The horror stories surrounding dentist visits can make anyone blanch at the idea of going. These terrifying myths are spread among friends, families, and colleagues and can cause people to avoid going to the dentist, even if they are in pain or badly in need of treatment.
According to Colgate, 9 to 15 percent of Americans are afraid of the dentist and refuse to go. Sadly, this refusal to properly care for your teeth can lead to other health issues and more long-term health problems. Putting aside your dental health now can also lead to painful and expensive surgery later in life.
Visiting the dentist regularly is important for your overall health and learning about the myths surrounding dental visits can help you overcome some of your fears. With the realization that the following common fears are in fact myths, you can stop avoiding the dentist and get the care you need for a healthy smile.
DON’T LET THE SURROUNDING MYTHS ABOUT DENTAL VISITS STOP YOU FROM GETTING THE NECESSARY DENTAL HYGIENE
Myth 1: The dentist will be disgusted by the state of my mouth and judge me.
Dentists are trained professionals that see plenty of mouths in their profession, some belonging to people with extremely poor oral health and others belonging to people with exceptional oral health. In either case, a dentist’s only concern about the state of anyone’s mouth is getting it as healthy as possible. They are skilled in helping return your smile to a healthy state in a professional manner, without judgment.
Myth 2: The visit will lead to excruciating pain.
A visit to the dentist doesn’t always mean that you will leave in extreme pain. The dentist’s main focus of your visit is always that you are comfortable during the appointment. From painkillers to distraction techniques, your dentist will try his or her best to create a painless experience for you. With today’s modern technology and advances in medicine, this is much more possible than even just 20 years ago.
Myth 3: There is nothing I can do to get over my fear.
From counseling to pre-appointment meetings with your dentist, there are plenty of options to help you move past your fear of a dental visit. Some distraction techniques, such as listening to music or concentrating on relaxing each muscle in your body, can help you feel more comfortable while in the dental chair. Also, establishing an honest and trusting relationship with your dentist before your first appointment can help ease the nerves and anxiety associated with going to the dentist. Plan a pre-appointment visit with your dentist to get more acquainted with him or her.
Myth 4: I have no control whatsoever during my visit.
During a pre-visit appointment with your dentist you can ask about the process of what you can expect when you go for your full visit. You have the right to know what the dentist is going to do during the appointment. With this you can express any concerns and even request that certain routines not be done if you are uncomfortable with them. During the appointment, if you feel pain you can tell your dentist and ask them to stop. Your dentist can try different techniques in order to make you feel more comfortable. You set the standard, so be open and honest with your dentist about how you feel during the appointment.
Myth 5: As long I don’t have any issues, I don’t have to go to the dentist.
False! Getting regular checkups at the dentist are vital to your overall oral health. Some dental issues are not as noticeable as you would expect and can only be seen by a dentist. Catching dental issues early can lead to less pain and less expensive surgeries in the future.
Don’t let common dental myths keep you from going to the dentist. A dentist’s main goal is to help you have the healthiest smile possible. Work with your dentist to ease your fears and dental anxiety, and don’t believe everything you hear about dentists.