5 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist
Do you have a fear of the dentist? Many people do. According to the American Dental Association, approximately one in four Americans fear the dentist. That is a lot of people! But there is no need to worry. With the help of your trusted dentist and hygienist, you can get past this fear. After all, dentists are there for our benefit, not the other way around. They want us to stay healthy and have a positive attitude towards oral hygiene and regular checkups, so we don’t end up with nasty surprises down the road. If you are one of those people who suffer from an irrational fear of dentists, then read on for some helpful tips on how to overcome it:
Find a dentist you trust
If you’re dealing with a dental phobia, finding a dentist you trust and feel comfortable with is the first step towards overcoming it. Many dentists are aware of the potential for dental phobia. They are trained in techniques to help make the experience as stress-free and non-threatening as possible such as sedation dentistry for more complex and stressful procedures. Additionally, finding a dentist who is the right fit for you can make the process much easier overall. You may have a friend or family member you trust, but if they are not a dentist, they may not be able to provide you with the help you need.
Take small steps
If you have a major dental phobia, take things slow and take small steps to get used to going to the dentist. You don’t want to go from never going to being suddenly put under general anesthesia for a root canal. That’s an awful way to start your dental journey. Your dentist should suggest you start with a simple cleaning appointment as your first dental visit. Not only does this make the experience less threatening, but it also gives your dentist a chance to get to know you and assess your oral health.
Partner up with a friend
Find a friend who doesn’t have a dental phobia and partner up with them to go to the dentist together. This way, you’ll have someone there to support you. This may sound silly, but it works. Studies have shown that people who go to the dentist with a friend or loved one experience less anxiety and are less likely to experience dental phobia.
Breathing is one of the most fundamental skills we have. It is also one of the first things we forget to do when stressed out. When stressed before going to the dentist, take a moment to breathe. Deep breathing can help you calm down. Studies show that with regular practice, deep breathing can reduce anxiety. It can also help you feel less stressed and more relaxed overall. Dental professionals recommend that patients use hypnosis or relaxation techniques like deep breathing when they feel anxious before going to the dentist.
Be in the moment
Try to be in the moment when you are at the dentists. Being in the moment has many therapeutic benefits, including helping you reduce anxiety and stress. While it is normal to feel nervous at the dentist, if those feelings turn into full-blown anxiety, it can be harmful to your health. While you can’t completely control what happens during your dental appointment, you can manage your reaction to it and how you respond to your feelings of anxiety. Focus on the sounds around you and the sensations you feel. Focus on your breathing, try to quiet your mind, and stay in the moment.
Dentists are there for our benefit. They want us to stay healthy and have a positive attitude towards oral hygiene and regular checkups, so we don’t end up with nasty surprises down the road. You don’t have to suffer in silence if you fear the dentist. With the help of your dentist and hygienist, you can get past this fear and regain your oral health.
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
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