8 tips to overcoming anxiety about going to the dentist

  • Dentists are around to take care of your teeth. Although you might take your teeth for granted, they’re pretty important. You use them when you speak, smile and when you eat. It’s safe to say these are all pretty pleasant activities.But for some reason many people still dislike going to the dentist and even fear it. According to Harvard Health Publications, between 13% and 24% of people all over the world are afraid to go.

    Some people feel anxiety because of a bad experience they had in the past or because they start to anticipate discomfort and fear that everything could go wrong. However, modern medicine has advanced incredibly. Even the most dreaded procedures (we’re talking to you, root canals), have been tamed, so there’s really no rational reason to fear going.To keep your gums and teeth healthy, follow these 8 tips to overcome the anxiety of going to the dentist.

    To keep your gums and teeth healthy, follow these 8 tips to overcome the anxiety of going to the dentist.

  • 1. Be honest with your dentist

    The first step to building trust, reducing your anxiety and improving the overall experience is to simply be honest. Tell your dentist and the staff how you feel and your concerns. They aren’t scary monsters – they’re humans, and probably have fears of their own. They’ll do the best they can to make you feel more comfortable.

  • 2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

    Often, fear stems from the unknown. You may start to try and fill in the foggy future by creating narratives about what mighthappen. Usually, your mind spirals into worst-case scenarios, even if they are actually very unlikely to happen in real life.

    Instead of letting your mind wander into the dark cavities of the dental world, ask your dental assistant and dentist to walk you through what they’ll do during the procedure before you even go in. Once you’re there, ask them to explain what they’re doing as they work, too.

    You might even be surprised just how much you’ll learn and how happy your dentist is to tell you what all their equipment is for. Pretty soon the procedure will seem routine, maybe even a bit repetitive, and less like your worst nightmare.

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