Help! I’m scared of the dentist!

It’s a shame when people are frightened of visiting the dentist as, nine times out of 10, nothing painful happens. But this fear is incredibly common. As a child, I used to enjoy going to the dentist, as I’d get presented with a sticker, sometimes some free toothpaste, and told how marvellously clean and healthy my teeth were. That was enough for me. My dentist was warm and funny. I only had one filling, because of a chipped tooth, and it didn’t hurt.

But for others, this anxiety is often prohibitive, so not only do they avoid going for check-ups, they might not seek out the orthodontic treatment they really need. This fear might be because of a traumatic experience as a child, or maybe because a parent has passed on their fear in the same way that people do with a phobia of spiders or snakes. But there’s plenty of ways to overcome those worries. 

1. Ask around

Speak to family or friends for recommendations, and try to find a dentist who is understanding about phobias and anxiety. Some even specialise in treating nervous patients. 

2. Get in early

When you make an appointment, try to get seen first thing so that you don’t have time to worry about it during the day. 

3. A problem shared

Speak to your dentist or consultant about your fears. It won’t be the first time they’ve dealt with nervous patients and, once you’ve aired your anxiety, you might find that you feel better about it. Also speak to other people who have had the treatment you’re going for, such as braces or Invisalign – they’ll be able to tell you exactly how it was for them. 

4. Bring a friend

Taking a friend or family member with you to your appointment can help you relax. They can also speak to the dentist on your behalf if they see you becoming anxious during treatment. 

5. Read the reviews

If you think you might need orthodontic treatment, check out the reviews on local orthodontist websites. These should offer reassurance and confidence, and give you a better feeling about the practice and staff.  

6. Listen to music

Relaxing with your favourite tunes or podcast can make things easier while you’re in the waiting room or chair. Find something that makes you happy or reminds you of good times. 

7. Be mindful

Ever tried mindfulness or visualisation? These are very powerful techniques to help calm anxiety and stress. Another idea is to try breathing exercises to calm yourself – take a look at the NHS website for tips. 

How can I tell if my child needs braces?

Children’s teeth develop at different rates and, as parents, we do our best keeping teeth clean and instilling good dental hygiene habits in our little ones. And we reply on our dentist’s expertise at each six-monthly check up to tell us that all is well, or whether...

How do braces really work?

So you’ve decided to have your teeth corrected, and you’re looking forward to getting the right brace or aligner for you – but what actually happens once your brace is fitted, and how does it work?  The general principle is that braces apply gentle pressure to...

What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Most kids grow up visiting the dentist every six months, but suddenly you're getting braces and you have to see an orthodontist instead – so what’s that about? Well, while both a dentist and orthodontist care for your teeth, they essentially do different things. Let’s...

Should I see a dental hygienist, and what do they do?

Absolutely yes! Dental hygienists are an important part of the dental team. They treat children and adults, promoting healthy teeth and gums. A dental hygienist can also give dietary advice and smoking cessation, helping you to have a healthy lifestyle. Their in-depth...

Can I get braces during the coronavirus outbreak?

If you were due to get braces fitted this year, or you were planning to pop in for a chat about teeth correction options for you or your child, your plans may well have been scuppered over recent months thanks to Covid-19. But don't panic – there are still ways we can...

What are the best vitamins for healthy teeth?

We all know the old adage, you are what you eat. But it’s mostly true. If you eat good, nutritious food, you're much more likely to have a healthier body, including great hair, skin and teeth.  It’s best to get your vitamins and mineral from food, but you can...

Four braces problems you can fix at home

Most the time, having braces is pretty straightforward, and you’ll be able to go about your day-to-day life without having to think about them too much. However, there may be times when problems occur.  The best course of action is to call us straight away if...

Five ways to banish bad breath

Making an impactful first impression on someone new is usually a good thing, but not if it’s for the wrong reason! Bad breath is something that can affect anyone, but luckily there are plenty of easy ways to prevent and treat it.  And when you’re new to braces,...

Can I play sports with a brace, and is it safe?

Playing sport is something lots of children – and adults – love, so when your child is told that she needs braces, it might come as a bit of a shock. Will she still be able to play contact sports? Will she have to miss out on her favourite team games, or will she need...

Do braces hurt, and how can you ease the pain?

It’s a bit of a worry, and probably playing on your mind if you’re thinking of getting braces for you or your child – but do braces actually hurt? And how long might they feel uncomfortable for?  A lot of people find a trip to the dentist stressful, but it...

Pin It on Pinterest