Why are so many people afraid of the dentist?
I would suspect it’s a combination of a few different fears:
– Fear of pain
– Fear of loss of control
– Fear of losing your teeth
– Fear of being choked (check in, but I get this is a real one for many, as whenever something goes into your mouth other than food, there’s a risk of choking, so as a general rule we don’t like things going further than the very front of our mouths.)
– White coat syndrome. Yes, it’s true that dentists rarely wear white any more, but the phenomenon is still in play.
You can use your preferred truth testing method to check and see which ones are working against you. I highly recommend it before your next visit to have the pearly whites checked.
The fact of the matter is — most dentists have many things (technology, equipment, processes, etc.) in place to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Does it feel good? No. But it’s not nearly as terrifying as it used to be. And it’s a good idea to let the office know if you’re anxious. Typically, they will be extra-comforting to you in those cases.
Additionally, you can:
– clear your fears, or hire a skilled healer (ahem. I happen to know a good one.) to clear them for you
– meditate — before, during and after
– use flower essences to calm you (Rescue Remedy from Bach essences can be found at Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, and many other natural and health food stores)
– reward yourself afterwards.
Depending on what work you’re having done, you might not want to make it a food-related reward, like chocolate or ice cream. Instead, why not have a massage or pedicure right after the dentist, so you have something wonderfully relaxing to focus on before and during your visit.
Ask any elderly person what they would change if they could do it all over again, and in many cases, “I would have taken better care of my teeth” is right up there in the top 3. We can learn from their mistakes — don’t postpone your dental health because of your fear — get clear and book that appointment today.
Go for it.