If you have dental fear, you are not alone. Dental fear is more common than people think. According to the American Dental Association, about 75% of Americans experience dental fear. Dental phobia can not only cause anxiety but also keep people from seeking the care they need to prevent worse health conditions. A minor problem can become major if left unaddressed.
If you have been avoiding the dentist and missing dental appointments because of your fear, a few tips may help. Neglecting care altogether and thinking that your teeth will be in good condition is never a wise decision. Before you sabotage your beautiful smile, visit a dentist in San Diego, CA, today.
Proven tips to ease dental fear
- Go with a trusted friend.
When you are scared of something, it helps to bring a friend who you love and trust. This can be a friend as well as a family member or a work colleague. People with dental phobia find it calming when they bring someone than when they visit alone. Your friend will be there to offer words of encouragement throughout the time.
- Use distractions.
People who are unfamiliar with dental tools and procedures find themselves to be more scared of dentists. When you sit on the dentist’s chair, avoid looking at any sharp or complex-looking tools that make you more nervous than you are already. Consider listening to your favorite music or surfing social media to keep yourself distracted.
- Speak about your fears.
Hiding your fears is not going to be helpful for a long time. Instead of pretending to be okay with the process while you are actually feeling anxious, talk to the dentist about your fears. Tell them what you fear and how you want to fix it. Dentists are professionals with experience in dealing with all kinds of patients. They are qualified enough to help you feel at ease.
- Agree on a signal.
This is one of the most helpful tips to follow. If you are scared of something, tell your dentist. They can help you feel more at ease. You two can agree on a signal that you can use during the procedure to pause and rest for a bit when you feel too anxious to continue. It could be anything and as simple as raising your hand, tapping on the table, etc.
These are some tips that dentists usually recommend to their patients with dental phobia. If you are suffering from toothache and have been avoiding the dentist, following these can help.