If you experience anxiety at the thought of visiting your dentist, you're not alone. Up to 15% of Americans avoid visiting a dentist, even if they know that they need attention, just because they're afraid. While dental phobia is something that should be addressed with a physician or therapist, simple dental anxiety can be reduced. Try these steps to make it easier to maintain your oral hygiene by seeing your dentist regularly.
If you're afraid of seeing the dentist because you're anxious that you have severe dental problems, the easiest way to get over that anxiety is to take better care of your oral hygiene. While it may not be the most fun thing in the world to do, regularly flossing and brushing after meals can vastly improve your oral health. Skipping one or the other even once can allow plaque the time it needs to transform into tartar, which is one step closer to developing cavities or gum disease. Never skip these steps, and you can rest easier knowing that your checkup will probably involve nothing more than a simple, thorough cleaning and exam.
If you can't get over your anxiety, consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of a short-term prescription for it. While people who experience anxiety constantly may take tranquilizers at all times, that isn't necessary for dental fear. Instead, you can just take a pill before you see your dentist, and it will help you to relax and not be as anxious.
Talk it Out
Another option is to make an appointment to simply talk to a dentist. Most dentists understand that patients may be fearful of seeing them, so it's helpful for both of you to learn about this anxiety. You can take this opportunity to explain exactly what facet(s) you're afraid of at the office—like drilling, x-rays, or anything else—so your dentist knows in advance. Your dentist may offer to take the examination slowly and work very tenderly to avoid inducing pain. In any case, it may help you to have the discussion to just get to know your dentist and remember that they're simply a human being who wants to help you to maintain your oral health.
A lot of people experience dental anxiety, but allowing it to keep you from seeing the dentist can be hazardous to your health. Use these steps to work through the anxiety and make sure that you get the dental care you need.Share
17 March 2016