More than seventy five percent of people say that they are frightened to go to the dentist. A dental patient that is afraid to see the dentist will put off having their teeth checked until the problem reaches the point of severity where the tooth has to be extracted.
If you are a frightened dental patient then there are a few things you can do to help overcome your fears. Try one or more of the following suggestions to help you transform from a frightened dental patient into a confident one.
1. Go see the dentist for regular check-ups. Schedule check-ups for once every six months. During these visits you will not be in any discomfort so you can be more relaxed. This will give you the opportunity to get to know your dental care provider better. Familiarity with the office and the staff will reduce many of your fears.
2. Be honest with the staff at the clinic about your fears. Do not be ashamed that you are afraid. If you tell the staff about your fears they will be able to help reduce your anxiety.
3. Have a friend accompany you on your visits. You can even let your friend go back into the treatment room with you. If the staff is aware of your fears they will establish seating in the treatment room for your friend. Having someone to talk to while you are waiting for the dentist can help to keep you calm.
4. Many people are more afraid of the noises that the equipment makes than they are of the pain they might feel. Carry an MP3 player and earbuds to wear while your work is being done. The music will drown out the sound of the equipment and you will be more relaxed.
5. Do not drink caffeinated beverages or beverages containing a large amount of sugar before your visit. Caffeine and sugar both can make you jittery. If you are already nervous you do not want to add the jitters from caffeine. Instead of caffeinated coffee try sipping a warm cup of green tea sweetened with honey.
6. Some people are afraid of the smells in the dental clinics. You can carry a little vapor rub with you when you go. Place a small amount of the vapor rub under each nostril and you will not be able to smell the disinfectants and medications used by the dentist.
7. Try meditation techniques to calm yourself. As you are waiting to be called back to the treatment room use deep breathing exercises to slow your heart rate. Breathe in deeply and then exhale slowly. This will supply more oxygen to your brain and will help you to relax.
8. If you have debilitating fears of visiting the dentist you should schedule a visit to the office just to meet the staff. The staff will be glad to show you around and let you see their offices, and let you talk about your fears and what you are the most afraid of.