Overcoming Dental Fears and Anxieties
Many of us feel nervous about going to the dentist, or any doctor for that matter. For some, though, this anxiety is replaced with deep and abiding fear. Perhaps they had a traumatic experience related to doctors, but often, people don’t know why they fear the dentist. The perception of dental tools seems to play a role in how folks report these fears. For a long time now, cinema and literature have played on dental phobias and overlaid the image of rogue dentists as torturers, using often archaic dental tools to add to the frightful ambiance. Think of movies like ‘Sweeney Todd’ or ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
The truth of dentistry is something far gentler and much less exciting than what these colorful entertainments portray. If you or someone in your care wrestles with dental fear, then this can be a useful reminder. Beyond keeping in mind the discrepancy between how your Tulsa dentist looks in real life versus in your fears there are a few techniques you can use to help get past the fear and get into that Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment.
The mind has a harder time experiencing symptoms of anxiety or fear when the body is already relaxed. There are several ways to get your body to this state; experiment with different approaches and see what works best for you. This could be as simple as listening to calming music while engaging in prayer or meditation, or it could be that you go for a walk or run before scheduling or attending your Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment. For some, reading a familiar book can achieve this relaxation. If all else fails and the fear and anxiety are too intense, then it can be a good idea to ask your Tulsa dentist or even your primary care physician for medicinal advice.
These coping techniques tend to be more functional and accessible for adults. If it’s your child’s dental fear that you’re trying to cope with, then a different approach may be required. With kids, you can reframe an event more readily than with adults. This might mean making a game out of going to the dentist where the child wins ‘prizes’ for facing their fears. It could involve arranging for a fun afternoon with your kid before going in for their Tulsa teeth cleaning.
Whatever method you use, it’s crucial to overcome dental fears. Not only is dentistry safer than many forms of medicine, but we also need it on a much more regular basis. Proper at-home oral care is essential, but even with the best home care, there are things our mouths need that we can’t provide on our own. Without the aid of our Tulsa dentist, we have no way of removing the tartar that hardens on our teeth. Proper care will remove most of the plaque and therefore prevent most of the tartar buildup that forms from it, but it won’t get it all, and once plaque forms it takes the tools and expertise of a dentist to remove.
Don’t let fear get in-between you and your health, schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment today!