How to Conquer Dental Anxiety
If you react to a dental appointment with fear, anxiety, and stress, you are not alone. Nearly 80 percent of the population has some type of dental phobia, yet they all have teeth to preserve. WEBMD.com has reported that nine to 20 percent of the American population avoid going to the dentist because of their fear. Overcoming your dental anxiety is essential to your overall health as oral hygiene including professional cleanings and check ups are essential to your well-being.
Getting over the fear is crucial as the longer dental care is put off, the more painful and expensive a tooth condition can become. According to the American Dental Hygienist Association nearly 75 percent of American adults have gum disease and are not aware of the situation. Those ignorant of their dental health are putting themselves at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections and tooth loss. Pregnant women need to be especially careful, as those with periodontitis are eight times more likely to give birth to premature low-birth weight babies.
Avoiding the dentist should not be considered an option and the American Dental Association (ADA) has some tips to help those with dental phobias to lie back, relax and open wide:
- Express Yourself: Those who are tense and filled with fear can pass on their negative vibes to everyone, including their dentist. There is nothing wrong with admitting to your dentist you are scared, as with that knowledge, they will work diligently to ensure that you have the best experience possible.
- Schedule Wisely: Anxiety sufferers may have a heightened experience if they feel their dental care is being rushed. When you call to make your dental appointment, feel free to explain your situation to the receptionist and specifically ask to schedule an appointment at the most leisurely time of day for the dentist.
- Plug in and Drop Out: The ADA suggests that often the sound of a dentist drill or other equipment is what triggers off anxiety. Bring a portable music player loaded with your favorite music and focus your energy on those sounds instead.