Not everyone is a fan of going to the dentist but regardless of being scared or not. You really do need to go to the dentist to check for cavities and other issues. Here’s how to help you with your fear of going to the dentist:
Find the right fit
If you don’t yet have a dentist you can tolerate, ask family and friends for recommendations. Almost more important than the dentist you choose is the hygienist, as that person will be doing most of the grunt work. I’ve had hygienists who are ... not gentle ... and I’ve had hygienists who barely touched my teeth at all. Find someone who is known for their gentle hand.
If you can’t get a solid personal recommendation, call the receptionist and ask which hygienist kids like the best. That’s the one you want.
Timing is everything
If you’re likely to stew on your upcoming appointment, schedule it for early in the day. You’ll have less time for the anticipation-stress to build and will be less likely to cancel. Plus, the earlier the appointment, the less likely that patients will be backed in the waiting room, so you’ll get in and out more quickly.
If it’s been a while since your last check-up, you’ll want to arrive early enough to fill out forms, and of course, bring any applicable insurance cards with you. But also make sure to write down any questions you have about that one extra sensitive tooth or the way you’ve been grinding your teeth at night. Your day-of nerves might cause you to forget everything you wanted to ask, so it helps to come armed with a written reminder.
If at all possible, bring a friend or loved one with you. Even if they’re simply there to sit with you in the waiting room, you’ll feel better having someone there to pat your back and say, “Honestly, it’s not that bad; you’ve got this!”
If you can’t bring support in the form of a person, bring something you can squeeze or fidget with. Stress balls are particularly helpful and will give you something other than the arms of the dental chair to grip.
Say you’re scared
If you’re nervous/scared/completely terrified, say it early and say it often. Tell the receptionist when you call to make the appointment and remind her of it when you arrive. Tell your hygienist before she gets started and go ahead and say it one last time when the dentist comes in to check on you.
They are used to caring for patients who 100% do NOT want to be there. If they know you’re uneasy, they’re likely to be a little more gentle in their approach and can maybe find a few shortcuts to 1. make sure your teeth aren’t rotting out of your head and 2. get you on your way home.
Drown out the noise
With all the advances in technology over our lifetime, I cannot fathom why dental tools still are made to sound like torture devices. That high-pitched whirring of the polisher and whooshing of the spit-sucker is the stuff of nightmares. (Okay, I’m not helping.)
Apparently, we’re stuck with these awful sounds ringing in our ears from now until forever, so your best bet is to drown it out. Bring along a pair of earbuds, plug them into your phone and blast your favorite soothing sounds. Tune into whatever will distract you from the cacophony of drill-like screeches happening around your face.
When your appointment comes to its merciful conclusion, make your next appointment on the spot. This is a good idea for a couple of reasons. Many dentists—much like dermatologists—get booked up with regular appointments WAY in advance, so it’s best to claim your spot. But more importantly, you won’t have to agonize in six months about whether to do this all over again; the decision will have already been made.
And if you liked your hygienist, make sure to request an appointment with the same one for next time.
Cosmo Insurance Agency is an independent insurance agency serving surrounding communities in New Jersey. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating the latest in technology-based tools and laws on healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance and finance, we keep our clients up-to-date with the plans that encompass all of their needs, whether it is individual or group insurance.
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