As you probably already know, visiting the dentist is important and caring for your teeth is vital to living a healthy life. But what if you have a fear of the dentist, for whatever reason, and avoid going to the dentist for annual checkups and cleanings? According to WebMD, approximately nine to 20 percent of Americans have dental anxiety which makes them avoid the dentist. People with dental phobia have a worse fear and will do anything in their power to avoid the dentist. The people who suffer from dental anxiety and phobia know that their fear is irrational, but can’t do anything about it.
If you believe you have dental anxiety, it is important that you still visit the dentist at least once a year, but preferably twice a year. While that may seem like your worst nightmare, good oral health is important to your overall health, meaning that visiting the dentist is a necessity.
We understand that the dentist can be a scary place, even for those without a fear of the dentist. But at Brookside Dental Care, we work hard and pride ourselves in providing dental care that is comfortable and helps our patients with dental anxiety feel at ease throughout their appointment.
While we will work hard to make your dental experience as good as possible, there are also things you can do to go through your appointment with as little fear as possible. In this blog, we will go over some things you can do to help handle your dental anxiety.
Tell Your Dentist
Letting your dentist and hygienist know that you have a fear of the dentist can help to make the whole experience more comfortable. Our trained team will make sure you are comfortable throughout your cleaning. If you tell your dentist what exactly scares you about dental appointments, they can make sure to be more careful and more you more comfortable during those times. Let’s say you are scared of the cleanings or other procedures being painful: if you tell your dentist and hygienist, they can help to make sure the procedures are done more carefully and check to make sure they are not hurting you.
If you want to learn more about your procedure, what dentists are looking for, or even the steps to a cleaning, then simply ask. Knowing what is going to happen during your appointment can help you to feel more comfortable and know what to expect. You can go through an appointment, cleaning, or other procedure with a peace of mind, knowing what is coming.
Distracting yourself is a great way to get through an appointment without focusing on the cleaning or procedure. Music is a great option. Unfortunately, since your mouth is being worked on, it will be hard to do anything that involved your eyes, so books, your favorite Netflix show, and other visual distractions may not be the best option. Make a playlist that you can lose yourself in and play it during your appointment. This will drown out the sound of drills and other dental equipment.
Distracting yourself can also come in the form of holding something or playing with something. Bring a stress ball to hold onto throughout your appointment or some other type of ball. You can even bring a Fidget Spinner or a Fidget Cube that can help you to keep busy and distract you.
Use a Signal
Talk with your dentist to plan a signal you can use throughout your appointment when you need a break. You won’t exactly be able to say anything during different parts of your appointment, so using a hand motion can help the dentist or hygienist know that you need a break or a moment to recollect and breath. Having this hand signal will help to make you feel better throughout the appointment and may not even be needed, but knowing you have that option of pausing the appointment can help you feel less afraid.
There are many ways to deal with dental anxiety, but finding what works for you is important to making sure you can make it through an entire dentist appointment without becoming too anxious. If you have dental anxiety and have been avoiding the dentist because of it, let us know. The team at Brookside Dental Care is trained to help you feel comfortable and at ease throughout your appointment. If you need a dentist who can help you through each appointment, we can help. Contact us today to learn more and check out our general services.