How to Overcome the Fear of the Dentist
If the thought of sitting in the dentist chair brings you out in a cold sweat, you are not alone. Many adults have this fear and it can impact severely on their oral health.
Anxiety about attending for a dental check-up can range from mild concern regarding certain treatments to a full-blown phobia about setting foot inside a dental practice.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can overcome your fears to ensure you can keep on top of your oral health without trembling at the thought of attending a check-up.
What to do when your child is afraid of going for treatment
Both children and adults can be afraid to have their teeth checked and when it is your child that is concerned, it can be extremely stressful for you as their parent as well as for the child.
The best way to allow children to have positive associations with going for a check-up is to begin taking them when they are very young. This should be even before they have any teeth and regular attendance will make sure they become accustomed to the environment.
A common mistake that many parents make is to pass their fears onto the child. Refrain from regaling your children with tales of how you hated getting your braces fitted and remember that dentistry has changed enormously and continues to discover ways to make the experience as stress-free as possible.
Younger children will enjoy being rewarded with the stickers that so many practices give after attending an appointment and older children will be so accustomed to going for check-ups that they will not associate the experience with anything negative.
Why do adults fear the dentist?
As a grown-up, you may feel a little foolish that you are still so afraid of going to get your teeth checked out. This fear likely stems from childhood memories that are still very vivid.
So, what can be done to eradicate these fears or, at least, to make the whole experience a lot more pleasant?
- First and foremost, do not stop attending dental appointments or visits with your dental hygienist. Should you leave going until you have a painful problem you may risk infections or extreme difficulties that require medication and ongoing treatment.
- The second very important point to consider is that treatments have advanced considerably, even in the last decade and every health professional just wants the best for you whatever treatment you require.
- Speak with your local dental professionals about your fears and ask questions about treatments including in the use of sedation for tackling pain anxiety.
There are several sources of support for people in Edinburgh and indeed the whole of Scotland, and The NHS Inform Scotland website provides extensive advice for adults who fear attending their dental appointments.
The site features helpful tips such as agreeing a signal should you need a breather from treatment or using relaxation techniques to help you conquer your fears.
Are you afraid to go to the Dentist? When did this fear begin? Share your story in the comments below.