If the words “dental cleaning” send shivers down your spine, you are not alone. Almost 15 percent of Americans are afraid of the dentist in some way, shape, or form. The problem is not in your phobia, but in the fact that you are avoiding the very important dental cleanings that need to be performed twice a year. With these regular cleanings comes an exam that helps to determine if there are any warning signs of diseases or issues in your mouth that need to be stopped early on in order to avoid more invasive procedures being required. If the sound of the dental tools send you running, here are a few simple tips to get you through:
- Wear ear plugs – For many people it is the sound of the tools (maybe not even those being used on them) that make them want to jump right out of the dentist’s chair. Rather than gripping the chair and wishing you were somewhere else, put a pair of earplugs in your ears. This will help you to block out the noise and hopefully allow you to get a little rest while your teeth are cleaned.
- Wear headphones – If ear plugs do not make you relaxed, try bringing your iPod and headphones. It is best if you play relaxing music so as not to stimulate your nerves even more during the cleaning, but any music that will take your mind off of your phobia will work.
- Talk to us– Don’t make the mistake of hiding your fear; let us know. There might be simple adjustments he can make in order to make you feel more comfortable. Maybe you do not want the chair reclined all of the way, or you do not like the water sprayed in your mouth unless you know ahead of time. Whatever your fears may be, we can find ways to work around them.
- Relax before your appointment – Before you come in for your cleaning, take some time to practice a relaxation technique to calm your nerves. Whether you prefer yoga, meditation or any other form of relaxation, participate in what works for you to allow you to be calm enough to sit for your cleaning.
Your dental cleaning is one of the most important things you can do for your health, both dental and physical. If you are truly afraid, do not be afraid to let your feelings be known. There are a large number of advances in technology making dental work much less painful and less anxiety provoking for many.