If you are paralyzed by fear every time you have to go to the dentist, or you at least experience some powerful physical symptoms like sweaty hands and an increased heart rate, you could be dealing with what is popularly known dental fear. According to estimates, it would seem that somewhere between 5 to 8% of Americans refuse to go to the dentist because they are afraid. Moreover, 20% feel so anxious about it that they solely go to the dentist when they absolutely have to. If you want to know more about the manifestation of this fear and the way you can combat it, keep reading.
What Triggers Dentist Phobia?
Dental fear is normally caused by a series of events associated with people’s experience with dentists and dental treatments. For example, people associate the pain they have felt the last time they’ve been to the dentist with their upcoming visit. This is particularly true for people with a low pain threshold. Others will feel they are losing control every time they go to the dentist and lie on that chair. Some will also feel embarrassed when dentists examine their gums and teeth. The close range distance between patients and dentists is a problem for many. Treatments that lead to complications are also tied to fear of the dentist.
Tip #1: Admit You Are Afraid
Once you will identify and admit all of your fears associated with going to a dentist, you will get to address them and come into terms with the idea of a visit to the dentist’s office. You can use a journal and write down all the feelings that are triggered in you every time you have to plan a visit to the dentist. The right dentist should be able to go over this list with you and help you feel more at ease.
Tip #2: Practice Relaxation Techniques
Figure out which exercises can help you calm down prior to a visit to the dentist’s office, as well as during treatment. You can take a long bath, go out for a run, practice meditation, listen to soothing music, or play some enjoyable games. You can play board games with the family or go online and choose your favorite puzzles, bingo, or casino games. As long as you have a computer, tablet, or smartphone and a good connection to the internet, you can play the casino for fun or real money, practice your skills, read reviews of the latest casinos, games, or apps on the market, make new poker buddies or discover brand new games you had no idea even existed. Whatever can take your mind off of the procedure you are about to undergo should be used. Get yourself lost in a fun and simple game of slots or a more complex game of poker straight from the waiting room at the doctor’s office. You will better cope with the anxiety of having to walk right in in a few minutes.
You can also use this strategy after a more painful treatment, to distract yourself from the pain you will be experiencing.
Tip #3: Divert Your Attention
Listen to music using your earphones, fiddle with a stress ball, or ask your dentist to tell you some bad dentist jokes. Wherever helps you take your mind off the procedure will work.