Let’s face it, most people don’t look forward to going to the dentist. Routine checkups are commonly canceled or scheduled because they’re thought of as a low priority. Even severe dental problems are neglected because patients would rather tolerate pain than face the reality of their situation.
Going to your Alpharetta dentist doesn’t have to be scary or dreadful. Especially when you’re in the care of the trusted and tenured team at Golsen Family Dentistry. With the right education and coping mechanisms, your next appointment can be a seamless and stress-free experience.
Here are some tips on how to your dental fears and anxieties.
Figure Out the Problem
Before you can learn how to cope with your fear, you need to understand the root of the problem. It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of dental tools, but for adults the reason for panic isn’t so transparent. Did you have a bad experience with a former dental care provider? Are you embarrassed about your oral hygiene? Once you’ve identified the source of your distress, you can take steps to overcome it. Your dentist will help educate you on how many of these fears can be debunked.
Ask for Clear Expectations
One of the biggest drivers of fear and anxiety is uncertainty. If you don’t know what to expect, you can’t possibly prepare yourself for what’s going to come next. Ask your dentist to “rate” any pain or discomfort you should except. Getting this information ahead of time can be beneficial in more than one way. You’ll either be relieved to know there is nothing to worry about or feel comfortable asking for additional support (like numbing medication).
Be Open About Your Experiences
If you had a bad experience with a previous dental care provider, don’t keep it to yourself. It’s important to be open and honest with your dentist at Golsen Family Dentistry so they understand exactly what went wrong. Your new dentist will work with you to develop a dental care treatment plan that is sensitive to your specific needs.
Becoming more aware of your feelings and environment can help you cope with unwanted tension. You can achieve this by practicing mindfulness when you start to feel to feel the tension setting in. Practice breathing exercises to keep you calm or focus on your other senses, like what you can hear or smell. This can be highly effectively if your specific fear is losing control over mind or body. Improving your concentration will help keep you relaxed during your next dental appointment.
See Your Dental Care as an Investment
Another key reason people don’t go to the dentist regularly is because they’re limited on resources – particularly time and money. However, leaving a dental problem untreated can have a snowball effect over time. For example, bleeding gums may be a sign of improper brushing, but it can also signify advanced gum disease. When it comes to your oral health, you should always air on the side of caution to protect your teeth and gums from further damage.
It has been proven that your dental hygiene is connected to your overall health. With that in mind, it’s important to protect your mouth-body relationship by confronting dental problems head on and scheduling regular dental cleanings. Make an investment in yourself by having healthy teeth and gums for life.
Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
If you’re beating yourself up for skipping appointments or making bad lifestyle choices, know you’re not alone. The “blame game” is commonly played by patients but carrying around that burden won’t solve anything. Feel proud that you’ve chosen to take steps towards a healthier life and leave the past behind.
Remember that it’s important to communicate your fears prior to or during your dental consultation. Golsen Family Dentistry will work with you to find a solution or give you professional advice on the best way forward.