Dental fear has stopped many people from visiting the dentist and receiving necessary care for their teeth and gums. Previous negative dental experiences, as well as fear of pain or anxiety about dental equipment, can prevent people from seeking the dental assistance they need.
This can have a detrimental impact on oral health and on the general well-being of a person as oral health is intrinsically linked to general health.
So, here are some helpful tips for overcoming dental fear.
Strategies for adults visiting the dentist
- relax – make yourself comfortable in the dentist’s chair and relax by taking deep
breaths – imagine yourself somewhere pleasant and replace the feeling of fear with positive thoughts of a time when you were happy and peaceful visualize
- ask questions – fear can arise from misconceptions about what happens at the dentist. Dentists and their staff are available to answer questions about dental procedures
- create a stop signal – establish a signal with your dentist which, when used, indicates that you need a little break from whatever treatment you are having. This will help you to feel like you are in control of proceedings and reduce any panic which may arise
Strategies for parents bringing children for dental visits
- be calm and confident as this will reassure your child
- introduce your child to the dentist before their dental appointment so that the first interaction is friendly and relaxed
- visit the dentist yourself and allow your child to watch your routine checkup so that they can see there is nothing to be afraid of
Dental fear should not prevent you from receiving the dental care you need to maintain good oral health. Call your dentist today and explain your concerns so that your dentist has the opportunity to address them with you.