Oral hygiene is immensely important to your overall well-being. It cannot be neglected, and a reliable routine is needed to maintain a quality standard of personal care.
Part of that schedule means visiting the dentist for a check-up and cleans and treatments at intermittent periods. For some people, this is easier said than done. If you experience anxiety when visiting these facilities, you are not alone. Unfortunately, high dental fear affects about one in seven Australian adults, a significant minority.
These feelings cannot be allowed to last for very long. Otherwise, they pose the very real risk of undermining your quality of life and threatening your general health. Of course, the prospect of overcoming these complicated emotions might seem too challenging to comprehend.
Take solace that a path forward is available and recovery is possible. Keep reading for tips on overcoming the dental anxiety and phobias you are experiencing.
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Know What You Are Feeling
Having anxiety and phobias can muddle the rational parts of your brain. Instead of having coherent thoughts, you may find that they are scrambled and almost indecipherable.
You might know that you are afraid but cannot place a specific reason as to why. If you are experiencing feelings of this intensity, taking the time to deconstruct your anxiety and know what you are going through will help. The sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can work toward resolving it.
When it comes to dental anxiety and phobias, your mind may perceive numerous problems where there are none in reality. You might be nervous about relinquishing control or have trust issues with your practitioner. Perhaps the tools set you on edge as well? Be honest with yourself and try to get to the heart of these matters.
Deconstructing your fears may also be an empowering process. It shows that you have risen above all the harmful conjecture and have taken steps toward thinking more logically and constructively.
Some people assume that anxiety needs to be ignored as best as possible. Still, after you have identified its cause, the next best thing you can do is speak up.
Phobias might seem silly when internalized and subject to your sense of scrutiny. However, if you vocalize them, you may find that loved ones around you will take your concerns seriously and support you. Additionally, mental well-being has been on many people’s minds lately, so you may even find that others will relate to you and that your bond will be strengthened.
When you visit your dentist, you should discuss how you feel with them. They will have dealt with similar patients before and know what to say to put you at ease. Remember, they are well trained to communicate with their patients sensitively and empathetically. There will be no judgements, and they can recommend viable courses of action for you to consider.
Getting matters off your chest may bring a lot of relief too. There is a lot to celebrate about being honest with yourself and others. You would be conquering any feelings of shame in doing this, and that is an achievement in itself – and one that you should fully immerse yourself in.
Find a Quality Dental Service
Not every dentist will be equipped to tackle your concerns head-on. Take the time to search for a practitioner who will gladly take extra precautions to keep you safe.
If you need a caring dentist in Brisbane, then Pure Dentistry may help. As well as providing many different treatments for cosmetic or health purposes, they also use things like laughing gas to make you more comfortable. It puts you in conscious sedation quickly and easily with no needles involved. It can also help to light levels of pain. Local anaesthesia can be offered as well.
When you go to the dentist, it might feel like you are being subjected to a very specific and uncomfortable experience. You should know that flexible treatment options are available, and the levels of pain and discomfort you feel can be carefully managed and controlled by experts. The dentists themselves want to make sure you are happy with the treatment provided, so keep in mind that everybody is on your side.
Unless there is a big backlog of patients to get through, you should have some flexibility of when your dentist can see you. It would help if you used this to your advantage.
For example, you could also book your appointment at a more convenient hour for you. If you want to dodge the masses and have a quieter time, a midday slot Monday-Friday might help with that. Should you have pressing work commitments that add to your feelings of stress, booking your appointment after the day is over may ease those feelings somewhat.
When you have anxiety over any issue, it can rob you of your agency. Know that you can still exercise a degree of control over situations involving the dentist. You can strategize and tailor things more to your liking and mitigate the unease you feel in your life that way.
Use the Waiting Period Well
When you arrive at a dentist, your feelings of anxiety may surge the second you walk through the door. It is the time when you need to be most vigilant in combatting your unease.
After filling out any necessary forms, you may have a small window to sit and wait until you are called. Instead of twiddling your thumbs and speculating on all the possible things that can go wrong, use this time to calm yourself.
Many options are available here. You could listen to some music, read a book you brought with you, message friends on your phone, or get immersed in your favourite podcast. So long as you are not disturbing others, it would help to calm yourself down however you can.
Think About Self-Care
Try not to view the dentist as the sole window for self-care. Under the best circumstances, it can simply be a place where you can get a check-up or happily polish your smile.
Of course, this depends on how well you look after yourself. If you consume many fizzy drinks and sugary foods, your dentist appointments will likely be longer and more involved. Therefore, it only makes sense to change your diet to fewer corrective measures are needed.
The same mode of thought can be applied to your teeth cleaning routine. Brush often and well with a fluoride paste, and take care to use floss and mouthwash regularly. Being thorough will prevent discolouring, cavities, gum disease, and an onslaught of other dental issues. Once again, it will mean you are less likely to require any procedures that make you nervous.
Even after a check-up, your paediatric dentist may recommend specific courses of action for you to take to improve your oral hygiene. Listen to them attentively. For instance, they may notice plaque build-up on particular areas of your teeth that are hard to reach. Heed any advice or warnings that they offer so that these problems do not manifest into something worse.
Though dental anxiety and phobias can be debilitating, it is possible to overcome these feelings. Communicate the problems you are experiencing and surround yourself with supportive people and professionals. After that, you may find it easier to be more proactive in managing these matters and to lead a healthier lifestyle.