My family's dental health is important to me. Unfortunately for me, it is not as important to my little ones. Getting my kids to brush and floss on a daily basis is almost like taking on an obstacle course. I talked to my family's dentist about different methods I could try to encourage them to brush and floss on a regular basis. Some of the tricks worked, some did not. After some experimentation and talking to other parents, I was able to come up with a lot of great tips for helping kids care for their teeth. I started this blog to help other parents get creative when it comes to their kids and dental care.
As a grownup, it's not always comfortable to admit fear to anyone else other than our families and close friends. Dentist checkups can make you uneasy, and that can lead you to avoid them for as long as you can; that is not good for your gums, teeth and overall oral health. To cope more easily and overcome the negative feelings you might feel, try these tips.
Perhaps the most vital thing you can do is to just be honest and communicative about your fears. You may be embarrassed to share that information or you might not think it will make that much of a difference, but most dentists are eager to have this information so that they can make changes accordingly. Try to pinpoint the reasons that you are fearful or uncomfortable so that they know what they can work on; for example, perhaps you are afraid of a particular procedure that you know you need. The dentist can talk you through each of the steps and take breaks so you can recover or calm down before moving forward. You might be surprised to know that some dentists will prescribe mild anxiety medications if they feel that a patient needs the extra help before an appointment or procedure.
Perhaps the reason you get so nervous during dental work is that you can clearly hear the sound of the tools and focus intently on what's happening in your mouth. To give yourself a break, bring along excellent distractions. It might be an audiobook you've been dying to hear or favorite music that you can listen to through your headphones.You might look into guided meditations to distract yourself. You can even try having a close friend along who knows they're there to talk with you and help you laugh while dental work is being done. If you can distract your mind for even a bit of time, you might find that you feel better overall.
If you can't distract yourself for the entire time, just try to do so for a few minutes at a time. You might even use a great outing afterwards as a reward for not thinking negatively the entire time.
Once you're able to take action with one or more of the suggestions here, your experiences with dentists can improve. Discuss your feelings throughout your next visit so that your local dentist can provide more ideas.