As if it were programmed into our genes, it seems as though many of us have this fear of going to the dentist. Maybe it is because of media influence; television movies, or maybe you had a bad experience as a child. Nonetheless, many people suffer from the fear of going to the dentist and thus delay a visit, or outright refuse to go to the dentist unless absolutely necessary.
By not going to the dentist, or going sparingly, you put both your dental health as well as your overall health at serious risk. Thus, it is essential that we overcome our fears and phobias and, as they say, “grow a pair” because we can’t grow a new set of teeth once they’re gone!
So, in order to get over our fears of going to the dentist there are a few tips to remember, of which we will explore below
Tip #1 – Do your homework before picking the right dentist
It is essential to find a dentist whom you feel comfortable with. Utilize the internet to find dentists with reviews on Angie’s list, Yelp, and ZocDoc. You may find a recurring theme among reviewers on how good, or bad a particular dentist is. Beyond the internet you can ask to speak with previous patients on how good or bad the dentist was. Bedside manner plays a key factor in finding a dentist you feel comfortable with so be sure to ask your peers which dentist had the best.
Tip#2 – Try Meditation and Deep Bretahing Exercises
Sometimes feeling comfortable with a dentist isn’t enough and you will need to take it a step further. Try meditation. Meditation is used by famous athletes, musicians, and many others before gearing up for a big event so why not you? Meditation will calm your mind and psyche yourself up for your visit to the dentist. Practice deep breathing and self-talk to instill confidence in yourself.
Tip#3 – Block It Out!
The dentist drill is a shrill sound that is the single biggest fear factor for many people when you are at the dentist. So, block it out! Bring your favorite tunes on an iPod and put your headphones in to make sure you don’t have to listen to that drill. Lowering your anxiety when you’re at the dentist will make for a much better visit psychologically.
Tip#4 – Know Before You Go
Once you have made the decision to visit the dentist ask for an over the phone consultation with the dentist or the dental assistant on exactly what will happen during your visit. Sometimes the fear of the unknown is greater than the fear of knowing what will happen. Eliminate that and you will have one less thing to fear. You can prep yourself beforehand, utilize your meditation techniques and be strong for your actual visit.
As with everything else in life, getting over your fear of the dentist will take time. But practice and patience will go a long way in helping you overcome and prevail. Utilize the tips above and your venture will be a lot easier to deal with.