It’s said that about 36 percent of the population suffers from a fear of the dentist, while another 12 percent of the population suffers from extreme dental fear. If you’re a person who wants to take care of their teeth but who does not know how to overcome this fear, these four suggestions can help.
1. Shop Around for the Right Dentist
Not all dentists handle nervous patients in the same way. The dentist you choose should be able to handle your fears in a way that makes you feel comfortable. Before choosing a dentist to see, contact dentists in your area. Ask them questions such as:
- What suggestions do you have for patients struggling to overcome the fear of the dentist?
- What do you do to help patients feel more comfortable in your practice?
- What do your dental hygienists do to help patients overcome the fear of the dentist?
Knowing this information in advance can help you choose a dentist with effective strategies for helping nervous patients. Choosing the right dentist will be able to make you feel comfortable from the get-go, and will help you feel some control over your experience, which can also help put you at ease.
2. Communicate with Your Dental Hygienist
The dental hygienist is the first person you see when you visit the dentist. Tell your dental hygienist (before the cleaning begins) about your feelings. If anything specifically is a trigger for your fears (maybe certain noises or difficult conversations about dental hygiene), tell your dental hygienist, so they can proceed carefully.
3. Practice Deep Breathing Before Dental Appointments
Meditation and deep breathing can help calm your nerves. Practice meditation and deep breathing before appointments to help you feel more centered and in control. You can also practice mindfulness during your appointments, which helps you avoid thinking about things that are especially hard.
4. Bring Some Music or a Podcast
Load some calming music onto your phone before your appointment, then listen to the music throughout the appointment. Alternatively, you can also listen to an especially engrossing podcast, which can help take your mind off of what is happening.
Ready to See the Dentist? Contact Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
At Woodlane Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we can help you overcome the discomfort you might feel about seeing the dentist. Call today to talk about strategies that can soothe your fears, and make an appointment.