Guest post by Rich Edwards from 360 Dental.
Drills, masks, needles…can you really blame anyone for being scared of the dentist? If we’re being honest, it sounds terrifying. Dental phobia is more common than people think, and it might be stopping you from getting some important check-ups. We all want to keep our teeth now, don’t we? At 360 Dental, we’re quite used to helping patients who have a fear of the dentist. Fortunately, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of our top tips to get over your dentist fear.
1. Keep off the caffeine
According to research, avoiding drinks high in caffeine and sugar are helpful in reducing anxiety. However, in our opinion, shutting coffee out of our system is harder than it seems. So, we suggest that you steer clear of it on the day of your appointment. Living without coffee forever, especially when we’re working 40 hours a week, seems a little excessive, so the least we can do is avoid it on the way. Think of it this way, as soon as the appointment is finished you can walk straight out and buy the biggest cup of coffee ever.
2. Find the right dentist
Don’t settle for just any dentist; you don’t have to stay with the first or the closest one you find – remember that. While the closest one is probably beneficial (helping you avoid a long, anxious journey), feeling comfortable is more important. Call them, figure out whether you like their tone and if they seem accommodating - anything that makes you feel calm.
Once you embark upon your trip, check out their surroundings to find out what you’re comfortable with. We mean, if it’s a small room, dimmed lights, crowded etc, it may resemble more of a horror story than just the dentist. For us, this is a big no-no. But if you feel relaxed, stress-free and happy, then you may have found the one.
3. Be honest with your dentist
Right, dentists aren’t going to ignore you or make fun of your fears. As a matter of fact, they’ve probably seen many patients with the same worries, so don’t start hiding your doubts. After all, honesty is the best policy. If people are aware of your concerns, then more often than not, they will try and be accommodating. Your dentist may even talk you through each step as they go through it, which will not only help you relax but also get you used to check-ups.
4. Bring someone with you
I don’t know who came up with the argument that when you become an adult you need to start doing things independently because it’s more than alright to bring someone with you if you’re nervous. Plus, it’s much more fun. Take a friend or your mum and make a day of it. Having someone there with you can offer an extra level of support, but it’s probably a good idea to take someone who doesn’t also have fears of the dentist. That might cause some problems.
5. Visit regularly
Honestly, the best way to get over your dentistry fear is to go more often. Face them; get to know them; know what to expect and get comfortable with your surroundings. After a few appointments, you will get so used to it you might even start associating positive feelings with the dentist. And, don’t forget that the more times you visit the dentist and get check-ups, the better it will be for your teeth in the long run. As a result, you won’t have to visit nearly as much in the future.
As you see, there are plenty of tips to help you with your dentist fears, but the most important thing to remember is that if your dentist understands what you’re going through and wants to help, then you will find the appointments a lot less stressful. If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s time to find another dentist.