One of the biggest excuses people make for avoiding going to the dentist is that they are afraid. When you’re a kid, you’ll always have your parents reminding you to go to the dentist and holding your hand so you don’t get scared, but unfortunately, this all goes away when you’re a grown up. If you don’t remember to visit the dentist every 6 months, it’s unlikely that you’ll have anyone there to remind you that you really need to go. If you’re afraid of the dentist, why not try these quick tips for getting rid of our fear…
Make the first step
The hardest part of getting over your fear of the dentist is making that first call. Calling your dentist to make an appointment can often be a very emotional experience for those who are afraid. However, you will nearly always find someone on the other end of the line is very experienced in dealing with nervous patients.
Give yourself plenty of time
On the day of the appointment, give yourself plenty of time to get there and settle in. Your nerves will likely be frayed on the day so you don’t want to be worried about traffic or driving when you are stressed. Leave plenty of time to arrive, relax and take some deep cleansing breaths.
Once you arrive, let the receptionist know that you are nervous and might need a little support. If you are very scared of the dentist chair, the dentist might come and sit with you in the waiting room and speak to you there before taking you in. Let the dentist know which parts of the process scare you and if you would rather they explain things or stay quiet. This will help you to feel more in control of the situation. If you are having a complex procedure like a root canal or lingual braces, ask them to explain everything in advance and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
See the hygienist first
This can be a great first step back into the routine of seeing a dentist every 6 months. Visiting the dental hygienist will help you to identify which part of the process scares you the most. If you’re afraid of pain or unusual sounds, then the dental hygienist can talk you through a lot of the sounds you might hear and explain why it is extremely unlikely to hurt.
And finally, remember, you can do this!