You’re on your back, your mouth agape but unable to utter a single word; you feel you may be a little drugged; there’s a bright light being beaming down upon you; as you squint to make out what’s happening, you see a masked figure leaning towards you, holding a tube in one hand and a sharp, shiny object in another…
Sound like a scene from a scary movie? While it may as well be a scene from horror movie for some, what it really is, is a description of one very terrified person’s visit to the dentist!
Fear of Going To The Dentist
The fear of the dentist
The fear of going to the dentist is a very common one, affecting people of all ages. So much so, that there’s even a name for it – dentophobia.
- Dentophobia can occur for a variety of reasons:
- For some, it may be due to a past bad experience, the memory of which has not left them.
- For others, it may be because they are prone to gagging and having someone poke around their mouths gives them the feeling they might choke.
- Another reason for developing dentophobia is because most Indians only visit a dentist when they’re already experiencing acute pain. Thus, there’s a strong and unpleasant association between pain and the dentist’s clinic.
- Also, until some time ago, many of the procedures administered by a dentist involved some degree of pain and the fear of visiting just increased.
Tips to reduce your fear of the dentist
- The best thing you can do to reduce your fear of the dentist is to go there for regular exams and not just when you’re already suffering from an oral problem. It is recommended that you visit your dentist once every 6 months. This is also a great way to check for cavities that can be fixed with a simple filling, as against a more complicated root canal procedure.
- If you’re going to the dentist for the first time, make sure your first visit is a consultation and does not involve any surgical procedures. This will give you a chance to get comfortable with the dentist and understand what he or she is recommending for you.
- Modern dentistry has really evolved from what it used to be just a few decades ago. A comfortable and hygienic chair, sophisticated equipment like cameras that allow you to see what’s going on in your mouth, soothing music etc., aid in making you more comfortable and taking some of that fear away.
- Maintaining good oral health between visits is of utmost importance. Brushing twice a day with Colgate Total toothpaste gives your mouth the protection it needs against plaque, cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, tartar build-up and surface stains. Regular brushing along with eating foods that are good for your teeth will help maintain good teeth and your visits to the dentist should hopefully conclude with an A grade for oral health!
Maintaining good oral health and choosing your dentist with care will go a long way in reducing your fear of the dentist. So good luck and banish that fear!
Got more tips on how not to be afraid of the dentist? Share them with us!