You may already know that at-home care and semi-annual check ups from family dentists can help reduce the need for restorative dental cosmetics later in life, but what do you do if you’re deathly afraid to even go?
Dental anxiety is more common than you’d think. Between five to eight percent of Americans have a fear of their family dentists, and avoid them at all costs. Some might even get anxiety from simply driving by a dental practice. Resistance to anesthetic (leading to excruciating treatments) and negative past experiences are two of the most common reasons for people to fear their family dentists.
Regardless of what caused the phobia, it needs to be overcome. It can directly impact a person’s health, as poor oral health has huge repercussions on a person’s overall condition. It’s terribly important for people to overcome this fear so that they can lead regular, healthy lives. Here are a few strategies to help ease the fear of family dentists.
Control Where You’re Looking.
One of the most simple and easy ways to mitigate some of the anxiety and stress is to close your eyes. You don’t need to see the tools for them to do their job. Have your dentist put a soothing poster somewhere where you can easily see it while in the chair, too. That way, if you do open your eyes, you can look there immediately and mentally flee to the depicted scene.
Drown Out the Sound of the Office With Tunes.
A lot of people have problems with the sound of family dentists’ tools. Why not drown the buzzing and whirring with loud, soothing music? Make sure not to listen to your favorite songs, though, so that they don’t become inextricably associated with the fear of family dentists. Choose some classical music you rarely listen to instead.
Have Your Dentist Explain the Process.
The root of all fears is the unknown. People are scared of the thing behind the closet door the same way they’re afraid of family dentists because they don’t know what either is going to do. Have them explain what work they’re going to do, and how they’re going to do it to ease this tension. Once you understand what’s going on and how it’s only going to help you (not hurt you), you’ll find it easier to relax in the chair.
Failing these easy solutions, it’s also possible to go to therapy to overcome your fear, or perhaps ask for additional medication, like laughing gas, to help you cope. If you have any questions about overcoming a fear of family dentists, feel free to ask in the comments. Get more here.