Many people are afraid of the dentist for a range of different reasons. Perhaps you don’t like needles. Maybe you are scared of lying back in the dentist’s chair and accepting your fate. Whatever the reason, it is time to overcome your fear of the dentist so that you can make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy for the rest of your life.
The first step is realising why you are scared:
If you hate the dentist and refuse to go for regular check-ups, then you need to identify the factor/factors which contributed to your fear. Some things which may play a role include:
- A traumatic experience as a child – we all know that the things which happen to us during our childhood can shape the rest of our lives. If you had a bad experience at the dentist when you were younger then it could be hard for you to go back.
- Bad teeth – if you have bad teeth then you may become scared that the dentist is going to tell you off. Don’t worry – they will have seen worse teeth than yours during their career!
- You aren’t in control at the dentist – some people have trouble giving up the control of themselves to their dentist. Lying back in the chair and letting the dentist do whatever they need to can be difficult and can require a lot of trust.
Once you have identified the problem, take steps to overcome it:
Acknowledging the cause of your dental phobias is the biggest step. Once you have done this, then you need to do the following things:
Figure out why this issue is causing a phobia – Figure out why the issue is causing your phobia and tackle the root of the problem. Sometimes simply thinking about it and identifying contributing factors in your mind can be enough.
Confront the issue – If you need to, then confront the issue. Force yourself to speak to someone about it, take steps to overcome it, and most importantly, admit to yourself that you have a problem and that you may need to get help.
Speak to your dentist – Speak to your dentist and let them know that you have a phobia. They will understand – you won’t be the only person who has told them that. They will be gentle and will do what they can to make you feel comfortable.
Go on, dentists are not that scary!