It is perfectly normal to feel anxious or nervous about an upcoming dental appointment. This is especially true if you’ve been neglecting your oral hygiene.
Often, the root of these anxieties is related to one of three different factors:
- A traumatic experience
- A lack of proper hygiene
- A fear of pain or discomfort
Identifying the cause can help you overcome your fear of your next dental appointment. Take a look at the following tips to address these issues.
Past Trauma Can Create a Fear of Dental Appointments
Past trauma is one of the most common reasons for a fear of dentists. If you had a bad experience at the dentist as a child, you may dread visiting the dentist as an adult. It is advised to choose a pediatric dentist for your children’s dentistry needs to avoid a bad experience for your children.
In order to overcome this fear, you’ll need to confront it. Understand that the trauma you experienced is unlikely to occur a second time. Though, this is easier said than done.
When you go in for your next dental appointment, you should let your dentist know about your fears.
He or she can take additional steps to put you at ease. They can fully explain the steps and procedures and walk you through the process.
Neglecting Your Hygiene Can Cause a Fear of the Unknown
When you neglect your oral hygiene, you may be afraid that your dentist will uncover a potential dental problem. You may fear that the dentist will find a cavity or signs of gum disease.
You need to realize that early detection can help limit the severity of health problems. This includes dental issues, such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, and cavities.
Your dentist is not there to judge you for not flossing or brushing regularly. He or she is there to help improve your oral health.
Your Fear of Pain Can Keep You from Going to the Dentist
Another potential issue is the fear of pain or discomfort. Everyone has their own comfort level and pain threshold. But, a typical dental exam is a painless experience.
You may notice a moderate amount of discomfort, especially if you haven’t been flossing. This discomfort is only temporary. And, it is a small price to pay for preventing major dental issues.
If you are afraid the pain associated with a specific dental procedure, such as a root canal procedure, there are effective ways to limit this pain.
Dental offices will use various methods for managing pain. This includes the use of local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, or an intravenous injection of a medication to help sedate the patient.
Thanks to these options, your dental procedure can be pain-free.
Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist and Schedule a Dental Exam
The first step in overcoming your fear of the dentist is to determine the cause of your fear. Decide whether your fear is connected to a past trauma, a lack of hygiene, or a fear of pain. Once you identify the fear, you can tackle it head-on.
Facing your fear is the only way to truly overcome it. After your next appointment, you’ll see that your fears were unfounded. So, if your fear has kept you from visiting the dentist, then schedule a dental exam today.