If you’re scared of the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that one in two of us suffer dental anxiety, and because of this, put off going to the dentist. A dangerous habit that a lot of people with dental anxiety get into is failing to go for regular checkups. Instead, only seeing a dentist when they have a dental problem, such as a toothache.
What it’s important to realize is that when it comes to dental anxiety, you need to try to overcome it. If not for yourself, do it for your little ones. Studies have shown that children who have parents who are scared of the dentist are twice as likely to develop dental anxiety. Ask yourself, do you really want to pass your dental fear onto your children?
If the answer is no, here are some methods to try to get yourself over your fear of the dentist. (It might be hard but you can do it – you’re stronger than you think!)
Find a dentist you’re comfortable with.
The most important thing when it comes to beating dental anxiety is finding a dentist that you’re comfortable with. If you’ve already got a dentist but don’t feel like they offer the right support to make appointments less stressful, look for a new dentist. Google ‘dentists near me’ and see what dental practices there are in your area. Have a read of the reviews of each one, to see which dentists sound best. Don’t be afraid to visit a dental surgery before registering as a patient; it’s perfectly fine to pop in and have a look around.
Explain that you’re anxious
When registering at a dental practice or booking an appointment, it’s important to explain that you’re a little nervous. Don’t feel embarrassed to say how you’re feeling; it’s best, to be honest from the start. By letting the dental practice know that you’re nervous, it should be noted on the system. So that when the dentist comes to seeing you, he or she knows that you’re anxious and makes an effort to make you as comfortable as possible.
Book an early appointment
Whether you’re going to go for a checkup or a treatment, it’s always best to book the earliest appointment possible. That way, you won’t be worrying about it all day, you’ll be able to get up, go to your appointment, and then get on with your day. If you book an appointment for later in the day, you’ll only worry about it all day. The chances are, throughout the day you’ll get more and more worked up about it. So, if possible, book an early appointment.
Go for regular checkups
The worst thing you can do if you suffer from dental anxiety is failing to go for regular dental checkups. Firstly, because if there is a problem, the longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Secondly, if you put off going for a checkup, you’ll build it up into this big thing. However, by going for checkups regularly – every three or six months, you can catch any problems early. By going for regular checkups, you’ll make seeing the dentist less daunting. This is because you’ll get used to it.
When it comes to your dental health, it’s important not to let fear get in the way. Not only can putting off the dentist result in various oral health problems, but it can also impact your children, and how they see the dentist.