What do spiders, elevators and dentists have in common?
Give up? They are 3 of the more common phobias people have to live with. Dentophobia is a real thing that affects many people around the world, every day. We can thank movies like “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Marathon Man” for the perpetuation of dental pain. These of course are not examples of legitimate dentistry but they speak to the pain that people fear.
Avoiding the dentist is definitely not the right way to get over your fear. In fact, avoiding the dentist can make your fear worse; mostly because skipping out on regular visits can cause a minor problem that requires minor care to turn into a major problem that requires major work. If you suffer from the fear of a dentist, here are a few tips to help make your next trip to the dentist a pleasant one:
Control your breathing – Remember to take slow natural breathes. If that doesn’t work, take a deep breath and hold it in while sucking in your abdomen as much as you can. When it is no longer possible to hold your breath, let all your breath flow out smoothly through your mouth and with it you will release your tension.
Communication – Let your dentist know about your fears prior to beginning the procedure. Doing this will allow both you and your dentist time to create an approach that will help you be more comfortable.
Familiarize yourself – Knowing the process will keep you from stressing out over unexpected sounds and tools which will help put your mind at ease.
Massage – Getting a massage before your appointment helps relax your muscle tissue and increase the flow of blood and oxygen in your body. This will help you to stay calm during your dental procedure. Some dental offices provide hand massages to help patient’s relax.
Entertain yourself – Listen to your favorite music or, if your dentist has a TV in the room, put on a good movie.
Visiting the dentist is something we need to do on a routine basis. Keep your mouth healthy and mind at ease by following these simple tips. If these don’t work, try visiting a dental spa where you can get your teeth cleaned and a facial!
Photo Credit: www.worlddental.org