How To Deal With Dental Anxiety So You Don't Skip Your Dental Cleanings
Regular teeth cleanings are vital for the health of your teeth and gums. By avoiding the dentist, you risk cavities and gum disease. Some dental problems can be prevented with good oral hygiene that includes dental cleanings. However, when you have dental anxiety, you may have a hard time forcing yourself to go to the dentist. Here's why you don't want to skip your dental cleanings and how to cope when you have a fear of going to the dentist.
Why Teeth Cleaning Is Important
When you skip having your teeth cleaned, tartar builds up on your teeth. The tartar then irritates your gums and that leads to the beginnings of gum disease. When your gums are irritated, they bleed when you brush and your gums may look red and swollen. Once gingivitis and gum disease set in, regular dental cleanings won't fix the problem. You'll probably need deep cleaning, which is more expensive and more difficult to endure. By having regular cleanings, you can often prevent the need for more expensive dental work later.
How To Handle Teeth Cleaning When You Have Anxiety
First, talk to your dentist about the problem, because your dentist might have a solution. Maybe you don't understand what the cleaning entails, and a simple explanation and looking at the instruments used might put your mind at rest. Your dentist might recommend nitrous oxide gas that relaxes you and helps you be less anxious during the cleaning. Try to identify the fear you have. It might be the sound of a drill, needles, or the smells associated with a dentist office. By knowing your teeth won't be drilled and you won't need a shot, you might be able to relax for your cleaning.
Also, think about bringing music or relaxation recordings to listen to during the treatment if you need to block out the noises associated with a dental office. It may also help to practice relaxation techniques before you go for your appointment. Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to arrive. If you're stressed about work or traffic, you may give in to your fears much easier.
When your dentist and hygienist understand your fears, they can adjust their chairside routines so they don't do anything to alarm you. While going to the dentist may seem like a huge deal to you, your dentist and hygienist are used to people with dental fears and anxieties, so they know how to treat you to make the teeth cleaning experience as pleasant as possible. If you have a severe phobia, you may even consider seeing a therapist who can use techniques to help you overcome it so you can take your cleanings and any other dental work you may need in the future without extreme anxiety.
Contact a company that offers teeth cleaning near you in order to learn more.