Somewhere between 12% and 25% of people suffer from a fear of the dentist, otherwise known as dentophobia or odontophobia.
There are many causes for this widely shared fear, but there are also many ways to make trips to the dentist’s office easier on anxious patients.
Talk about Your Nerves
Dentists see a lot of patients who experience anxiety in their office. Many have strategies in mind for those patients who dread their appointment. Knowing that you’re prone to nervousness in the dentist’s chair, the dentist and their team can work to help alleviate your anxiety.
Sharing your anxiety with friends or family can have multiple benefits. By letting someone know about your fears, you might find out you’re not alone, and your friends may have some helpful tips for you.
Filling in someone, like a significant other or close family member, can also help keep you accountable for going to the dentist regularly. Patients who experience dental anxiety often avoid check-ups, and don’t see their dentist until they have a serious problem. By the time they come back in, they may need more extensive (and stressful) treatments.
Need another reason to make your appointment? Find out why you should visit the dentist before the end of the year.
Cover Those Anxious Ears
Before you head to your next appointment, grab your headphones. In the waiting room, your favorite comedian or a funny podcast can help you loosen up and relax before going in.
A book on tape or soothing music can help ease your nerves in the chair. Just check with your dentist to make sure your headphones won’t get in the way!
This technique helps in two ways. First, you hear less of the tools, which can sound much more menacing than they really are. Second, music you enjoy or a good story can distract you from where you are. Use the narrator’s voice as something to focus on, instead of the unfamiliar sensations you’re experiencing.
Ask for Information
Oftentimes, the cause of dental anxiety is fear of the unknown. When a dentist is working on your teeth, you can’t see what they’re doing, and this adds another layer of stress for some people. Speak up if you’re feeling nervous and ask your dentist what they’re going to do. Even a simplified explanation might be enough to put your mind at ease.
If you think about it, it’s completely natural to be afraid of strange, pointy tools being aimed at your face. Dental tools can be intimidating in their looks alone, and even more so when you don’t know what they’re going to be used for. Ask your dentist what the different tools he has out will accomplish. Some dentists are willing to let you hold their tools to get a better look to decrease your anxiety.
Another great way to feel more comfortable at the dentist is to get to know the professionals working with you! A familiar face can make all the difference. Learn more about the GPS Dental team, or get to know Dr. Skrobanek. Then, give GPS dental a call to schedule your next dental visit at (210) 633-3477.
Before you know it the holidays will be here and another year will have made its mark. But before this happens make sure you take care of a few timely matters, such as visiting your dentist. GPS Dental explains a few reasons why it’s in your best interest to schedule a dentist visit before the holidays get here.
Dental Benefits Expire
Most dental insurance plans span the entire calendar year, meaning that your insurance deductibles reset January 1st. Fitting in your denal visit before the end of the year can help save you hundreds or thousands of dollars thanks to your insurance company. If you wait until early next year you risk having to spend large amounts of money out-of-pocket for your visit. Timing really is everything.
Protect Your Pearly Whites
Visiting your doctor now for routine cleanings and dental work can also benefit you by preventing tooth decay and other issues that can be painful and expensive if left untreated for long lengths of time. With all the over indulgences and sweets we consume around the holidays, it’s better to take care of any dental issues now before they flare up.
Look Your Best
The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, and usually there are a lot of fun parties and get togethers. Look your best and smile with abandon! Whether it’s taking care of dental work like caps or veneers that you started earlier in the year, or just whitening your teeth professionally in office, don’t put it off. Schedule your appointment today and prepare your mouth for all of the smiling that you’ll be doing over the holidays. Plus, a healthy smile looks great in holiday pictures.
Now you can also give the gift of oral health to someone you love! Gift certificates are available in any denomination.
Make sure to book your appointment early though. There is an end of the year rush with students coming back from college, and kids on school breaks for the winter season. Call the most trusted dentist office in San Antonio, GPS Dental at (210) 633-3477.
The summer flew by, and now it’s back to school for kids and the return of a more normal schedule. This is also a popular time of the year for families to resume their bi-annual dental checkups. To start the school year off on the right foot, and in a healthy manner, here are four surefire tips to make sure your upcoming dental checkup with kids goes smoothly.
Make a Plan
With a busy summer schedule full of fun, it’s easy to let the details of a new school year slip your mind until it creeps up on you. And there is no shame in that, we have all been guilty. But putting off scheduling your kids’ dental checkup can make it more difficult to schedule your appointment. We see a lot of patients around the back-to-school rush, and typically see a schedule backup, as any healthcare office does this time of the year. So keep that in mind when scheduling.
Pick the Right Time for Your Appointment
Speaking of scheduling, also make sure you pick a time that’s right for your child. Steer clear of scheduling a time of day when your child is typically cranky or irritable to avoid a meltdown in the office. We want your kids to enjoy their visits with us. It helps encourage them to see dental care as a good thing.
Promote Age-Appropriate Dental Habits Year-Round
Encouraging good dental habits at home all year-round is the best way to ensure easy office visits. A cavity free visit is the best type of visit. Parents can help make this a reality by encouraging your kids to brush twice daily for two minutes, as well as flossing once a day.
Ages 6 & Under: Let them take the reigns, but be there to jump in when needed. Kids on the upper end of this range may have molars coming in that they don’t know how to care for just yet.
Ages 7-12: Kids these ages know what they’re doing when it comes to dental care, but they don’t always want to do it. At this stage it’s important to nudge your kids to stay consistent with their habits.
Ages 12-18: Kids these ages may not have grown up with a lot of cavities, which is great, but at this point it could cause some issues. Teens get set in their ways, and may not be doing a more thorough job even though they may have more freedom in their diets at these ages (consuming sugary drinks and candy at school when mom and dad aren’t around). This can lead to cavities and set them up for dental issues now and in their early adulthood.
Set an Example
Even if you are a bit nervous when headed into the dentist office, try to keep that anxiety in check around your kids. Kids are led by their parents’ example, and if you walk into the office cool and collected, they will take note and follow suit. It’s a small thing that can go a long way in keeping your bi-annual visits with us smoother.