The fear of going to the dentist is known as dentophobia. And it’s something that so many people seem to exhibit. While some just have general anxiety about going to the dentist, others are absolutely paralyzed from fear.
In fact, this may be one of the factors for why half of the world’s population struggle with dental health.
So why are people so afraid of someone who is only there to help them? And how can we calm these anxieties? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
Why Are People Afraid of the Dentist?
There are several reasons as to why you might shake in your boots when the word dentist is mentioned. First, it may the thought of the dentist itself. When we go to the dentist, we sit back in a chair and are absolutely helpless as this masked person messes around in our mouths.
And if you had a negative experience with one particular dentist as a child, you might take that experience with you for the rest of your life. Or maybe you never learned good oral hygiene as a kid.
Pain is another big reason why people fear the dentist. A dentist might make an honest mistake or you just might have a sensitive tooth. But neither of these excuses do much for coping with harsh pain in the mouth.
And there’s also the media. So many television, film, and book characters are terrified of the dentist. If you’re exposed to enough of these characters as a child, you too might take on some fear of the helpful dentist.
How to Calm Your Dentophobia
A person’s dentophobia can range from full-on paralysis and panic attacks to just some butterflies in the stomach. But no matter what your anxiety level is, we’ve got a remedy for you.
If you absolutely refuse to go to the dentist under any circumstance, then it’s recommended that you visit a psychotherapist. You may want to undergo behavior modification therapy. This is when you use therapy to change a negative reaction or behavior to a stimulus.
Your therapist may expose to dentist imagery and ideas in order to help you get over your fears. Hypnotherapy and psychoanalysis may also be very helpful.
2. Listen to Music
If you can handle stepping into the dentist’s office but hate having to think about what’s going on, then ask your dentist if you can listen to music. Music is a great way to distract yourself. Whether it’s heavy metal, classical, or pop, focusing on the music will stop you from worry about what’s happening in your mouth.
And if the dentist doesn’t let you listen to music, we recommend you find another dentist who will.
3. Tell the Dentist You’re Scared
Your dentist isn’t going to know that you have anxiety unless you tell them. Letting them know that going to the dentist makes you uncomfortable can let them give you a more comfortable experience. They may go gentler on you or ask how you’re feeling throughout the process so that they don’t do anything that makes you anxious.
And weirdly enough, people who visit the dentist more often actually experience less anxiety.
The Importance of Knowing How to Calm Your Dentophobia
By knowing how to calm your dentophobia, you will be able to sit through your cleanings like a champ. Remember, admitting you’re anxious is the first step to overcoming your anxiety. So don’t be afraid to tell you ever you have to tell in order to get over it.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in dentistry? Contact us for more information!