Dental fear is completely normal – approximately 36% of the population have a fear of the dentist – but it’s also a fear that could be jeopardizing your good health. With other fears, such as fear of flying or heights, avoiding tall places or going on a plane is not something that is going to negatively impact your life, but avoiding your regular dental checkups can compromise your teeth and gum health and even risk serious health problems if anything goes unchecked.
That’s why it’s so vital that you take the steps to overcome your fear, and here are some ways you can work to do that.
5 Signs You’re Afraid of the Dentist
You might have admitted unequivocally to yourself that you’re afraid to go to the dentist, but for a lot of people, it may not be too obvious. You might just be making excuses as to why you miss appointments without getting down to the root cause.
- You can’t sleep the night before an appointment
- You fully avoid making dental appointments altogether
- You have physical symptoms, such as a racing heartbeat or sweating
- You feel nauseous at the idea of the dentist or in the dental waiting room
- You may become upset at the idea of visiting the dentist
How to Overcome Your Fear
Find a Dentist You Feel Comfortable With
The dentist you have – and even down to the reception staff or assistant nurses – will make a difference in how comfortable you feel. If you don’t like your dentist, or perhaps they have a lack of patience for anyone feeling fear during their appointments, it might be time to look for a new one.
You should take the time to ‘shop around’ and do some research into highly rated dentists. Looking at patient reviews published on their website is a great idea. Then, you can hear from other patients about their own experiences. Looking for an established family dentist, like bafdentistry.com, is a great idea, as they’ll have experience working with people of all ages and know how to make everyone feel comfortable.
Think About Why You’re Afraid
For some people, just the general idea of the dentist can be a scary thought. For others, there may be a specific underlying cause for the fear, such as a previous painful experience, complications from tooth problems in the past, or even an extremely bad service from the dental staff. If you can pinpoint whether there’s a specific reason, you can work to overcome it in a better way.
Take Relaxing Music with You (With Headphones)
When you’re dreading something, the wait can always be worse, and this especially counts for a dentist’s waiting room. If you’re sitting listening to the sounds of dental instruments, crying children, or anything else which puts you on edge, it’s going to make you feel worse.
A good idea is to take headphones or earphones to block out the sounds around you and play music that relaxes you while you wait.