For many people, a trip to the dentist is a routine part of their lives. However, some people view visiting the dentist as if it were a scene from ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ If you have some dental anxiety, there are things that can help you stop avoiding getting your regular checkups and needed dental work. Here are a few of them.
Before you can fix an issue such as dental anxiety, you need to admit it is real. As many as 20% of people in the United States fear going to the dentist enough that they only visit the office when there isn’t a choice. As with other types of anxiety, accepting and admitting the problem is the first step to getting help.
If you struggle because you were afraid of a dentist you visited when you were young, take heart. You can ask people you know who they would recommend and why. Find a friendly dentist who works hard to make his or her patients feel comfortable. Take the time to meet them at an initial visit so you can begin to build trust.
Some dental fears can be allayed if you have more information. Ask your dentist about the dental hand piece he or she is using. Find out what it is for and how it works. Understand that the noise is because it is spinning so fast, not because it is grinding into your teeth too much.
If you are short or extra tall, the dental chair may be uncomfortable, so ask for help in adjusting it. The room may feel cool to you, so bring along a blanket. Ask for laughing gas to help calm you down or request that you don’t get the gas because you have trouble breathing with the nose mask on. Alert the dentist and the dental assistants to anything you need to help you relax as much as possible.
If you do a stellar job of taking care of your teeth, you won’t need to visit the dentist very often. If your dental hygiene is hit and miss, you could be dealing with gum disease and other issues. If you do your part to floss and brush daily, you will likely do much better the next time you sit in that dentist chair.
Visiting the dentist can cause anxiety, but you can prepare yourself to make the best of it.