Lots of people have dentophobia or a fear of the dentist. People who experience this phobia feel anxious when going to the dentist or even just thinking about the dentist in general. The feeling of not having control when sitting in the dental chair, negative past experiences, or even family history can all lead to dentophobia. For many people, the traumatic experience at the dentist in their youth keeps them overthinking their upcoming dental appointments today. It is not easy for everyone to go to the dentist and be comfortable with their mouth open for dental work. It is imperative to understand how much your oral health relates to the wellness of your overall body. Being scared of the dentist should not hold you back from getting your oral exam. Look below for what to do if you are afraid of the dentist and how to overcome your dentophobia.
What To Do If You Are Scared Of The Dentist
Going to the dentist to overcome your fear is much easier said than done. Take a look below at these five tips for what to do if you are scared of the dentist.
Talk to your Dentist
This may seem obvious, but letting your dentist know you have dental anxiety is an excellent start. If they know you are nervous, they may have some ideas to keep you comfortable in the chair. Come up with a safety word for when you feel uncomfortable or are experiencing too much discomfort. They can offer you breaks between your teeth cleaning or dental procedure to help you relax and remove some pain you may be experiencing. Letting them know what scares or hurts you can help you develop a better relationship for your next visit.
Talk to a Therapist
Not all phobias are the same, so they should not be treated the same way. Talking to a therapist may help you get your fears and worries off your chest and talk to someone who will listen. A therapist can advise you on breathing techniques and how to better prepare yourself before your next visit. There is nothing wrong with going to a therapist, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about your fears. Speaking with someone who will understand and encourage you is the best way to help overcome your dentophobia.
Bring noise-canceling headphones or listen to music while your hygienist is cleaning your teeth or you’re having a dental procedure. This will remove the noises from the instruments that people fear with dentophobia and help put you in a state of relaxation. Playing your favorite music or listening to a podcast can help take your mind off where you are. You can also try distracting yourself by thinking of a happy place or staring at a picture hanging on the wall in the room. Imagine anything and any place to keep your mind off what is happening.
Try doing meditation or breathing exercises when in the waiting room or on the car ride to your dentist appointment. Look up ways to relax and take deep breaths to calm your nerves before sitting in the dental chair. Count the number of breaths you take and keep track of your heart rate to keep your anxiety under control. Try taking deep breaths may be commonly said when someone feels anxious, but focusing on those breaths can help you to relax.
Ask about Medication
Sometimes, medications to calm your nerves are the best way to eliminate dental fears. Ask your doctor about being prescribed Xanax or Valium to help ease your experience at the dentist. You can also ask your dentist about laughing gas to help you relax before a dental procedure. No one wants to have you suffer in the dentist’s office, so being honest about your fears and how to deal with them is the best way to find relief.
Contact Dr. Wu & Associates
At our office, we understand that an essential quality of a dentist is the ability to understand your fears. If you experience dentophobia, we will do everything we can to keep you feeling comfortable and safe in our chairs. We want you to be open about your fears and let us help you by building a solid relationship with each other. Contact us today and see how we can help you overcome your fear of the dentist at your next appointment!