Dental work is common throughout life. You may have had extractions and braces to deal with overcrowding when you were young, the average American has 11 fillings in their lifetimes, and most of us have got crowns, bridges, and other intensive work to look forward to as we get older. You may also choose cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening to boost your confidence and make you proud to smile.
But that doesn’t mean that we like it. Fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias in adults, and even those of us that aren’t scared feel a little anxious before treatment.
Continuing to visit the dentist, no matter how you feel about them, is essential. Dental work can minimize the risks of infection and the growth of bacteria. It can keep your mouth healthy as you get older, and even spot the signs of other health issues.
If you’ve got a big appointment coming up, here’s a look at some of the things that you can do to prepare.
Find the Right Dentist
The right dentist is essential, and they certainly aren’t all equal. Think about your specific needs. Do you need a family dentist that can offer comprehensive care for your whole household? Or someone that specializes in cosmetic dentistry? Either way, you’ll want someone that is close to home and easy to get to, with opening hours to suit your lifestyle.
Another thing that you should look for is a dentist who offers education. You want someone who doesn’t just look after your teeth but teaches you how to take care of them at home. Someone that explains what they are doing and why, and offers you valuable advice as well as treatment. Finding the right dentists can make trips much less scary.
Keep Up With Regular Checkups
Often our fears are compounded when we get out of practice. Many people are guilty of only visiting their dentist when something is wrong. They stay away and miss regular appointments and only make an appointment when they are in pain. Then, they begin to associate the dentist with pain and trauma.
Keep up with regular appointments, and you are less likely to be scared. You are also more likely to have good teeth and less likely to need invasive procedures as you get older. Be sure to also contact this oral surgeon for important dental procedure guidance in paramus for the best services.
Address Your Fears
Ask yourself what, specifically, you are scared of? Most people with a dentist phobia aren’t frightened of the practitioner themselves, or even the treatment. Some people are afraid of the sounds or smells, or even the injection to stop the pain.
When you know what you are scared of, you can speak to your dentist about ways to reduce your fear. Could you wear headphones to avoid the sounds? Could your dentist play music to make you more comfortable? You won’t know until you ask.
Ask Lots of Questions
We tend to be more comfortable with things when we go into them not knowing what to expect. If your dentist has found a problem during a routine checkup and recommended treatment, ask them more about it. Ask them to explain your treatment options, how long it will take if it will hurt, and anything else that you are wondering about.
But, try not to Google it when you get home. The internet is filled with horror stories, which may well make your anxiety worse.
Make Sure You Understand Costs
Another thing that you should ask about is the cost and any associated costs that you should be aware of. Worrying about money is the last thing that you need when you are preparing for dental work, so get these questions out of the way first.
Ask About Aftercare and Recovery
Knowing what to expect after the procedure can help with recovery. Will you be in pain? Will you need time off work? Should you avoid hot food and drink for the rest of the day? Can you take over the counter pain relief? Will you need further appointments? Will you be able to brush your teeth normally? Knowing all of this will help you to do everything that you can to aid recovery.
Take Care Of Yourself
The better your health and wellbeing, the faster your recovery will be. Take care of yourself, get plenty of exercise, and rest and eat a healthy diet in the run-up to your appointment. You may also want to add a vitamin supplement.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The night before your treatment, try to get an early night. If you feel tired, you are bound to be more nervous, and you might not recover as well.