If you’ve ever experienced dentophobia, you’ll know how nerves can easily get the better of you, making you miss your dental appointment. We’ve done some thinking and some research, to produce this list of key factors that will help you feel more confident about your dental appointment.
Try out these top tips when preparing for your next dental appointment and you’ll feel much better for it. We have confidence in you!
Starting with the most effective tip – if you are feeling nervous about visiting the dentist, it’s best to get ahead of it if you can. If you are able to turn some of that nervous energy into high functioning planning, picking up the phone to speak with the dental practice will do you a world of good.
Go ahead and explain that you are nervous and you’ll find that the dental practice is extremely understanding and has several steps in place to support you. That’s because a huge portion of patients are nervous, so the dentist needs to have a good game plan ready to go! For example, during our research for this article we saw that The Vallance Dental Centre has staff that are trained on supporting nervous patients.
This is one that’s easy to recommend, but difficult to stick to! Though, it’s super important and crucial to battling dental nerves. Having access to limitless amounts of information is amazing for most cases, however when it comes to reading about healthcare, it is a can of worms that you do not want open.
The unfathomable amount of information online means that there is a huge amount of room for error as a reader, by misplacing relevance. Chances are, you are diagnosing yourself incorrectly and jumping to worse case scenarios when you are conducting searches out of fear. Trust us, it’s better to wait and speak to a professional in real life, for your unique set of teeth specifically.
Similar to the above, overthinking is a sure way to make your nerves worse. If you do catch yourself cycling worse case scenarios at night, or thinking of IF’s, take check of what you are doing to prevent it from carrying on. The thing is, you can’t control the outcome or prepare for the outcome if you do not know what the outcome is going to be. So thinking endlessly about maybe’s is not worth your time. Wait until you have the hard facts before drawing any conclusions.
You’ve probably done this before, and so you know how much it helps. Having someone with you when you are making a trip to the dentist can be a huge factor in decreasing nerves. As we get older it gets more difficult to meet up with friends and family due to life’s commitments, so our advice is to plan far in advance so that your support network can book a day off work, or plan around it with lots of notice.
Have you ever booked a 2pm appointment? It’s got to be the worst time! Because you’re sat around all morning waiting for the hours to crawl by, and once you are done with the appointment, you don’t have much time left to do anything in your day.
We’d strongly suggest getting an appointment slot that’s nice and early. That way, you have less time to think and more time to enjoy your day, feeling proud of your visit to the dentist. This is a really crucial step, so give it a go!
There are many reasons why people are nervous at the dentist, one of those factors may be the sounds of machinery. A simple way to get around this is to stick some ABBA in your headphones, dentists are very familiar with patients doing this and will be cool about it. We’d recommend some wireless headphones if you have them, but as long as you keep your wires out of the way then you’re all good. Nervous about wires now? Valid point! Have a chat with the dentist before work begins, they can tape them to the chair or your cheek etc. to keep them nice and clear of any work.
If you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth or gums and don’t like the dentist because you are embarrassed, firstly, don’t be – dentists won’t care because it gives them work, that’s exactly what they trained for!
But more importantly, a great way to counter this is by keeping up with your oral hygiene between appointments, you’ll feel a lot more chill if you know that you’ve done a good job of keeping your teeth clean. But just to address that again, don’t be embarrassed about your teeth – they’ve seen far, far worse!
Whilst it may sound extreme to some at first, therapy is a fantastic way to effectively deal with dental anxiety. If you have found that none of the above is helping, seeking help from an expert is a no brainer. Between your therapist, you and your dentist – you’ll be feeling much more confident in no time.
Speaking of confidence, it’s important to remember that it’s a long journey and not something to be rushed. We want to reiterate that dental work is pretty weird, and so it’s only natural that you’re feeling nervous.
Start with a check up, split dental work into several small appointments, heck, even just pop in to sit in the waiting room for 5 minutes at a time. You’ll be surprised how these small steps start to add up and give you amazing confidence.
We hope that you’re feeling inspired to try out some of these effective tips. Get in, get it done and you’ll be better for it. Just remember that you’re not alone in feeling nervous about the dentist and it’s totally fine.
Got any tips of your own? Get in touch to let us know! We’d love to hear what works for you.