If you’ve been putting off that much-needed dental appointment because you’re afraid of getting in the dentist’s chair, you’re not alone. In fact, dentophobia is a very common fear.
When it comes to your oral hygiene, having to decide between the importance of your oral health and your own peace of mind is a difficult prospect.
Luckily, with a perfectly common fear comes simple solutions to overcome them. With just a few of these methods and techniques, you can make the dentist’s chair a little less overwhelming, and a lot more welcoming.
Discuss your fears with a dentist
This doesn’t mean immediately booking a procedure to confront your fear. It means sitting down with a dentist and openly discussing your concerns.
Book a consultation and find out more about ways your dentist can make you feel at ease. You’ll be surprised at how often they encounter this worry.
Find comfort in the familiar. Search for a local dentist and have an honest conversation. You’ll find them a lot less daunting after getting to know them a little.
Look into relaxation methods
Discover some simple and effective breathing exercises online. Close your eyes, and focus on the rise and fall of your chest. Enjoy a leisurely walk to your consultation, or find soothing ambient music that’ll lower your heart rate.
Practising these techniques calms our muscles and relieves tension. Once you’ve mastered these relaxation methods, the waiting room will feel like your own personal meditation centre.
Make a playlist of your favourite songs to listen to during your appointment. Find an audio version of your favourite book, or discover a new one to keep you distracted and engaged on where the story will go.
Most dentist waiting rooms have televisions to watch during your check-up, and magazines to read while you wait. If those don’t help you, find something that does! Make the process less daunting with something that’ll grab your attention.
Take a loved one with you
If you still can’t face that waiting room alone, bring along someone you trust to go along with you. Our loved ones know us better than we know ourselves and excel in supporting us in overcoming our fears.
Whether you need someone to make you laugh, or simply hold your hand for a little extra help, taking a loved one with you can ensure you not only feel less anxious, but that you can also plan something fun to do after your appointment.
While the idea of visiting a dentist can be intimidating, under that long white coat is a calm and experienced professional, who knows how to put anxious patients at ease.
Your anxiety and fears are an important part of your overall health, but so is good oral hygiene with regular check-ups. Implementing these simple techniques can ensure that you feel healthier all over, and the dreaded dentist trip is a thing of the past.