Anxiety or fear of visiting the dentist is one of the most common phobias, with as many as 20 percent of Americans putting off dental work until it’s absolutely necessary because they’re afraid. Dental health is just as important as general health; if you don’t look after your teeth, you could be setting yourself up for serious problems later on. Here’s how you can beat your fear of visiting the dentist so that you can have healthy teeth for life.
Face Your Fear Head-On
The first step to overcoming any fear, including a fear of dental work, is addressing it. Ask yourself honestly about what scares you; is is the tools used, the smell of the treatment room, or something else? Once you’ve figured out what causes your feelings of anxiety, you can talk to your dentist about them.
Realize that Your Dentist is Here to Help You
Your dentist only wants the best for you and your smile, and they’ll have seen many people who are afraid of dental work throughout their career. If you speak to your dentist, they’ll be able to provide answers to your questions that might help put your mind at rest.
Take Your Mind off the Procedure
Whether it’s a routine cleaning or a root canal, distracting yourself from the work going on in your mouth can help reduce feelings of panic, stress, and anxiety. Bring a stress ball you can squeeze during the procedure, or listen to music or a podcast through headphones. Taking your mind off it all can help you get through the dental work so that you come out with a clean smile and a clear mind.
Seek Professional Help
If you have a strong phobia of dental work, seeking the help of a mental health professional could help ease your fears. Cognitive behavioral therapy, which asks you to honestly address your concerns with the help of a therapist, could give you the answers you need so that you can feel ready to walk through the doors of the dental practice.
Don’t Let Fear Ruin Your Smile
Dental work doesn’t have to be scary; by beating your fear of visiting the dentist, you can make sure that you keep your smile looking great and prevent serious dental issues down the line. Speak to our experienced team today about how we can help you get the treatment you need while minimizing your fear of the dentist.