Fear of going to the dentist is extremely common. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly held fears out there. However, fear or not, seeing a dentist is also essential for good oral health. Fortunately, overcoming your fear may not be as hard as you think; here are some tips to get back in that exam chair.
Identify Your Fear
Knowing exactly what it is you’re afraid of is the first step to getting over it. Are you afraid of seeing the dentist because of a bad experience? do you not like the way the tools feel in your mouth? Perhaps you always seem to get a hygienist who’s very aggressive when cleaning your teeth? Be aware of what it is that bothers you so you can address your concerns with the staff beforehand.
Know that You Are Not Alone
A very large percentage of the population is afraid of going to the dentist. Not only does this mean your dentist will be used to seeing people who are less than comfortable being there, but you also have plenty of people you can talk to about your fear. You’re definitely not alone!
Become A Regular
Remember how scary it was to ride a bike without training wheels for the first time? A good way to get over a fear is to keep doing the thing you fear until you’re used to it. The dentist is no different. After a few visits you and the dental staff will get to know each other, and that familiarity will help you feel more at ease. In addition, more frequent dental visits will keep your teeth in top condition, which will keep you from needing the more serious dental work that inspires real terror.
If you have a habit of backing out of your dentist appointment, try telling your friends and family whenever you make an appointment. It’s easier to commit to things when everyone knows your intentions; if you back out, you’ll have to explain to everyone why you’re skipping that appointment.
Choose Your Dentist Carefully
There are lots of dentists to choose from, so don’t feel like you have to stick with the dentist you dread every time. Do you prefer a man or a woman, someone who’s talkative or quiet, someone in a large practice or a small, intimate office? Give some thought to the kind of dentist you’d be most comfortable seeing, then start asking around for recommendations. It won’t be long until you find the perfect dentist for you.