Does the sound of a drill make you flinch or cringe? Do you worry about your twice-yearly dental checkup? Trust Drs. Mark Morrow, April Lai, and Kerry Edwards and our team at Morrow, Lai & Edwards Pediatric Dentistry when we say you’re not alone! In fact, the Journal of the American Dental Association has estimated that 30 to 40 million people have a fear of visiting the dentist.
To eliminate some of that fear, we’ve put together six steps to help your child overcome your dental anxiety before visiting our office.
1. What are you most afraid of? Is it the sound of the drill? Do you have needle phobia? Have you been traumatized by previous dental visits? Write down your fears, one by one.
2. Don’t wait. The more frequently you visit our office, the less work needs to be done at any one visit. Simply having your teeth cleaned professionally by our office twice a year —or as recommended— prevents many, if not most, problems.
3. Bring a distraction to your appointment. Bringing along an iPod is a great idea. Just plug in those earphones, close your eyes, and get lost in the music. Listening to music can also be a pain killer.
4. Relax. Inhale slowly, and count of five. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale slowly to the count of eight. Repeat. It’s easier if you’re not totally focused on the work going on inside your mouth.
5. Ask. Before any procedure, ask the doctor or one of our assistants why we’re using the tools we’re using. Ask us what we’re doing, what the tool is used for, and how it will benefit you during the appointment. Also, please ask about anti-anxiety medications that we may prescribe to help you relax during your appointment.
6. We are here to help you. Remember, we are health care professionals who want to improve your oral health, and will never judge you or the state of your mouth. Our team will do all we can to ensure a trauma-free and pain-free experience!
We hope this helps! For more on dental anxieties, we encourage you to visit this helpful article, ask us during your next visit to our convenient Tulsa, OK office! Or, ask us on Facebook!