatoid arthritis.
Are you starting to understand why you must put aside your dental phobia? If so, here are ten dentist anxiety tips that will have you in the dental chair before you know it.
10 Dentist Anxiety Tips
Now, we’re sure that you know that you don’t need to be afraid of the dentist. Still, unreasonable fears can be just as powerful as authentic ones. The terrific thing about phobias is that it’s possible to overcome them.
Follow our ten best dentist anxiety tips to begin moving past your dental fears.
1. Look for a dental practice that caters to dental phobics.
Trust us; fear of going to the dentist is such a common concern that many dentists take steps to alleviate anxiety. Ask about how the office helps dental cowards when you make your first appointment.
2. Technology for the Win
If possible, choose a dental clinic that offers things like
- and a warm blanket.
3. Don’t go to your first visit alone.
You’ll feel more relaxed if you know that someone you love is waiting for you in the lobby.
4. Arrive on time, but not too soon.
The last thing that you want is a long wait before you see the dentist. Bring that magazine that you’ve meant to read with you so that you’ll be too distracted for your imagination to run wild.
5. Use some of these sure-fire relaxation techniques throughout the visit.
You’ll be surprised how much control you have over your anxiety when you find a helpful calming method.
6. Ask your dentist for appropriate sedation options.
Many patients appreciate the calming quality of nitrous oxide and oral sedatives. It might even be possible to snooze your way through a complicated dental procedure.
7. Don’t fall into the trap of being a martyr where discomfort is concerned.
Pain-free dentistry is a reality, and it’s the job of the dentist to make sure that you don’t feel any pain while they’re working in your mouth.
8. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask the dentist to explain what they’re doing throughout a procedure. A soothing voice is often enough to help you through dental work.
9. Take Breaks
Stop whenever you need a break. A sensitive dental team will give you time to relax when necessary.
10. Make your next appointment before you leave the office.
You’re more likely to come for a follow-up appointment if you don’t have to contact the office later to schedule it.
Lastly, today’s dental offices are welcoming places that specialize in painlessly keeping your smile bright and healthy. Use our dentist anxiety tips as a safety blanket to guide you through your next dental experience. You’ll enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile in return.
Smiles for Life Orthodontics delivers excellent orthodontic care to patients in Flower Mound, TX. Contact us for our gentle, complete orthodontic services.