People are afraid of the dentists – is a fact so well known that it can also be seen on TV shows and movies. But why is that? Well for starters you get to sit on a specialised chair with a big old contraption hovering your face. Then your mouth is opened and clamped with some machinery to stay that way.
By now your heart is pounding and you are sure this is some torture mechanism from medieval times. And then you might possibly be on the verge of a heart attack as you see a guy, dressed in something comparable to a law suit, coming at you with needles and cold metal utilities.
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If this is how you feel, or know someone who does, then this will be a helpful read. The initial step for resolving any particular fear is to understand why people have them in the first place.
So, Why are people Afraid of the Dentists?
Well, fear psychology 101 teaches us that anxieties to a particular something is initiated from early childhood. When we are merely a child, our bodies and brains are learning about all things harmful and dangerous. So a painful experience with the dentist at a small age can cause us to refrain from future visits.
Another amazing fact is that people are reserved from showing the internals of their mouth to strangers. Maybe this arises from a sense of being judged for bad teeth and dental hygiene. Or it can be due to a sense of vulnerability, since the mouth is an open way into our insides, literally.
Other than these, there are also many other theories in consideration like the fear of losing control to a complete stranger. Now, whatever be the case, it should be bore in mind that dentists are here to help.
They will not judge bad teeth and poor dental hygiene. They will fix it. Not all dental checkups will cause pain. For example, getting a toothache checked by a dentist will result in considerable pain. So what can be done to resolve this issue?
How to Overcome the Fear of Dentists?
Dentists are fully aware that some people are afraid of oral examination. Now they are not psychic to know for sure why you are afraid in particular. So, the first thing you can do to get over this phobia is simply talk, yes talk with your dentist. Here are some tips you can follow to get some courage.
Talk with the man (or woman). A sense of fear comes out of having a stranger check you. So having a talk with the dentist can bring about a sense of familiarity and comfort. Also getting an idea about the entire procedure, what will happen, and how long it will take, will take away uncertainty from the equation. Always remember that uncertainty is a big contributor to fear of all kinds.
Establish a ‘stop’ signal with your dentist. Sometimes in the course of the entire checkup you might feel nauseated. And your mouth will be wide open so you won’t even be able to tell your uneasiness. Hence make up a stop signal with your dentist so that you can bring the procedure to a halt if you are not feeling well. This should bring back a sense of control in the mix.
Change a dentist if you don’t like the experience. Not all people are alike and same goes for dentists. However, you will be getting the same treatment wherever you go, so choose the one where you get a sense of comfort. If you disliked your previous dental trip then switch your dentist for the next appointment, but don’t stop the appointments.
Dental care is something that should not be taken for granted. Now, fear may get in the way, but don’t let it overpower you. Follow the tips discussed above and it should bring you to a sense of ease with the coming dental appointments.