Five Tips for Conquering Your Fear of the Dentist

January 31, 2022

Does the thought of visiting the dentist make you cringe? Do you put off making appointments for checkups or cleanings? Do you ever ignore tooth sensitivity or hope that tooth pain will just go away on its own?

fear of dentistIf you have a fear of the dentist’s office, you certainly aren’t alone. Whether you’ve had a bad experience in the past, are afraid of needles, or just hate the sound of the drill, you shouldn’t let your oral health suffer. Here’s how to overcome your fears and anxieties so you can prevent permanent damage to your teeth and gums.

1: Take Things One Step at a Time

Sitting in a dentist’s chair may make you feel extremely vulnerable, but remember that you’re the one in control. Ask your dentist or hygienist to explain the next steps of each procedure before they begin. If you’re hesitant to undergo standard treatments, such as anesthetic injections, ask about the alternatives available.

2: Tell Us About Your Fears

If your past experiences with other dentists left a bad taste in your mouth, or if you have a fear of needles or a fear of the drill, let us know! Understanding where your fears come from can help us avoid triggering a negative response, and we’ll do our best to make your visit more relaxing.

3: Know That It’s Okay to Feel Anxious or Embarrassed

You’re not the only one with an exceptionally wet mouth, a strong gag reflex, or sudden panic attacks. Don’t let a fear of feeling embarrassed keep you away from the dentist—you can rest assured that we’ve seen it all. Our office is a judgment-free zone, and we want to help you to feel safe and comfortable when you visit.

4: Bring Noise-Canceling Headphones

If you need cavities filled, and the sound of the drill really bothers you, bring noise-canceling headphones to your appointment. Playing an audiobook, relaxing music, or favorite podcast will help take your mind off your fears. It will also make the time pass more quickly. Before you know it, you’ll be walking out with a brighter smile.

5: Get Support from a Friend

If you find yourself canceling appointments due to anxiety, ask a friend for help. If they can take you to your appointment and pick you up afterward (if the office allows during the pandemic), it will be much easier to follow through. Plus, they can offer the emotional support and encouragement you need to ease some of your fears.

Don’t Let a Fear of the Dentist Affect Your Health

Putting off your appointments and ignoring dental pain will only lead to bigger problems down the road. Early detection is vital for preventing gum disease and stopping cavities before they grow worse. Getting an exam and cleaning every six months can actually help you spend less time in the chair! At Flatirons Family Dental, we’ll do everything we can to make your visits as painless and anxiety-free as we possibly can. Call 720-304-3267 or schedule an appointment online with our gentle, attentive team today!