Combatting Your Fear of the Dentist

Many people feel anxious before they go to the dentist. Whether you’re self-conscious about your teeth or worried that something’s wrong, here are a few ways to calm down while you open wide.

Ask Questions

When you see the dentist or dental hygienist using a tool that you don’t know, ask for an explanation of what’s about to happen. That way, you can mentally prepare for any discomfort and assure yourself that these medical professionals know what they’re doing. For example, if you hear the dentist mention dental O rings and gaskets, you become nervous because you don’t know what these tools are. Once you understand that they keep your dentures or implants from being corrupted by liquids, you know that there’s nothing to fear. Just make sure to keep your questions polite rather than accusatory so you don’t offend your dental team.

Focus on Your Health

However much stress the dentist causes you, remind yourself that maintaining your dental hygiene is critical to sustaining your overall health. Just as you make yourself exercise when you feel like sitting on the couch or eat a salad when you’d prefer a hamburger, going to the dentist is something you have to do. Not only do these visits prevent plaque and tartar buildup, but they also reduce your risk of cardiac issues. 

Think About the Worst-Case Scenario

What’s the worst thing that could happen to you at the dentist? Maybe you learn that you have a cavity and need to have it filled at another appointment. Perhaps you have an infection and need to undergo a root canal or another procedure. While neither of these scenarios is fun, they’re also not life-threatening. By thinking through the worst possibilities, you realize that most of your anxiety is groundless.

By focusing on the facts and your health, you can take an anxiety-free trip to the dentist. 

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