Fear of the dentist is incredibly common. A survey conducted by Delta Dental found that 42% of Americans do not see a dentist as often as they would like because of anxiety or fear. That is almost half of the population. Avoiding the dentist due to fear may increase your discomfort at your next visit as you allow bigger problems to form.
Fear of the Dentist Creating Bigger Problems
Due to fear of the dentist, many will push off their regular cleanings, maybe even having years between visits. This leads to a buildup of calculus, also known as tartar. It is made up of mineralized plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food particles that builds up on teeth. We all will experience plaque on the teeth, even the best brushers and flossers!
Calculus is a result of plaque that has been left on the teeth for an extended period and has hardened. Once calculus forms, it cannot be removed by brushing or flossing and requires a hygienist to remove it.
So, if you fear the dentist and have pushed off your regular cleanings, there is no doubt that you will have calculus buildup or even excessive calculus buildup. This building up can lead to more difficulty removing it and/or even more serious problems, including gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. It can also make it more difficult to remove new plaque, further increasing the risk of dental problems.
Tips to Ease Your Fear of the Dentist
Now that you understand the importance of your regular dental visit, let’s discuss some tips to help you ease your fears.
As mentioned above, coming in regularly will make your experience more comfortable as there will likely be less calculus to remove, leading to a shorter, more pleasant regular cleaning. This also allows for any dental problems to be caught early while they are more easily treated or even prevented.
Let us know if you are fearful. We understand the fear and anxiety and are no strangers in helping ease these fears.
Focusing on your breath and breathing in and out the nose is a great way to feel physically more relaxed. Keep it simple – inhale for a count of 4 slowly and exhale for a count of 4 slowly. Focus on this breathing technique before and during your visit.
Bring your phone and headphones, and feel free to listen to music, an audiobook, or a podcast to keep your mind focused on something else.
Also known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide may be used to help patients feel more comfortable and relaxed during their procedure.
We are Not Scary
Remember, we are all normal people just like you. We all have anxiety and fears, and we aim to help make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Get to know us today, book your visit.